Through the use of specific hardware and software, virtual reality - sometimes called 'immersive multimedia,' as well as 'virtual environment (VE)' or 'computer-simulated life' - can help replicate or create an environment, based on reality or the imagination of the creator. The aim of VR is to create a sensory experience for the user sometimes including sight, touch, hearing, smell, or even taste.
In order to experience virtual reality, the user needs a specific set of hardware. The most important device that helps the user immerse in the virtual environment is probably the head-mounted display (HMD) - a wraparound headset which does not allow light or images from the real world to interfere with the virtual one. The installed base of virtual reality headsets was estimated at around seven million in 2016 and is forecast to grow to 37 million by 2020. The Samsung Gear VR was the best selling VR device in 2016 with 4.3 million units. Other virtual reality devices of which at least 200 thousand units were sold in 2016 include the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Google Daydream and the Oculus Rift.
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