why can people who aren’t able to see properly IRL, see in VR?


I just saw a post about a 93 yo woman (who could barely see and only in her peripheral vision) using a VR headset and the post said that it turns out she could see properly in VR. So she experienced Google Earth and various places and she was mesmerised. It was also mentioned that she hasn’t seen colours like that in years. There were also multiple comments about people who could see in VR but not IRL. What is the explanation for this?

In: Technology


VR technology isn’t some miracle that can let blind people see color.

What is most likely is that the old woman has something that makes absorption of light via her lenses difficult. For example, cataracts, clouding of your eyes’ lenses as you grow, can do this and lead to blurry or unfocused vision that might appear faded.

VR, which is actually very close to your face, only simulates the appearance of distance and depth, much like a hyper-realistic painting. This is the best explanation I can come up with.

There is a lot of things VR compensate for as a side effect of the technology.

If you need lots of light, it can be set plenty bright.

If you need saturated colors, it can be set plenty colorful.

If you can only see sharp at a specific distance (short or long), it can put the entire field of view at that distance. That is, if you don’t artificially make depth of field blur, it does not have any blur.

Glasses instead can’t increase the amount of light, or make it more colorful, and they can move the focal distance closer or father apart, but they can’t put everything in focus at once.

That’s also why if you have vision problem and can’t find your glasses, looking at your smartphone screen through the camera actually allow you to see clearly!

Screens are very close to your face with VR obviously, and only simulate depth. People who are nearsighted can generally see in VR pretty clearly, even without glasses. In terms of her perception of color, it’s possible the headset she used had OLED panels (like the Vive, Rift, or Quest). OLEDs have much better contrast than LCDs or LEDs which will make the colors ‘pop’ much more.