Virtual reality (VR) typically refers to computer technologies that use software to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment (or create an imaginary setting), and simulate a user's physical presence in this environment, by enabling the user to interact with this space and any objects depicted therein using specialized display screens or projectors and other devices. VR has been defined as "...a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body" or as an "immersive, interactive experience generated by a computer". A person using virtual reality equipment is typically able to "look around" the artificial world, move about in it and interact with features or items that are depicted on a screen or in goggles. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, touch, hearing, and, less commonly, smell. Most 2016-era virtual realities are displayed either on a computer monitor, a projector screen, or with a virtual reality headset (also called head-mounted display or HMD). HMDs typically take the form of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Some simulations include additional sensory information and provide sounds through speakers or headphones. Virtual Reality actually brings the user into the digital world by cutting off outside stimuli. In this way user is solely focusing on the digital content.
Virtual reality environment can be captured using 360° stereoscopic spherical video and 360x360 surround sound from professional VR video cameras. The users can emerge in the virtual reality environment using head-mounted displays.
Some advanced haptic systems in the 2010s now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback in medical, video gaming and military training applications. Some VR systems used in video games can transmit vibrations and other sensations to the user via the game controller. Virtual reality also refers to remote communication environments which provide a virtual presence of users with through telepresence and telexistence or the use of a virtual artifact (VA), either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove or omnidirectional treadmills. The immersive environment can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience—for example, in simulations for pilot or combat training, which depict realistic images and sounds of the world, where the normal laws of physics apply (e.g., in flight simulators), or it can differ significantly from reality, such as in VR video games that take place in fantasy settings, where gamers can use fictional magic and telekinesis powers.