How Virtual Reality Works | By Octagon Studio

How Virtual Reality Works | By Octagon Studio

It’s safe to assume that the prevalence of virtual reality, a technology capable of immersing users in simulated worlds and realities, is at an all time high. However despite of the technology’s rising prevalence and popularity, not too many people (tech enthusiasts included) actually have a firm grasp of how virtual reality works. This article aims to explain the fundamentals of how virtual reality is capable of tricking your brain into believing you’re behind the cockpit of an advanced fighter jet when you’re actually sitting safely in the comfort of your home.


In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of how virtual reality works, it’s of course important for us to first touch upon the basics and determine what VR actually is. At its core, virtual reality is a technology capable of providing simulated environments by utilizing various digital visuals and audios to immerse users in simulated environments and / or experiences.

To create these immersive environments, VR technology involves the use of multiple cameras, high quality computer generated images supported by surround sound and the appropriate VR software. These elements are combined and presented together to users through the use of a Head Mounted Display or VR headset, allowing users to explore the virtual space and interact with the available elements.

By exposing users to a well developed virtual environment, their senses are tricked into believing they are in a different reality or world other that the one they’re currently in. Depending on the level of immersion, the virtual experience may trigger an emotional response and a sense of attachment to the virtual content. That’s basically how virtual reality works.


An essential part of virtual reality technology is inevitably the Head Mounted Display (or VR headset for some). There are two main types of VR headsets available on the market today; one equipped with its own display which relies on PC and console for its processing power needs, and one which utilizes smartphones for its display and processing power.

As the former comes equipped with its own display and requires a powerful PC and console to operate, this type of VR headset is notoriously pricey and is clearly not intended for everyone. Conversely, a good example of the latter category is Google Cardboard and our very own Octagon VR Luna headset, which is a great way of experiencing and understanding how virtual reality works without having to cough up substantial amount of money.

Smartphone based VR headsets make use of the smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to provide users with a sense of both position and motion. This allows users to move and interact with objects within the virtual space by simply tilting their heads in the desired direction. Accessories such as wireless controllers may provide users with an extra immersion which would hopefully grant users a comprehensive understanding of how virtual reality works.