VR Headsets, What Are They?

The Holidays are just around the corner. So, we here at AVT thought it would be the perfect time to explain what exactly a VR headset is. As well as how to find the best one. Stick with us in our next few posts as we discuss and compare VR headsets and explain their differences from MR and AR headsets.


A VR headset is a Head Mounted Display (HMD) that provides the user with virtual reality. These HMDs are stereoscopic, meaning they display separate images into each eye for a three-dimensional effect.

HTC VIVE Pro Eye VR Headset - AMOLED - Photo Credited by HTC and Dell
HTC VIVE Pro Eye VR Headset – AMOLED – Photo Credited by HTC and Dell

They include speakers in the ears for binaural stereo “surround” sound. They also include head motion tracking to allow the user to look around the virtual world with 3-6 degrees of freedom.


VR headsets also usually come with a set of controllers for each hand. These allow for movement and interaction in the virtual world. Simply put, VR headsets are goggles that immerse their wearers into seemingly different worlds by manipulating one’s senses through virtual and typically digital means.

VR Headset Controllers by Oculus for the Quest 2 Photo Credited by https://www.oculus.com/compare/
VR Headset Controllers by Oculus for the Quest 2 Photo Credited by https://www.oculus.com/compare/

Uses for VR Headsets

VR headsets are Often used for video games and entertainment but can also be used for productivity and education. Simulators and trainers sometimes use VR headsets to teach lessons that would be difficult to teach in the real world. These lessons include flight training, target practice, intrusive anatomical medical examinations or procedures, operating heavy machinery, etc.

Virtual Reality (VR) Headset
Virtual Reality (VR) HMD


Latency requirements are significantly higher in VR headsets than they are with normal video games, however. This is because the system must track, process, and display the user’s hand and head movements in close to real-time, or else the user will experience VR sickness. VR sickness is similar to motion sickness in that motion unperceived by vision can cause one to become discombobulated, unbalanced, dazed, or nauseous.

How do you Choose?

Google Cardboard VR headset
Google Cardboard VR headset Photo Credit By Google

From $10 cardboard cutouts to high-tech headsets worth thousands of dollars, these VR HMD come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles from a myriad of producers, all with different software and specifications. So, In our next post, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of different VR headsets for your consumer convenience including Oculus, Valve, HTC, and PlayStation products.

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Initially, Applied Visual Technology Inc., AVT has been developing modeling and simulation expertise through engineering services since 1998. This is due to our founder who has accumulated over 30 years of military MS&T expertise in aviation applications. Nonetheless, everyone at AVT specializes in making old training systems new again and making new ones for less. Consequently, for 20 years AVT has served our Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine customers by providing the highest quality of service and solutions. Following its inception, AVT’s highly specialized staff of engineers has included some of the top leaders in the simulation industry. With over 20 years of simulation experience, our dedicated team provides specialized solutions for customers with complex problems.