Virtual Reality

Topics: Virtual reality, Simulated reality, Wii Pages: 5 (1369 words) Published: December 31, 2012
Virtual Reality (VR)

What is it?

Virtual means ‘almost or nearly as described, but not completely’, therefore, Virtual Reality is when something is not physically existing as such but made by a software to appear to do so.

Virtual reality is an artificial 3-dimensional environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. It is a digitally created space that humans could access by donning sophisticated computer equipment. Once inside that space, people could be transported to a different world, a substitute reality in which one could interact with objects, people, and environments, the appearance of which were bound only by the limits of the human imagination.

Virtual reality has been designed to address one or more of our senses: visual (sight), auditory (hearing), tactile (feel) and olfactory (smell). As of now, computer and electronic scientists and engineers are working on a system that will include the sense of taste.

How it works

For virtual reality to work, there are three imperatives: a computer, special software and the individual user. There are various input devices to greatly enhance the virtual reality experience and make it work. Items such as helmets, glasses, joysticks, mice and wands. These input devices are designed to record and measure electronic signals and convert them into a physical world. The output devices permit the user's brain to process the computer-generated physical world that is created. The user then simultaneously interacts with this physical world while his or her brain interprets the sensory data. The main power of a virtual reality system is the reality engine. This engine is designed to process the information and create the virtual world. It can either be made up by a group of computers, or one powerful computer. This is because the reality engine is required to generate complex graphics. Applications

There are numerous ways virtual reality can be used which provide enormous benefits to us.

Education and Training
* Medicine is one of the biggest beneficiaries with the development of surgery simulation. This is often used as a training aid and enables the surgeon to perform an operation on a ‘virtual patient’ or to see inside the human body. It is also used as a diagnostic tool in that it provides a more detail view of the human body compared to X-rays and scans. * Some architects create virtual models of their building plans so that people can walk through the structure before the foundation is even laid. Clients can move around exteriors and interiors and ask questions, or even suggest alterations to the design. Virtual models can give you a much more accurate idea of how moving through a building will feel than a miniature model. * Car companies have used VR technology to build virtual prototypes of new vehicles, testing them thoroughly before producing a single physical part. Designers can make alterations without having to scrap the entire model, as they often would with physical ones. The development process becomes more efficient and less expensive as a result. * The U.S. military has implemented virtual reality programs as part of its training process. As part of advanced exercises as well as a way to help soldiers recover from traumatic experiences, whole rooms that feature simulations of real situations aid in teaching soldiers about the environment in which they will be or have been deployed.

Video Games
Virtual reality is evident in video games. Now you can physically interact with a game by using your body and motions to control characters and other elements. The Nintendo Wii remote and Xbox 360's Kinect are the best examples.

Virtual reality is applied in 3-D movies to try and immerse the viewer into the movie and/or virtual setting and environment. The most obvious example of VR was AVATAR, the film. Scientists successfully...
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