What primarily Virtual Reality mean? As it is clear from the word, it comes from both “virtual” as well as “reality”. So this basically refers to a specific type of reality simulation or we can say the use of computer technology to create a simulated surrounding. Though it is artificial, but is presented to the user in such a way that it can be acknowledged as a real one. It precisely makes it possible to experience anything, anywhere, anytime. You might be able to do things which you will probably never try with this virtual reality technology.
Virtual reality means experiencing an unreal ambiance created with high-performance computers and interactive software. Users are engaged and get interacted with 3D world through sense of balance and many other sensory inputs. It means if you can present your senses with fictional information, your approach of reality would also change in response to them. So what is the purpose of this technology? Virtual reality is basically developed for 2 needs:
- It is used for training & education
- The development of this artificial environment is for a game or interactive story.
How this can be achieved
Virtual reality is generally implemented using the computer technology which includes range of systems like headsets, Omni-directional treadmills and special kind of gloves. It is more difficult to achieve than it sounds. As human senses are made to provide a very fine harmonized experience, so it is very necessary that experiencing virtual reality environment must be satisfactory & amusing rather than harsh and unpleasant. So the main intent of achieving virtual reality is to get the best merger of hardware, software and sensory synchronicity to get what is known as sense of presence.
1. Virtual world – It is a 3D world which gets realized through a medium where one can interact with others and create objects accordingly.
- Immersion – It is a kind of notion to being physically present in an imaginary world. The factor ensures that human brain gets convinced to that unreal environment. The two kinds of immersions are mental immersion & physical immersion.
- Senses – Sensory feedback is required in order to get stimulating of senses like vision, hearing, touch & more.
- Interaction – The aspect of interaction is most important to experience virtual reality surrounding for real. If only the virtual environment react to the user’s activity in natural manner, sense of immersion will remain the same. Any delay in the response will be quickly noticed by human brain which in result will abate the sense of immersion.
Types of Virtual RealityThe various types of virtual reality mainly differ in their level of immersion and in their use cases. Below are some of the main categories:
Fully immersive – It provides the most immersive implementation of virtual reality. This includes stimulation of all the user’s senses by hardware devices and they are able to provide very prudent user experience. The resolutions are very high, have a wide field view along with high level of contrast into the device.
Non- immersive – These are the least immersive ones and require only a subset of user’s senses for stimulation. Users enter to the 3D virtual surroundings through a portal by utilizing standard high resolutions monitors.
Semi- immersive – In this category, user is partly immersed in a virtual environment and this kind of simulations is powered by high performance graphical computing systems coupled with large screen projector systems.
Components in Virtual Reality System
The nature of input & output is very much different from a typical computer experience. VR uses sensors for the input process which identify how body of a human is moving and for output; it uses two screens for each eye, speakers and sometimes forms of haptic feedback. Let’s discuss about them in detail:
Head Mounted Display – It is also known as HMD which contains a display seated in front of user’s eyes. This display will let the user see a 3D image that changes sleekly as user moves its head. They have built-in position sensors so that movement gets easily detected and adjust the picture accordingly.
Personal Computer – In order to power this interactive imaginary environment, compelling computing power is obligatory. Here PC & smartphone comes into picture which performs as an engine to the content being created.
Input devices – The input devices provide users a sense of immersion with a more natural way to navigate and interact with imaginary environment. Some of the main devices include data gloves, treadmills, controller wands, track pads, motion platforms and many more.
Now comes the basic question what makes the development of virtual reality invaluable. What are the applications of virtual reality? Placidly, the main supporter of this technology is the video games industry. Virtual reality has many other serious applications as well.
Education – Many of the difficult & dangerous jobs which are hard to train for are achieved with the help of virtual reality. Now it is not tougher to practice taking trip to space, landing jumbo jets etc.
Medicine – Not only for surgical practice or drug design, it also enables to monitor, examine or operate patients remotely. Virtual reality also helps in treatment of various kinds of mind disorders and reclamation for stroke patients.
Architecture – Now architects are more likely to virtual reality computer models which you can delve into more easily. Not only is costs less, it can be tested for safety and other qualities before implementing.
Games – The gaming industry has been flickered by virtual reality in a very short span of time. It has reformed the experience of games with great 3D visual effects either for flight simulators to car-racing games to an extent level.
Data visualization – Data visualization for science, molecular & engineering gets enormous benefits from virtual reality.
The motive of virtual technology is to create a free-flowing form of communication which leads to a memorable experience.