Skip to main content

How Virtual Reality Works

Provided by The University of California, San Diego (UCSanDiegoX)
Introductory
See prerequisites
Free

$99 USD for graded exams and assignments, plus a certificate

Learn how virtual reality technology works by writing simple VR programs with WebVR.

Start Date:

Before you start

Basic concepts of programming languages

What you will learn

  • Types of virtual reality devices and their strengths and weaknesses
  • How virtual reality applications differ from other interactive software programs
  • What makes a virtual reality application successful
  • What to avoid when writing virtual reality software
  • Basic VR programming using WebVR
  • Week 1: VR definition and display systems
  • Week 2: 3D Tracking and Input Devices
  • Week 3: How to interact with the VR environment
  • Week 4: How to move around in VR
  • Week 5: 3D Menus and Text Input
  • Week 6: VR app design

Overview

Virtual reality is changing the way we interact with the world. But how does it work, what hardware is involved, and how is software written for it?

In this course, part of the Virtual Reality Professional Certificate program, we will explore the foundations of user-friendly virtual reality app development for consumers, as well as enterprise solutions. Both hardware and software aspects will be discussed. You will learn to evaluate devices necessary for virtual reality applications, what their differences are, how you write interactive applications for virtual reality, and we will discuss the most frequent problems you are going to need to solve to write virtual reality software.

In this course, you will explore the basics of virtual reality software through copying and modifying JavaScript to explore tradeoffs in VR application design. Extensive programming experience is not required.

By the end of this course, you will understand what is important for successful virtual reality software and learn how to write simple virtual reality programs themselves with WebVR.

This course is taught by an instructor with almost two decades of experience in virtual reality who leads the Immersive Visualization Laboratory at UC San Diego.

Of all edX learners:
73% are employed
Of all edX learners:
45% have children
Based on internal survey results
411,108 people are learning on edX today