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Blogs / Trendy Tech Talks / What Are The Different Types of Virtual Reality?

Blogs / Trendy Tech Talks / What Are The Different Types of Virtual Reality?

Ananya Dasgupta

20 Mar 2024

3 Different Types of Virtual Reality

What Are The Different Types of Virtual Reality?


Virtual reality refers to the computer-enabled simulation technology that enables you to engage in a life-like imaginary world virtually. There are three different types of virtual reality, and each of them is being utilized across various industries to give users an interactive and unique virtual experience. This blog shall give you an overview of the different types of virtual reality and help you identify their differences to make proper decisions when choosing a VR experience.

Non-Immersive Virtual Reality  

Non-immersive virtual reality is the first type, where you cannot directly interact with the computer-generated virtual environment but can control some activities or characters within the setting. Unlike other types of virtual reality, non-immersive VR requires a PC, laptop, or phone to delve into the virtual experience. Herein, you can leverage input devices like a mouse, keyboard, and gamepad to interact with the virtual elements. 

Although it’s often not considered a definite type of virtual reality because of its common existence in our everyday lives, the interaction of the features and actions with the characters within certainly makes it a virtual reality technology. The most basic example of this virtual reality type is a video game

Yes. If you have ever played World of WarCraft, you have already experienced non-immersive virtual reality by controlling the animated characters and their actions. The same goes for the computer game called Dota 2! In addition, the budget-friendly VR headset, Google Cardboard, offers a non-immersive virtual reality experience by using smartphones as the display.  

Fully-Immersive Virtual Reality

Another and the most advanced type of virtual reality is the fully immersive one. Here, you get to indulge in the most realistic virtual reality experience that tends to blur the lines between the real and digital worlds. It is because this specific type of virtual reality aims to stimulate as many senses as possible, such as sound, sight, touch, and so forth, by using technologies like high-resolution displays, surrounding sounds, motion tracking, etc. 

Unique and advanced equipment such as VR glasses, helmets, gloves, sense detectors and body connectors are used to provide you with such an interactive experience. The computer collects data from these sensors, and subsequently, the virtual worlds and the elements within react to it in real time.  

Virtual Shooter Gaming Zone is one of the most popular examples of fully immersive virtual reality. Here, you can leverage special gear provided to you in a room to interact with other players in a virtual setting and run, throw, jump, or shoot by moving your arms. This technology is also being to train medical specialists, like neurosurgeons, to enrich their skills precisely and succeed in risky brain operations.

Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality

A relatively new technology in the field of virtual reality, namely, semi-immersive virtual reality, is typically a mix of non-immersive and fully immersive virtual realities. It’s the type where you can partially interact with the virtual world. For instance, you can move around in a 3D virtual space, but apart from the visual experience, you don’t get any other physical sensations. 

You stay in close contact with the real physical environment, and the realism of the virtual world comes to you in the form of 3D graphics. This particular type of virtual reality is mostly used in the educational sector to give interactive lessons and take students to virtual field trips. 

Besides, you may also get this VR experience on real estate websites and those of hotels and bars. One of the most prominent VR devices that offer semi-immersive experiences is Oculus Quest, which is a standalone VR headset offering a “wireless, room-scale virtual experience.” Another is the PC-powered HTC Vive VR headset that allows you to dive into high-quality visuals alongside motion tracking.   

To sum up, advances in the field of virtual reality are ongoing, and you may encounter many new types in the near future. However, as stated by Forbes, the aforementioned ones are the primary types of virtual reality, categorized based on immersion levels, user experience, and hardware requirements.  

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