Virtual Reality: An Exploration of Science and Entertainment
Virtual Reality has helped us to extend our perception, imagination and manipulation. Artificial reality, or virtual reality, is everything and it is hard to describe what it is not: It encapsulates all previous media, even books, slides, pictures, audio, video and multimedia. The typical contribution of virtual reality is its effect of immersion; the user feels as if one is in a different world. Both the sensations and the actions of the user should resemble as much as possible to humans in a normal physical environment i.e., not only seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, but also speaking, walking, jumping, swimming, gestures and facial expressions. Virtual reality has only recently become more than the topic of science fiction. This dream turned into reality is new technology however, uses for virtual reality range from at home entertainment all the way to military training and brain injury rehabilitation. With technology so new, it is relatively impossible to see all of its potential. The future holds many unknown variables and the past has proven to have limited predictive abilities, but the truth cannot be denied; virtual reality has changed the way humans, especially Americans, conduct business, leisure, and war time activities.
Virtual reality has a history that dates back to the 1950s. One of the very first virtual multi-sensory inventions was called the “Sensorama.” (Dixon, 2006) The Sensorama was created and introduced in the year 1956 by Morton Heilig. This invention was a crude reality simulator that made one experience the sensory stimulations of riding a motorcycle. This product was not a huge success in America, however the idea behind it had a profound effect on both the entertainment industry and the scientific community. After the first experiments in the fifties with complex kinesthetic devices like multiple cameras, senso-motor devices and... [continues]
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