How Virtual Reality Headset Works?

Virtual reality has moved to mainstream technology. It has made its mark on the consumer tech realm. You can visit virtual realms, explore the real landmarks in other worlds, and play realistic virtual games, all from the comfort of your home.

All these amazing experiences pivot on amazing hardware called as Virtual Headset technology.

Virtual headsets range from simple cardboard headsets and some lenses to highly upgraded tech made of sensor filled LCD screen. The most common PC-run VR headsets are; Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and play station Virtual reality. For smartphones, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR headset, both are an option. Both types of headsets, whether PC or smartphone, are used in similar ways, but use different sensors, different input, and slightly different technology.

There are other types of Virtual headsets too. The Stand-Alone VR. The Day Dream and Oculus Go, both are the primary headsets for VR. You can use Standalone headsets without using any other device such as a PC or smartphone for input. Just put the headset on and you are good to go!


For you to see and interact with the virtual world and for them to function properly, VR headsets require input. Some VR headsets just provide head tracking and controller function while others offer voice tracking functions too. Different headsets require a different types of control functions.

Oculus Rift and Play station VR have no built-in hand tracking or audio recognition and are used as head mounted displays or commonly known as HMDs.

The general purpose of Virtual Reality headsets is to create a reality based virtual environment which tricks our brain into blurring the lines of reality and digital world and makes us think that we are present in an imaginative world. Video for the VR Headset is fed through either HDMI cable from a PC, through a smartphone screen or from the headset’s internal screen and processor.

The exciting thing is, while the viewer sees one world, actually the screen inside the VR world is split in two, one for view to each eye so to create a 3-D perspective. There is also the utilization of lenses between the screen and the viewer’s eyes. These lenses are used to convert the screen-presented image into a lifelike form for your eyes.

In simple words, the VR lenses transform the image from the flat screen to a 3 dimensional view. This is achieved with the help of lenses in the headset and the angle through which the image is portrayed through these lenses. The lenses twist two similar but separate images for individual eye, showing them at a level and shape imitating the real world for your eyes.

Actual images are shown at a distance and a slightly different level for each eye, so if you open and close one eye at a fast speed, you will be able to see the image of VR moving forward and backward. Virtual reality follows this principle.

Another cool factor that makes virtual reality interesting is that it doesn’t only make you see the virtual world in 3D but also allows you to observe this world at an angle of 360 degrees, so if you rotate your head, the objects will also oblige and you will be able to observe the surrounding environment of the virtual world. Obviously it is not the screen that moves when you do this, but with the help of lenses and sensor, the objects of the screen or image are shown to be moving in compliance with your head that make it look like it. Thus, the VR requires and uses impressive software design and amazing sensors to make all the images turn into reality.

The sensors used in Virtual Reality headsets:

Virtual reality headsets that use a head tracking system to provide users with this function using a concept called six degrees of freedom, also known as 6DOF. This concept makes head tracking work. This concept measures your head moves backward, forward, side by side by putting it to the XYZ axis and turns the image accordingly.

The sensors used in the concept of six degrees of freedom are accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. The Virtual reality headsets used by Sony Play station even use LEDs that are place externally and are tracked by an external camera to sense the position of your head perfectly and develop its position in VR accurately.

Virtual reality needs flawless lag and response rate, meaning that the head tracking movements must be less than 50 milliseconds, to trick our brains that it is actually present inside the virtual world. The screen refresh rate also needs to be as high as 60 to 120 Frames per Second.  To be as perfect and flawless and is possible, the VR systems try to achieve this standard to provide customers with this amazing experience. If the head tracking movements and the fps rate are not as accurate, the brain will start to realize that it is actually being tricked the whole experience can go wrong.

Most audio inducing headsets use Binaural or 3-D audio to complete the sense of realism and to provide an audio-visual environment of the virtual landscape. The sound is induced through the software in the position sensors and the headphones are worn to hear the audio and experience the sound in a sense of reality.

While the cheap headsets provide motion-activated or static viewpoints and use manual controlling inputs such as gaming controllers, the premium virtual reality headsets can track your physical movements.

Some VR systems, such as Oculus, offer premium headsets that users can get to have an extra level of accuracy in the virtual world.

Oculus also provides amazing new third sensors to provide coverage to your play area, allowing a better physical tracking within a room.

Even though different headsets use different sensors and arrays. In general, all VR Headsets use an LED point tracking that connects with and stream to an external camera, which then processes the movements of the points of the object and inserts it into display movement of the camera.

Virtual headsets use a combination of lenses, sensors, cameras, and motion tracking technology to create a virtual world that you have ever only seen in your wildest dreams.



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