Hello Everyone! I’m Tuhin, your favorite blogger :P. Today I’ll be informing you of a new technology known as ‘Virtual Reality’ or VR. I researched a lot on this because of a multimedia presentation, thought I’d share my insight with you. Feel free to read and give your precious feedback =D.
Virtual Reality (VR)
We all know that human body knows the world through 5 senses and perception (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing). It’s scientifically proved that if we can alter the sensory inputs which are taken by our brain, we can illuminate a virtual world before someone and his senses will take that as a real environment. That is virtual reality.
In 1956, a huge arcade looking machine called ‘sensorama’ was created by Morton Heilig in cine-photography purpose. It was the first machine to introduce the viewer to an immersive world. It was able to provide display of stereotype 3D images in a wide range view, body tilting and stereo sound and also had tracks for wind and aromas to be triggered during the film.
In 1961, the first fabricated Head M ounted Display (HMD) called ‘Headsight’ was created by Comeau and Bryan of Philco Corporation which used a CRT element attached to the helmet and a magnetic tracking system for remote access to CCTV cameras which helped the Army to observe dangerous situations.
In 1962, a wrap-able reel based stereo graphic machine called ‘GAF viewmaster’ was introduced to the world by Sawyer’s. You can still buy these on eBay.
In 1984, men conquered virtual touch along with sound and sight. ‘Reality Built for Two’ (RB2) was introduced by VPL where two users can can see, touch and communicate with each other through virtual world. This technology required massive flow of bandwidth.
In 1993, SEGA took gaming to the virtual level, they brought ‘Sega VR’ to the world, which is marked as the first gaming VR
In 1995, Virtual reality became real expensive, as we were introduced to the CAVE immersive system, which actually created a 3d user experience by creating a whole room full of input and output sensors. It sensed the users eye and body movement and produced the environment according to the users perception.
Categories of Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is categorized into two sections: Immersive and Non-Immersive. The features of these sections are:
- Non-Immersive VRs are usually our everyday’s TV, mobile, pc, laptops where the user can enjoy the virtual world without losing touch with the real world, whereas immersive VRs (like HMD, Body suit, Omni-directional treadmill, Cave) merge the virtual and real world into one in a way that you’ll fail to notice what’s happening in the real world.
- Non-immersive VRs are less costly than Immersive ones, as their input-output system is less realistic than the immersive ones.
- Non-immersive VRs are less dangerous than Immersive ones, because as you won’t notice anything around you with the immersive reality, you can easily fall into any kind of traps or accidents. So never overuse immersive VR, no matter how much attracting it is.
- Immersive virtual reality outperforms the conservative VR implementations, because of why people are being more interested in buying Immersive VRs than the old school non-immersive ones.
Uses of Virtual Reality
- Military: The Army are Air Force are nowadays trained with gaming environmental virtual reality where they can practice killing terrorists or flying a supersonic jet, also they have room to make mistakes as it’s harmless. VRs have made the training safer and a hell lot enjoyable.
Gaming: The technology of virtual reality has taken gaming experience to another level. Specially First Person Shooting games have become so much realistic that the players can clearly imagine themselves running across the field, crawling and crouching to dodge enemy fire, close range thrilling combat. If you’re not interested in blood and gore games, there’s also dating simulation type games like ‘summer lesson’, try it.
- Driving: Newbie drivers can easily upgrade their driving skill without hurting someone in the actual world.
- Design: The design section has gained much support of VRs, as we can notice every little details and flaws of our designs by seeing it virtually.
Business: The business section isn’t much influenced by virtual reality, as the section is more based on reality. But we can communicate with each other in business purpose easily than before. Plus, the creation of virtual reality gadgets supports many families financially.
Movies: If we ever think about which section has gained popularity the most because of virtual reality, only one thing comes to our mind, ‘Movies’. Creating and watching VR based movies has become more than a source of entertainment, it has become a hobby.
Effects of Virtual Reality
- We can bond with each other through tele-presence.
- It’s a great source of Entertainment
- We can train ourselves of many things that can help us in our everyday’s life.
- We can experience the actions that we can’t take in actual life without any risk.
- Extreme and uncontrolled use of virtual reality can lead to possible psychological and physical damage.
- Overuse of VR can cause a person to become disengaged with the actual world.
- VR can cause users to become addicted to it, who starts to prefer spending their valuable time in a made up world rather than the actual one.
Future of Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is an accomplishing and growing industry. It’s popularity and addiction suggests that we’re going to see the upcoming revolution of gaming and movie industries sooner than we think. We can assure that in the not distant future, the hardware price of VR’s going to drop down, whereas the quality of the output will be on a steady increase. There is even a possibility of replacing windows with 3D user interfaces. If this keeps going on, we hope to see a world where every family will own an immersive virtual reality system by 2039.