What is Virtual Reality and How Its Works

Updated December 28, 2021

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What is Virtual Reality and How Its Works essay

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Virtual Reality’s intended purpose is to entertain and educate users by replacing one’s surroundings with a realistic-seeming three-dimensional environment (1). This innovation functions by consuming and interpreting the real world, with a final product of a simulated environment. Virtual Reality is commonly used for gaming, illustrated by the man playing a video game in my artifact. The graduation cap and textbook illustrate the goal of providing people with numerous educational opportunities (2).“The world at your fingertips” and the globe image demonstrate its general purpose of providing a form of easy interaction between people and places all over the world.

In order to create my computational artifact, I used the Google Docs “Drawing” feature. First, I inserted the background photo and made it fit the entire template. Then, I inserted the photo of the globe and modified it’s size so that it would only take up about half of the Virtual Reality headset, leaving room for the third photo. Due to the fact that the third image had a white background, I used a website called “LunaPic” to photoshop it and make the background transparent. This step was essential in making my final image look organized and uncluttered. From there, I inserted the third photo and cropped it into the remaining half of the headset. Lastly, I added text by inserting two text boxes on the left side. I changed both boxes from the default font to a different font and size with the features known as “Font” and “Font Size.”

Virtual Reality has the capacity to immerse the user into an enhanced simulation. According to Daniel Le Jehan, it is “closing the gap between the digital experience and the physical space (4).” There are numerous beneficial and detrimental effects that originate from Virtual Reality. This innovation provides us with valuable information, specifically with vehicle safety. For example, one benefit is that it significantly minimizes the potential of people getting into accidents on the road due to a lack of basic driving skills. This information is obtained through putting people, such as the elderly or disabled, on a virtual “road” to determine if they should still be driving (5).

An economic effect of this innovation is that many schools that use Virtual Reality are saving money in the long term because it provides “virtual field trips” (6), such as museums and historical sites, that are expensive to physically visit. One unintentional yet harmful effect is that even when used properly, seizures and “cybersickness” (7), other known as nausea, can occur. Another detriment is that “digital addiction” (7) can occur as typical users get addicted to the release of dopamine since the technology’s exciting sensations can make the virtual world appeal more than the visual world and release addictive neurotransmitters.

Virtual Reality has a complex processing system. The first step is consuming the input data as the headset senses and interprets the orientation, graphic, and audio data of the surrounding environment (8). Then, it transforms these various data types with the use of sophisticated algorithms and concludes what to display in the user’s headset. From there, it produces auditory and graphic output to the user’s device. One of the data privacy/security concerns linked with the misuse of Virtual Reality is the uncertainty of if the camera and microphone continue to sense spatial information when the device is turned “off” (9). These sensors can sense personal demographic information, such as your location, as well as record your conversations without any consent. According to a website called ARVR Journey, “Because the technology is still in its development, there are no uniform guidelines about the use of this personal data.” If this information got into the wrong hands, you would easily be able to be tracked down.


  1. https://mindsparkescape.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/04/shutterstock_562750144.jpg
  2. http://www.stickpng.com/img/nature/space/planets/earth-clipart
  3. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/images/nav/coe_hp_new.png
  4.  https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-to-virtual-reality/
  5.  https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-education/
  6.  https://www168.lunapic.com/editor/?action=transparent
  7. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/essential-insights/future-of-virtual-reality-in-business/
  8. http://www.icdvrat.org/2004/papers/S02_N4_Rose_ICDVRAT2004.pdf
  9. https://www.verdict.co.uk/virtual-reality-experience-learning/
  10. http://resourcemagonline.com/2018/03/the-negative-side-effects-of-virtual-reality/87052/
  11. https://virtualrealitypop.com/the-sensing-machine-how-computer-vision-is-transforming-vr-d7c62b4bd720
  12. https://arvrjourney.com/thinking-about-privacy-and-security-in-vr-ar-55995d91bd44
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