Virtual Reality: Truth or Myth?
In a world where technology seems to be over taking outdoor adventures, arts and crafts and many other childhood activities, to what extent does virtual reality imitate life? Movies such as Gamer with lead actor Gerad Bulter give the ideal display of how virtual reality is seemingly over taking the lives of many who prefer to “live” in their virtual world instead of the real world itself. The film displays actor Gerad Butler as a real human, but is being controlled by another person, which to him is a virtual reality. Management information systems is the founding base on which virtual reality is created and also plays a crucial role to the evolving business world. Virtual reality has its’ faults and benefits for management and information systems, the social life of upcoming generations and business affairs.
What is virtual reality when broken down in MIS? How does it work? Many engineers who create VR refer to it as a virtual environment that is developed through the use of computer systems to make a three-dimensional world that allows the user to feel as though they are actually in reality. This is called immersion and when joined with interactivity is known as telepresence. When the VR is working to its’ full potential “experience causes you to become unaware of your real surroundings and focus on your existence inside the virtual environment”, states computer scientist Jonathan Steuer. In a proposal made by Steuer there are two parts to immersion in which he explains as depth of information and breath of information. These two components each have different meanings. Depth in virtual reality information indicates the quality of the data signals and breadth refers to ‘the number of sensory dimensions simultaneously presented” (Steuer, www.howstuffworks.com).
A key important factor in VR is the ability for it to allow the end user to change perspectives with ease and at a continuous pace. “Dr. Frederick Brooks, a pioneer in VR technology and theory, says that displays must project a frame rate of at least 20 - 30 frames per second in order to create a convincing user experience” (Strickland, www.howstuffworks.com). When users plays PlayStation Wii and Xbox live the haptic system is what gives the user force feedback and touch interaction. This is what allows the user to feel intimately submerged in their virtual environment. There are many components to the virtual reality that are necessary to make the VR as real as possible such as: audio units, the reality engine, the head mounted display (HMD), and gloves or hand devices. These components are not included in every VR device, but these are the components needed for the ultimate virtual environment experience.
A personal computer (PC) is the main format and hardware of the reality engine but with more computing power. Pixels are thousands of dots and create the images seen by the VR user. Helmets and glasses are used for head mounted displays (HMD) and utilize liquid crystal technology (LCD) or cathode-ray tube (CRT). HMDs break the one-dimensional realm of televisions and computer screens by allowing the end user to look at the images in any direction or angle they please. The audio units are utilized either through voice recognition to allow the VR to respond to the user or sound outputs creating the expected noise of the environment. The last component of virtual reality is a glove or external device that allows the user to interact with the virtual world. Most common to the typical user is a controller of some sort. PlayStation came out with the Wii and it uses a joystick that allows the end user to interact in the virtual environment of the game. Usually in most hand devices magnetic tracking is “used to determine where the hand is in space in relation to the virtual scene” (Anusha, www.virtualrealitysystems-anusha.blogspot.com)
Now that virtual...
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