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(Virtual Reality)

A technology that covers your eyes and shows you digital 3D images in a way that makes you feel like you're in a different place. Typically it involves a headset that looks like goggles, with one or two display screens positioned a couple of inches in front of your eyes, and lenses that make the images appear much farther away. The headset also tracks the movement of your head and syncs the images, so that you can look around in any direction in the virtual world you're seeing.

What you see through a VR headset might be completely computer-generated (like a game), or it might be images (or video) of the real world, captured with a special camera.

There have been VR solutions that utilized a phone for most or all of the technology. They used a relatively cheap headset accessory consisting of lenses and little else, which the phone went inside.

The most advanced VR headsets have their own specialized displays built-in, and allow you to walk around in the virtual world and fully interact with it.

VR solutions vary wildly in lens quality, refresh rate, and resolution. Poor lenses can force your eyes to focus at an uncomfortable distance, and may introduce various type of poor image quality. A poor refresh rate will produce lag, which is disorienting and may cause the user to experience nausea. Poor resolution means that instead of sharp detail, you'll notice the pixels of the display, often as relatively large squares, which is called the "screen-door effect".

When using a phone-based VR headset, the refresh rate and resolution are determined by the phone. Higher-end phones with faster processors and higher-resolution displays are best for VR. Differences in display resolution that may not be noticeable during normal phone use become very obvious when using a phone for VR.

See: Resolution

See: Quad-HD

Last updated Jun 21, 2024 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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