Virtual Reality

Topics: Virtual reality, Simulated reality, Augmented reality Pages: 7 (2326 words) Published: March 31, 2014

What is Virtual reality? In this paper well will discuss what it is this Term called Virtual reality, the history of virtual reality, the technology, the benefit, and the disadvantages. As we know Virtual reality has not been around all that long but in reality, it has been around for decades. As it continues to improve and get better, the opportunities are endless. Virtual reality is important because it’s the unknown and explorable.

Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment, which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and while there, are able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. The person wears a head-mounted display (HMD) or glasses, which displays three-dimensional images as part of their experience. Some systems enable the person to experience additional sensory input, e.g. sound or video, which contributes to their overall experience. The concept of virtual reality has been around for decades, even though the public really only became aware of it in the early 1990s. In the mid 1950s, a cinematographer named Morton Heilig envisioned a theatre experience that would stimulate all his audiences’ senses, drawing them in to the stories more effectively. He built a single user console in 1960 called the Sensorama that included a stereoscopic display, fans, odor emitters, stereo speakers and a moving chair. He also invented a head mounted television display designed to let a user watch television in 3-D. Users were passive audiences for the films, but many of Heilig’s concepts would find their way into the VR field. In 1965, a computer scientist named Ivan Sutherland envisioned what he called the “Ultimate Display”. Using this display a person could look into a virtual world that would appear as real as the physical world the user lived in. This vision guided almost all the developments within the field of virtual reality. In 1966, Sutherland built an HMD that was tethered to a computer system. The computer provided all the graphics for the display (up to this point, HMDs had only been linked to cameras). He used a suspension system to hold the HMD, as it was far too heavy for a user to support comfortably. The HMD could display images in stereo, giving the illusion of depth, and it could also track the user’s head movements so that the field of view would change appropriately as the user looked around. Virtual reality is an artificial 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. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound.  Many different people with many meanings use the term Virtual Reality (VR). There are some people to whom VR is a specific collection of technologies that is a Head Mounted Display, Glove Input Device and Audio. Some other people stretch the term to include conventional books, movies or pure fantasy and imagination. Some people object to the term "Virtual Reality", saying it is an oxymoron. Other terms that have been used are Synthetic Environments, Cyberspace, Artificial Reality, Simulator Technology, etc. VR is the most common and sexiest.

There are three main forms of virtual reality:
The first is perhaps the most familiar. It consists of a helmet, which has small TV screens and earphones fitted into it, and a glove (some systems use a joystick or wand instead of a glove). The helmet and glove are linked to computers, which are programmed with special sounds and graphics. The second form of virtual reality uses video cameras to track the image of the user in a virtual world where you can also pick up or move objects. Both these VR systems allow more than one person to take part at the same time. The final...

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality
http://www.viz.tamu.edu/faculty/parke/ends375f03/notes/what_vr.html
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/virtual-reality7.htm
www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality
http://www.engineersgarage.com/articles/virtual-reality-environment
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