Virtual reality glasses or goggles are a type of eyewear which functions as a display device. They enable the wearer to view a series of computer generated images which they can then interact with.
They take the form of one or two display screens which are worn in front of the face and project graphical images, often accompanied by sound and video. The viewer sees two separate images – one in each eye which the brain combines to form a three dimensional image. They show an illusion of depth which is a characteristic feature of virtual environments.
Different types of virtual reality glasses
There is more than one type of virtual reality glasses which are discussed in greater detail in this section. They include:
These glasses can be compared to a wearable computer monitor which along with an input device such as a data glove or joystick enables the wearer to experience a three dimensional world.
There are some virtual reality glasses which enable a three dimensional image to be projected onto a real world object. This merging of realities is known as augmented reality and is discussed further. Find out more in the augmented reality section.
Early forms of head mounted displays (HMD’s) displayed a single image which did not change even if the wearer moved their head. But newer versions contain tracking devices which record changes in movement and orientation that are reflected in a change in imagery.