A virtual reality headset is a head-mounted display that uses two feeds – one for each eye – to create a 3-D display from angled 2-D imaging. Televisions and computer screens have limitations due to immobility and image borders. The closeness of the VR display creates a life-size virtual environment without the visual distraction of the real world.

VR headsets require input, whether from a personal computer, gaming system, smartphone, or standalone. Types of headsets:

How VR Headset Technology Works

  • Personal computer VR
  • Standalone VR
  • Smartphone VR
  • Handheld VR

Headsets like PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift receive input from the console or computer.

Most models require a connection through an HDMI cable, but new technology pushes for wireless adaptors to increase freedom of motion.

A standalone VR set does not need a separate device, not too dissimilar to Game Boy, PlayStation Portable, and other portable game consoles. They do not need another device. The HTC Vive Focus 3 is an example of a standalone VR that lets users download or stream games directly to the headset.

Cell phone VR headsets use the smartphone’s screen and computer for gameplay. Users simply slide their cell into the headset – the more advanced the smartphone, the better quality of gameplay.

Handheld VT headsets also require a smartphone but are not as technologically advanced as smartphone headsets. These headsets get their name because you must hold them to your face, as they do not have straps. The material used in the original Google Cardboard was just cardboard and plastic lenses.

Find out more about available VR goggle models next.