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What is virtual reality(VR)?

Nov. 01, 2018

VR and AR, they don’t have winners or losers as they are being better in their respective way of use. VR, for example, is terrific for gaming and watching video. Being able to fully immerse yourself is incredible, and nearly all the experiences wouldn't feel the same in AR. At the same time, the ability to interact with the physical world while seeing elements of the virtual world is fantastic for productivity and some forms of entertainment, and long term could be a default for how we interact with all kinds of computer interfaces. 


What is virtual reality(VR)?

Virtual reality (VR) means experiencing things through our computers that don't really exist. From that simple definition, the idea doesn't sound especially new. When you look at an amazing Canaletto painting, for example, you're experiencing the sites and sounds of Italy as it was about 250 years ago—so that's a kind of virtual reality. In the same way, if you listen to ambient instrumental or classical music with your eyes closed, and start dreaming about things, isn't that an example of virtual reality—an experience of a world that doesn't really exist? What about losing yourself in a book or a movie? Surely that's a kind of virtual reality?

If we're going to understand why books, movies, paintings, and pieces of music aren't the same thing as virtual reality, we need to define VR fairly clearly. For the purposes of this simple, introductory article, I'm going to define it as:

A believable, interactive 3D computer-created world that you can explore so you feel you really are there, both mentally and physically.


Types of virtual reality

"Virtual reality" has often been used as a marketing buzzword for compelling, interactive video games or even 3D movies and television programs, none of which really count as VR because they don't immerse you either fully or partially in a virtual world. Search for "virtual reality" in your cellphone app store and you'll find hundreds of hits, even though a tiny cellphone screen could never get anywhere near producing the convincing experience of VR. Nevertheless, things like interactive games and computer simulations would certainly meet parts of our definition up above, so there's clearly more than one approach to building virtual worlds—and more than one flavor of virtual reality. Here are a few of the bigger variations:


Fully immersive

For the complete VR experience, we need three things. First, a plausible, and richly detailed virtual world to explore; a computer model or simulation, in other words. Second, a powerful computer that can detect what we're going and adjust our experience accordingly, in real time (so what we see or hear changes as fast as we move—just like in real reality). Third, hardware linked to the computer that fully immerses us in the virtual world as we roam around. Usually, we'd need to put on what's called a head-mounted display (HMD) with two screens and stereo sound, and wear one or more sensory gloves. Alternatively, we could move around inside a room, fitted out with surround-sound loudspeakers, onto which changing images are projected from outside. We'll explore VR equipment in more detail in a moment.


Non-immersive

A highly realistic flight simulator on a home PC might qualify as nonimmersive virtual reality, especially if it uses a very wide screen, with headphones or surround sound, and a realistic joystick and other controls. Not everyone wants or needs to be fully immersed in an alternative reality. An architect might build a detailed 3D model of a new building to show to clients that can be explored on a desktop computer by moving a mouse. Most people would classify that as a kind of virtual reality, even if it doesn't fully immerse you. In the same way, computer archaeologists often create engaging 3D reconstructions of long-lost settlements that you can move around and explore. They don't take you back hundreds or thousands of years or create the sounds, smells, and tastes of prehistory, but they give a much richer experience than a few pastel drawings or even an animated movie.


Collaborative

What about "virtual world" games like Second Life and Minecraft? Do they count as virtual reality? Although they meet the first four of our criteria (believable, interactive, computer-created and explorable), they don't really meet the fifth: they don't fully immerse you. But one thing they do offer that cutting-edge VR typically doesn't is collaboration: the idea of sharing an experience in a virtual world with other people, often in real time or something very close to it. Collaboration and sharing are likely to become increasingly important features of VR in future.


Web-based

Virtual reality was one of the hottest, fastest-growing technologies in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the rapid rise of the World Wide Web largely killed off interest after that. Even though computer scientists developed a way of building virtual worlds on the Web (using a technology analogous to HTML called Virtual Reality Markup Language, VRML), ordinary people were much more interested in the way the Web gave them new ways to access real reality—new ways to find and publish information, shop, and share thoughts, ideas, and experiences with friends through social media. With Facebook's growing interest in the technology, the future of VR seems likely to be both Web-based and collaborative.


Virtual Reality can be applied in many areas:

1) It can be used in medical studies to enable students to know the human body structure.
2) It can be used in scientific research laboratories so that scientist can easily research on a specific topic.
3) It can be used in entertaiment like in games and movies to make the gaming experience more real and to allow individual to experience adventures under extreme conditions.
4) It can be used in driving schools as it give a real look of roads and traffic.
5) It can be used in military training for the soldiers to get familiar with different areas in the battlefield.
These are the thing about virtual reality. Now i am going to talk about its advantages and disadvantages.


Advantages of Virtual Reality

1) Virtual reality creates a realistic world
2) It enables user to explore places.
3) Through Virtual Reality user can experiment with an artificial environment.
4) Virtual Reality make the education more easily and comfort.


Disadvantages of Virtual Reality

1) The equipment used in virtual reality are very expensive.
2) It consists of complex technology.
3) In virtual reality environment we cant move by our own like in the real world.


What does AR and VR mean?

AR stands for Augmented Reality. It’s when 3D animated graphics have been placed overtop what you see in the real world. In other words, AR brings virtual elements into the real world. You can see augmented reality in real-time playing Pokemon Go. This popular AR game let’s you catch Pokémon monsters on your sidewalk, in your yard, or at work.

VR stands for Virtual Reality. With this technology, you can immerse yourself in a full 360-degree virtual worldview. In other words, VR brings people into a virtual world. VR has been a common tech term used for decades, and many people thought it was an imaginary technology. Only recently has it been actively marketed to the public.

Fortunately, for those of us who don’t understand the mechanics of virtual technology, YouTube and Facebook create VR videos that teleport viewers to an entirely different world.


The AR/VR Future

History has proven that we believe technology makes life easier. Examples include the technology featured in the futuristic original Star Trek, the endless gadgets drawn into any episode of the Jetsons, or even futuristic drawings by people at the 1912 World’s Fair. With this in mind, AR and VR technology has moved humanity closer to the “easy life”.

But instead of just leaving this breakthrough technology as-is, industry leaders still ask: “Where can we take augmented and virtual reality?” Regardless of what we do with this technology, AR and VR have already changed the way we see the world. To see the virtual world around you, visit your neighborhood TCC store to get your hands on some AR or VR technology.


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