Virtual Reality and How It Works

Virtual reality is the use of computer technology to create simulated environments. It enables a person to interact with an artificial three-dimensional (3-D) visual or other sensory environment, it also allows a user to carry out actions in a digital environment, yet feel as if they are immersed in a physical environment.

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WHAT IS THE GOAL OF VIRTUAL REALITY?

Virtual Reality is so broad its safe to say the developers have multiple goals. Depending on the nature of a VR project, the design team may have some or even all of these goals. Below are some of the common goals of virtual reality.

Immersion

The whole idea behind someone wearing a VR headset is to transport themselves to a simulated world that is even more engrossing than watching a movie or playing a game with surround sound. They want the fantasy in their heads of being a superhero or slaying a dragon to be fully realized through the simulation. VR developers work diligently to ensure every aspect is as immersive as possible. While this does involve making things more realistic in some cases, the real magic is in making the simulation believable. A person’s mind knows there is no dragon in front of them if they think about it, but a good VR experience will keep them too wrapped up in the stimuli around them to consider anything but the scene they have been transported to.

Education and Learning

There are also many educational opportunities opening up through the use of Virtual Reality Technology. Students can visit and even walk around digital recreations of historic places and events. Instead of just watching videos about Ancient Egypt, children could explore these spaces and learn at their own pace. Gaming can be added to these educational experiences but it isn’t required to provide students with a more enjoyable lesson.

Healing and Confronting Mental Trauma

One of the best ways to handle mental and emotional trauma is to confront it directly. Medical professionals have been using exposure therapy to help patients overcome their fears and even reduce symptoms of PTSD. By recreating the source of trauma in a safe virtual space, the patient can work through their issues by exploring them thoroughly. This goes to show just how far virtual reality can be taken outside the realm of games and entertainment.

Specialized Job Training

There are many jobs that require immense precision and accuracy. Occupations such as Surgeon are difficult to train for because of the delicate nature of the work. Virtual Reality can be used to train people for these roles without putting anyone’s life in danger. As virtual reality becomes more accessible, it is poised to change the job market considerably.

Types of Virtual Reality

  1. Non-Immersive Virtual Reality: This category is often overlooked as VR simply because it’s so common. This type of VR refers to the virtual experience through a computer where you can control some characters or activities within the software, but the environment is not directly interacting with you. Video games are a prime example of non-immersive VR.
  2. Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality: This type of VR provides an experience partially based in a virtual environment. Using a computer screen or VR glasses, you can move around in a virtual environment but other than your visual experience you will have no physical sensations to enhance the experience. A virtual tour can be a good example of semi-immersive virtual technology.
  3. Fully Immersive Virtual Reality: On contrary to non-immersive virtual reality, a fully immersive virtual technology ensures that you have a realistic experience within the virtual world. It would feel as if you are physically present in the virtual world and the events occurring there are happening to you. Special equipment like VR glasses, gloves, body detectors equipped with sense detectors is required to provide a realistic virtual experience. One example could be a Virtual Shooter gaming zone where you will be equipped with the gears in a small room and you will be viewing a virtual world through the helmet where you are facing other shooters trying to kill you.
  4. Augmented Reality: Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that lets the user see the real world usually through a phone screen and make virtual changes to it on the screen. For example, through your mobile screen, you can view your room, and probably place a cartoon character in the corner. You will be able to see the character through your mobile screen and not in reality.
  5. Collaborative Virtual Reality: This a type of virtual reality where users from different locations can come together in a virtual environment in the form of 3D projected characters. For example, there is a video game called PUBG (Players Unknown Battle-Ground), where tons of players come to existence as individual virtual characters which they can control. Here they can interact with each other through microphones, headsets, and chatting.

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