What are Virtual Reality Goggles?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Virtual reality goggles are goggles which are designed to be used in a virtual reality experience, in which scenes are displayed in the goggles, allowing the user to feel like he or she is actually inside the scene, experiencing it first hand. Many virtual reality goggles are not actually goggles at all, but rather head mounted displays which wrap around the face. The goggles are also usually worn with a headset for the purpose of isolating sounds from the surrounding environment and providing a source of audio input.

Virtual reality goggles allow users to feel like they are immersed in an environment.
Virtual reality goggles allow users to feel like they are immersed in an environment.

There are a number of different applications for virtual reality goggles. Many people think of such devices in the context of virtual reality games, in which players don goggles and headsets so that they can feel like they are experiencing the game first hand. Such games can be played solo or with groups, providing opportunities to react with a virtual environment which can be enhanced with the use of specialized gloves and other equipment. In addition to being used in games, such goggles can be used more educationally, with people taking virtual tours of museums or sites of interest around the world.

Virtual reality goggles are also used in certain teaching applications, providing people with simulated experiences they can respond to. Using virtual reality goggles can allow people to explore situations and environments which would otherwise be highly unsafe, making them valuable for instruction like pilot training, in which it is not possible to put pilots in dangerous situations to see how they respond.

Medicine also has uses for virtual reality goggles. Tests used to assess visual acuity, for example, can be performed with a virtual reality experience which simulates real world conditions and makes it easier to collect accurate information. Goggles are also used in some biofeedback therapy, in which a game is created for a patient to navigate as he or she works through the therapy. Practitioners such as dentists may also provide their patients with virtual reality goggles so that they can escape, as it were, during dental treatments, lowering stress and making the experience more pleasant.

The technology behind virtual reality software is improving all the time, and the associated equipment must keep up. Poor resolution or lack of compatibility with a particular system can interfere with the virtual reality experience, making it less enjoyable for the user. The inability to interface properly with tactile feedback or audio systems can also be a problem.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


It would be neat to see VR goggles compatible with the XBOX 720 or the Playstation. Full immersion in the games however would require each game to recode how they display to the goggles. Perhaps this could be automated and generalized for most games.

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