Gaming and entertainment increasingly uses virtual reality goggles and glasses to enhance the experiences of users. The newer goggles are lighter and more comfortable than head-mounted displays (HMD). Many incorporate interactive devices including head movement tracking, audio and video inputs.
The goal of the virtual reality goggles is to give the wearer a realistic world that looks and acts in a manner similar to the real world. Delays from the inputs, called latency, causes a disconnect between the real and simulated worlds and may cause motion sickness. The sense of disconnect definitely disrupts the entertainment experience for the user.
Virtual reality glasses operate much like a pair of 3D goggles. They contain polarized lenses and show two images – one per eye. The two images create the illusion of depth, or stereoscopy. The brain combines the two images into one, giving the illusion of 3D depth.
Add sound and video to the experience and the wearer has a new reality to experience inside the virtual reality glasses. This is a feature of CAVE environments. CAVE refers to any immersive virtual reality environment where the user is surrounded on all sides by the projected virtual images.
Advanced virtual reality glasses and goggles incorporate head movement tracking systems connected to computers. The computers send signals that adjust the images seen by the user as they move through the virtual environment. This is another feature of the CAVE fully immersed virtual reality system.
Every time the user moves, the glasses map the movements and adjust the images. The computer shows the user an environment that has realistic depth and movement, creating an incredibly lifelike illusion within the virtual reality goggles.
A wearer might use virtual reality as an architectural designer, for instance, and be able to walk through their building design with the aid of an advanced computer system. The designer could view the building from different angles, walk through the hallways or walk around the outside and grasp different aesthetics of the design before any part of construction started. The architect could understand how the end users of the building would experience the structure and its spaces in the real world once construction was completed.