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What Is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality, or VR, is a new form of technology that’s been growing in popularity. Virtual reality immerses you in a 3D environment that seems real, taking away the limitations of the real world to allow you to go wherever you want and see what you’re interested in. It’s a simulated experience used in gaming, entertainment, educational, and professional environments to let people have experiences that may be dangerous or entirely impossible in real life. Once inside this environment, you can explore and interact with everything inside. Virtual reality tricks our brains into believing that what we see and hear while wearing the VR headset is real.

What Is VR in Simple Words?

Virtual reality is a form of technology that places you inside of a 3D simulated environment. This virtual setting is shown in 360 degrees, adding to the sense of realism: You can look all around and see the simulated environment surrounding you. If you take a step, the scenery will move as if you were walking through a real environment. And sounds are also part of the experience: If someone walks up behind you in a VR chat room, for instance, you’ll hear them coming from behind you, and if a monster jumps out at you to your left, you’ll hear it on your left.


What Virtual Reality Looks Like

It may be difficult to imagine what virtual reality looks like if you haven’t experienced it, but the short answer is that VR looks real, since it’s designed to mimic reality. What you actually see can vary dramatically depending on the specific app you’re using: You could play a VR game that places you on an alien planet, join a VR chat room that looks like a cafe, or use a travel app to walk the streets of London without leaving your house.

No matter what you see while you’re exploring virtual reality, anyone watching you from the outside will see you wearing a VR headset, like an Oculus Quest 2, Steam Index. HTC Vive, HP Reverb, or PS VR. These headsets completely cover your eyes, showing you the virtual environment while blocking your view of the real world around you. You’ll also hold controllers, one in each hand, that help you to interact with the virtual world, letting you pick up and manipulate objects.

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