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Virtual Reality

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Autor:   •  September 4, 2010  •  8,051 Words (33 Pages)  •  819 Views

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 3

WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY? 4

HOW DOES VIRTUAL REALITY WORK? 5

v The Three Levels of VR : 5

THE HISTORY OF VIRTUAL REALITY 7

VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE PRESENT 8

VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE FUTURE 9

THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND VIRTUAL REALITY 9

v Video Display Devices: 10

v Audio Output Devices: 10

v Tactile Response Devices: 11

v Interactive Input Devices: 11

v Computers and Software: 12

IMMERSIVE & NON IMMERSIVE VR 12

v The Cave: 13

v Head-Mounted Display (HMD): 13

v The Boom: 14

v Input Devices and other Sensual Technologies: 14

v Shared Virtual Environments: 15

v VRML: 15

DRAWBACKS OF VR 16

THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL REALITY 17

v The New Rules of Behavior: 17

v Adverse Effects: 17

Applications of VR 18

v A List of Existing VR examples: 18

DETAILED APPLICATIONS OF VR: 19

v Architecture: 19

v Visualization: 21

v Entertainment: 21

v VR in Movies: 22

v Manufacturing: 25

v Augmented Reality: 25

v Education & Training: 26

v Medical: 27

SUMMARY 27

CONCLUSION 28

BIBLIOGRAPHY 28

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the many stages of media Virtual Reality (VR) has helped us to extend our perception, imagination and manipulation. VR is just an extra step on the long road, bringing the imagination as close and realistic as reality itself.

After the first experiments in the fifties with complex kinesthetic devices like multiple cameras, senso-motoric devices and even smell generators, more elegant head-mounted devices were developed in the early nineties. Both defense research and the computer games industry were the main stimulators of VR.

VR is everything and it is hard to describe what VR is not: It encapsulates all previous media, even books, slides, pictures, audio, video and multimedia. The typical contribution of VR is its effect of 'immersion'; the user feels as if (s)he is in a different world. Both the sensations and the actions of the user should resemble as much as possible to humans in a normal physical environment; i.e., not only seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, but also speaking, walking, jumping, swimming, gestures and facial expressions. The VR utopia means that the user does not perceive the fact that the computer can detect his behavior, and also that it can perceive the real world. The generation of proprioceptive and kinetic stimuli is only possible if the user is placed in a tilted room like the hydraulic controlled cabins for flight simulators. The generation of taste and smell, and the realistic enervation of the human skin as if one touches an object or another person may be one of the most challenging and complex steps for VR to take in the forthcoming years.

Augmented reality occurs when the user faces the real world, but on top of that the VR environment superimposes a computer-generated message in order to assist the user to perform the right operations. VR is a desired technology for those applications in which reality by itself does not exist (yet), cannot be accessed, or is too dangerous or expensive to betray.

As for many of the today's VR proponents 'Reality' sounds as the only inevitable physical world, they rather prefer 'Virtual Environments'. This leaves behind the idea that there is mainly one real world. However, because of its widespread usage we will maintain the term VR. A computer in itself is an inherent tool to emulate situations and environments that are not there in reality.

VR in its current shape suggests the user that he is in a fictitious environment. The next generation of VR suggests that you can really walk around there, and can manipulate and experiment. This environment does not necessarily need the same properties as the real world. There can be different forces, gravity, magnetic fields etc. Also, in contrast to the real solid objects, in VR the objects can be penetrated.

WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY?

There are many varying definitions and terms for virtual reality (VR), all of which could be considered accurate within certain circles of knowledge. Since the technology behind VR is still basically a new field, there are a lot of researchers, authors, and columnists spewing out their own theories behind VR. Naturally, everyone offers a new and "better" definition-from Myron Krueger's terminology that appeals more toward the layperson up to the much more accurate and technical definition by Howard Rheingold.

§ Krueger defines VR as an "artificial reality." His research has an artistic and psychological slant and is thus reflected in the following definition:

"An artificial reality perceives a participant's action in terms of the body's relationship to a graphic world and generates responses that maintain the illusion that his actions are taking place within that world" (Krueger 1991, 59).

In Krueger's artificial reality, art and science become interrelated, and the viewer interacts with and actually becomes part of the new simulated environment.

§ On the other hand Rheingold dove more into what actually makes up virtual reality. He states: "that the idea of immersion (using stereoscopy, gaze-tracking, and other technologies to create the illusion of being inside a computer generated scene) is one of the two foundations of virtual reality technology.

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