INF103: Computer Literacy
June 17, 2013
Virtual Reality is a mind blowing technology that advances more and more each day. Virtual reality is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment. A general experience includes three-dimensional images that appear to be life-sized from the perspective of the user, and the ability to track a user's motions, particularly his head and eye movements, and correspondingly adjust the images on the user's display to reflect the change in perspective.
Virtual reality can trace its roots to the 1860s, when 360-degree art through panoramic murals began to appear. In the 1920s, vehicle simulators were introduced, thus drawing the viewer into the onscreen activity. Predating digital computing, the Sensorama was a mechanical device, which reportedly still functions today. Around this time, Douglas Englebart uses computer screens as both input and output devices. In 1966, Thomas A. Furness III introduces a visual flight stimulator for the Air Force. In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, with the help of his student Bob Sproul, created what is widely considered to be the first virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) system. The term “virtual reality” was popularized by Jaron Lanier, one of the modern pioneers of the field. Lanier had founded the company VPL Research in 1985, which developed and built some of the seminal "goggles and gloves" systems of that decade. In 1991, Antonio Medina, a MIT graduate and NASA scientist, designed a virtual reality system to "drive" Mars rovers from Earth in apparent real time despite the substantial delay of Mars-Earth-Mars signals. The system, termed "Computer-Simulated Teleoperation" as published by Rand, is an extension of virtual reality. Virtual...
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