Virtual World with Endless Possibilities
Amanda Runnels INF 103 Instructor Egelko April 14, 2013
Imagine a place where all things are possible. Where an adventure is just a step away. Where anything you can imagine could come true. Where is this? In virtual reality. Embark on new adventures or simply learn a new skill. No matter what it is you are trying to achieve, virtual reality can take you there. Technology keeps moving forward and improving along the way. Virtual reality can help to do so many thing from making that movie look even cooler to helping to train you for that new job you just accepted. Here I will show you what virtual reality is, where it started, what it can be used for and where it can go in the future. With virtual reality the possibilities are endless and we can truly do anything. Virtual reality is the use of computers to create a simulated environment that has an illusion of reality and immerses you in the experience (Bowles, 2010). Seeing things in a three-dimensional way that seems to immerse you into a world of make believe. Virtual environment (VE) is used to refer to virtual reality as well, the concept remains the same – using computer technology to create a simulated, three-dimensional world that a user can manipulate and explore while feeling as if he were in the world (Strickland, n.d). Some of the leading scientists, researcher, and entrepreneurs who invented some of the technology and applications that evolved into what we currently known as VR devices include: Morton Heilig, Douglas Engelbart, Myron Krueger, Ivan Sutherland, Thomas Furness, Frederick Brooks, and Jaron Lanier (Ebersole, 1997). Virtual reality’s roots, arguably, began back in 1965 by means of the “ultimate display” that was created by Ivan Sutherland; then the data glove was introduced in 1977 that allowed a human body to interact in the digital world, next Tron was the first computer generated movie in 1982, all the way up to halo decks from Star Trek and alternate world of the Matrix (Bilawchuk, 2004). From there it has grown into several different areas of use. There are several uses for virtual reality one is for entertainment purposes. You can see it in the making of movies, in games, and even in rides at a theme park. We have all seen at least one movie that is three-dimensional right? Well one focal point in VR technology is to view images in three dimension rather than two dimension which is more common, this feat may be achieved with polarized lenses that change colors and depth perceptions in images: stereoscopic displays may also be used, in which two askew two-dimensional images are combined via special glasses to produce the illusion of three-dimensional depth (Allen, 2005). This is not the only way movies have taken hold of VR. There are also movies where the primary plot is centered on VR technology like the 1999 film The Matrix which explores a futuristic society where humans are enslaved in virtual reality worlds by machine and besides a select few, they do not even know it. Also the 2009 movie Avatar follows futuristic humans as they seek to make contact with an alien using virtual reality creations, which are like the alien race, they slip into a deep sleep to go into this other body so they can enter into the aliens’ world. According to Allen (2005) a key aspect in cyberpunk movies is the melding of humanity with technology, so virtual reality is a common tool used to build the theme in this particular genre. Computer scientist, Jonathon Steuer, proposed two main components of immersion depth of information and breadth of information; depth of information refers to the amount and quality of datain signals a user receives when interacting...
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