What Is a Virtual Reality Headset?

What Is a Virtual Reality Headset?

A virtual reality (VR) headset is a head-mounted device with a display screen, stereo sound, sensors, and suitable controls that provides an immersive and interactive audiovisual experience.

When a person dons a virtual reality (VR) headset, they can no longer see the real world; instead, they can only see VR content projected on the display screen, such as 360-degree videos and VR games, workplaces, or meeting rooms for other activities.

In contrast to augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) headsets, virtual reality (VR) headsets do not allow users to see the exterior physical environment.

In addition to the VR headgear, the user will utilize VR controls to navigate the experience. As previously stated, the gadget delivers an interactive experience that requires a controller to point to items, pick, drag, and drop, scroll up or down, traverse between different VR worlds, demarcate borders, and perform other operations.

The majority of existing VR headsets have handheld controllers that function similarly to joysticks. Users of more futuristic models may be able to navigate the virtual environment by using their fingers, gestures, and other familiar actions while wearing haptic gloves.

Each VR headset consists of the four components listed below:

Components of Virtual Reality Headsets

A Collection Of Sensors

Virtual reality is not a passive experience, unlike 2D video. Users interact with adaptive virtual worlds that respond to their constant inputs.

To do this, VR headsets are equipped with a variety of sensors, and some devices even feature a six degrees of freedom (6DoF) head tracking system.

A 6DoF system monitors head motions and repositions the display accordingly using gyroscopes, accelerometers, and other sensors. Some VR headsets have eye-tracking sensors that detect when the user’s eyes are focused on a VR object or place.

Lenses And Screens

The optics and screen configuration constitute the majority of the VR headset’s hardware. Between the screen and your eyes are stereoscopic lenses that distort the image to make it appear three-dimensional.

One image for each eye is transmitted through the lens, simulating how human eyes detect and interpret visual information in real life. In addition, visuals in VR headsets appear to move side-to-side to simulate a 360-degree experience. This is accomplished by subtly repositioning the display content in response to head tracking data.

Immersive Audio

A stereo audio stream comes from two directions or one for each ear, but in the actual world, users have a far more layered experience of sound that is strongly related to our perception of distance and location.

Using 360-degree or immersive audio technology, VR headsets emulate this experience. One such technique is binaural audio, and the new spatial audio pioneered by firms such as Apple represents an additional milestone in VR audio innovation.


Finally, controllers for VR headsets provide the link between the actual and virtual worlds. Intriguingly, you can use a variety of controllers in addition to the standard pair of portable controllers included with most headsets.

For instance, Samsung’s Gear VR kit includes a single-handed motion controller, and HTC VIVE’s single-handed joystick-like controllers come with a docking station.

According to reports, Meta is developing haptic-based controls that could enable pressure-sensitive touch and navigation. In addition, Valve Index controllers have a distinctive design that incorporates a fist grip.

Understanding How a VR Headset Functions

Together with sophisticated VR software, these components allow the headgear to function effectively. Users are greeted by a lifelike virtual environment that works as a lobby and is comparable to a computer’s homepage when the headset boots up. In this area, users can select various applications, interact with other virtual individuals, modify settings, and update their gadgets, among other functions.

Modern headsets get visuals from a video source such as a smartphone, PC, or, more likely, the cloud. The lens will divide the video image in half and calibrate the two halves into a stereoscopic 3D image, which is displayed on the screen. As you glance around, shift your eye’s gaze, or raise your hands, the surrounding world gently alters due to built-in sensors.

Aside from these fundamental features, VR headsets are incredibly powerful. For instance, there are productivity apps that allow you to develop products in virtual reality and save them to the cloud as 3D models. Advanced VR headsets have a very fast screen refresh rate to instantly render and update content.

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Lloyd Walden
Marketing Manager Lloyd has helped Technology In The Arts with regards to our online presence, alongside his works on helping us in marketing our brand to other clients