Word of the Day: VR headset

Word of the Day

Daily updates on the latest technology terms |September 19, 2017

VR headset (virtual reality headset)

A virtual reality headset is a heads-up display (HUD) that allows users to interact with simulated environments and experience a first-person view (FPV). VR headsets replace the user's natural environment with virtual reality content, such as a movie, a game or a prerecorded 360-degree VR environment that allows the user to turn and look around, just as in the physical world.

Although virtual reality has been around for years, the tethered hardware to experience it has traditionally been expensive, bulky and power-hungry. Today, mobile VR headsets, which are basically goggles that will hold a smartphone, have allowed VR apps to spread into the consumer market. The goal of each type of VR headset is to provide the viewer with an experience that is so real, the headset itself is forgotten.

VR apps for both mobile and tethered apps incorporate technology such as gaze tracking, IR sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers to move the user's point of view in a natural manner. Mobile apps often include stereo sound, while tethered apps may feature surround or even 3D sound. Development challenges for all VR apps and headsets include eliminating latency to reduce viewer disorientation, headache and nausea.

Types of VR headsets:

Oculus Rift - a computer-based system that reignited interest in virtual reality when the Oculus VR startup launched a successful Kickstarter campaign. Rift works with positioning technology that lets the user move physically through 3D space and has Touch controllers.

Microsoft's Hololens - a standalone VR headset. The system features 3D spatialized sound, Wi-Fi, a Kinect-like camera with a 120-degree spatial sensing system, a fleet of gyroscopes and accelerometers and a transparent screen for each eye.

HTC Vive - plugs into a powerful gaming PC for its performance. Dual base stations allow users to move freely through a 15' X 15' area. The system was developed collaboratively with Portal, a video game software company.

PlayStation VR - works with PlayStation 4 rather than a PC. The system duplicates the headset VR display on a TV.

Samsung Gear VR - a smartphone container that uses the phone's processing power. The system, which works with high-end Samsung Galaxy models, was developed in collaboration with Oculus VR.

Google Cardboard - a low-cost, smartphone container made of plain cardboard. There are a number of inexpensive headsets based on the original open source model.

Quote of the Day

"Businesses adopting virtual and augmented reality technologies need a robust application development infrastructure -- one that supports a variety of headgear, networking options and software." - Paul Korzeniowski


Trending Terms

heads-up display
virtual reality
Oculus Rift
Microsoft HoloLens
wearable computer

holographic processing unit

room-scale VR

VR gaming


Learning Center

Impact of virtual and augmented reality technologies comes into focus
Virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality technologies promise to reshape the IoT market by turning data into action.

Augmented and virtual reality make a play for the enterprise
Experts at Deloitte Digital explained why augmented and virtual reality are poised to shake up the enterprise: The Data Mill reports.

Virtual reality could create more immersive visual collaboration
Virtual and augmented reality could be the next step in visual collaboration. Learn how VR and AR hardware present new opportunities for enterprises.

Oculus trial: Even if Facebook loses, VR to prevail
No matter the outcome of the Oculus trial, VR will have its day in the enterprise. CIOs, take note. Also in Searchlight: U.S. DOL sues Oracle; Twitter drops Fabric.

Virtual reality devices are the next generation of computing, IDC says
When evaluating wearables, IT can't leave out augmented and virtual reality devices, which are poised to have a major effect on the enterprise.

Quiz Yourself

________ reality uses an existing environment and overlays digital information on top of it.
a. Virtual
b. Augmented


Stay In Touch

For feedback about any of our definitions or to suggest a new definition, please contact me at: mrouse@techtarget.com


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