The heater panels transfer heat directly from the heater to the object without heating the air in between. Heat passes by radiant heat waves until an object (like you) absorbs that heat.
The way infrared heating works is essentially the same as the natural heating effects of the sun. When the infrared energy of the sun shines on a surface such as sand on the beach, or a stone wall, that surface absorbs the infrared energy and heats up. It then radiates that heat back, effectively functioning as a warmed thermal mass which has the effect of a large radiator.
As it does not heat the surrounding air, infrared heating allows a quicker, more comfortable and more cost-effective method of heating, compared to more traditional methods.
The feeling of heat from an infrared heater is similar to the feeling of stepping into sunshine.