We often hear the term Virtual Reality (VR) in innovations related to its space Gaming. However, this technology is not limited to games, but extends to industries such as science and education. But few may know the history of VR but also how much it has changed and will continue to change our lives. Together we will explore the world of virtual reality, analyzing the main ones characteristics but also its importance.
The term "Virtual Reality" refers to simulation of a real or imaginary environment from a computer. It is a term that has received various interpretations and definitions such as "Synthetic Environment", "Cyberspace", "Artificial Reality" and "Simulation Technology".
The term was first mentioned by the Frenchman Antonin Artaud in 1932, in his essay entitled "Le Théâtre Alchimique". The term was reinstated in its technological sense in 1989 by American author and pioneer of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, founder of the company VPL Research, which developed some of the first systems in the 1980s. Lanier defined Virtual Reality as an "interactive, three-dimensional, computer-generated environment into which one can immerse oneself."
In 2003, author William R. Sherman and researcher Alan B. Craig defined Virtual Reality as a medium consisting of "interactive computer simulations that 'sense' the user's position and actions, and replace or enhance the feedback to one or more senses, giving the feeling of spiritual immersion or presence in the assimilation ”.
Current VR technology often uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projection environments, sometimes in conjunction with natural environments or scenes, to create images, sounds, and other senses that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to "look around" the artificial world, move around it and interact with virtual characteristics or objects.
VR systems that transmit vibrations and other sensations to the user through gaming controllers or other devices, are known as tactile systems. This tactile information is generally known as power feedback on applications medicine, videogames and military training.
In order to be as successful as possible in immersing a user in a Virtual Reality environment, it is important to isolate the user and his senses from the real world, overlapping the real world stimuli with corresponding virtual ones, made by the Virtual Reality system. Of the five senses, the most important in descending order are sight, hearing and touch. Thus, it is essential that a Virtual Reality system provides a stereoscopic image, ie two images from different angles, one for each user's eye, in order to create a sense of depth in space.
At the same time the existence of stereoscopic sound helps the user to understand what is happening around him in the virtual space that surrounds him, in a very natural way, while at the same time excluding the user from real world sounds, which could destroy his virtual experience. In addition, the touch can be used with suitable Appliances either to enable the user to feel the world, or to be easily guided in performing certain actions. If all the above are combined with detection of the user's movements with appropriate detection devices, so that the virtual environment behaves like the real one, then the whole experience that the user will gain can be highly realistic.
Virtual Reality has found application in the simulation of flights, ship, car and spacecraft, enabling drivers and pilots to be trained without real risk. VR technology is also used in, inter alia, education, medicine, entertainment (videogames, theme parks) and Internet (with cyberspace and SOCIAL MEDIA). Corresponding applications are developed and used in the training of doctors, military, engineers, but also in games, architectural plans, and even in the presentation of stock market data.
In his place Gaming, VR devices will bring big changes in the videogames industry. With Virtual Reality, even the already impressive experience offered by a well-made game can take on another dimension and surprise as never before. Practically, a mask where at the point of the eyes incorporates lenses and screens touches your face, filling your field of vision with images. The feeling you get wearing a VR headset is unique, as the applications in which it can be used are countless.
If you prefer a VR computer headset, then you can even access cities around the world to explore them as if you were right there on the map. You can attend theatrical performances or concerts and experience breathtaking adventures, while eliminating the risk.
On the other hand, wearing a VR mask, automatically focuses your attention only on what the eyes see. Somehow, your head is transported to a completely different world than it actually is, with different conditions. At the same time, however, your body is on Earth, sitting on a sofa or chair. So there is a psychosomatic contradiction. This contradiction can cause severe headache, nausea, and even fainting or visual side effects. Other disadvantages are the high cost and slow application development time.
As mentioned earlier, Virtual Reality is also used in education. In the age of digital devices, we have the opportunity to enable better learning with technology. Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be the natural next step in the evolution of education. It provides excellent illustrations that are not possible in the traditional classroom, attracts the interest of the trainees, increases their participation, while eliminating the language barrier.
However, there is also the downside of VR in education as it degrades human communication, it lacks flexibility, and there are issues of functionality and dependence on a virtual world. In addition, it is an expensive technology.
With regard to Medical Sciences, VR is used for disease management or medical education. In particular, it is used for physiotherapy, pain management, treatment of phobias or post-traumatic stress. Particularly important is the fact that this technology can be used in the training of young surgeons, who will be able to perform countless surgeries on virtual "organs", in an environment that simulates the human body, without fear of the consequences of a possible medical error. Of course, this is an expensive technology, which makes it difficult to spread widely.
In short, VR, when applied properly, can be an incredibly exciting sensation. Using computer-generated images, there are no limits other than money and imagination when creating other worlds, product displays or spaces in new and exciting ways.
However, VR is a fragmented market. Content creation tends to be customizable and often expensive. Best practices for effective and engaging content creation are still being developed. Plus, VR is slow for demonstrations. It takes time to configure the handset, insert / adjust the handset, and become familiar with the controls.
Importantly, VR is often an individual, individual experience that takes you somewhere else, to a place that is different from the existing environment. This goes against one of the main goals that people get close to interacting within a group.
People are ready to embrace this revolutionary new technology The first idea that comes to mind when everyone thinks of VR is that it offers an entertainment experience. Therefore, it is a technology that combines knowledge, fun and escape in a world that is made based on the needs and desires of each person.
It is also very likely to provide solutions to serious and important problems of everyday life, thus constituting a useful tool in the hands of individuals. It remains to be seen whether Virtual Reality will be used in such a way as to help us escape from reality in a creative way or will go beyond the limits and become a misused weapon.
In a world plagued by poverty, environmental disasters and political instability, VR is sure to be a fun way out. However, the real world will continue to exist, so people should be able to separate the two worlds and experience balanced situations. But the most important thing is not to get to the point of being dependent on a fictional world wanting to escape from reality, as this in turn will cause other problems.