Have you ever found yourself wanting a false version of reality, a place where nothing can go wrong? That is why virtual reality exists. Virtual reality (VR) for short, is technology that generates realistic images, sound, and more. When you are in VR you can see anything from an intense laser battle to an education program. When I used the Google Cardboard along with the Google Cardboard app I could do anything from fish in the arctic to walking in Paris. This new technology could revolutionize how we use and know games, training, engineering, education, and more. When you use VR you usually have some sort of screen in front of your eyes not letting you see the outside world. There are usually also sounds and other forms of stimuli.
VR is a machine, so there must be a way it works. Virtual reality can use four of the five senses vision, hearing, touch, and sometimes smell. Virtual reality tricks your brain into believing that there is a 3D world using a stereoscopic display. This works by displaying two slightly different angles of the scene to each eye, simulating depth. This along with other ways to simulate depth like parallax (farther objects to you seem to move slower), and shading techniques create an almost life like experience.
Virtual reality started in 1962 when Morton Heilig made the Sensorama (a big machine for VR). After that VR became very popular and was advancing quickly. New products of virtual reality were getting more common and being one of the best ways to “be in” an artificial world it was getting popular. Now it is used for gaming, practice simulations, maps, and more. Omar Bakhit said,” Virtual Reality can help people interact and experience games and more on a new level.” VR was made as a way to better experience games and now there are many other ways it can be used.
Virtual reality is right now being used mainly for gaming. The main console that offers these devices is the Playstation. The cheapest VR currently available is the Google Cardboard at $15, which is folded cardboard with some glass that you put your phone in and it can feel like you are in an artificial world (this is the only one that I have used). The most expensive, and the best virtual reality system, is the HTC Vive, which is a big cool looking device that you strap on your head, at $800.
Virtual Reality can now be used to help with many training activities and simulations. Some examples are surgeries, fake training courses for the military, and more. In the future it could be used to be used to control robots, be fully immersed in games, ext. Jeffrey King said,” In the future VR might not need a headset and could be used for government purposes.” The uses of VR in the future have endless possibilities, from gaming to government purposes, anything is possible.
There are many fun and exciting ways to use virtual reality. Some of these ways are gaming, fine arts, and theme parks. Video games are the main way VR is used. In video games you can immerse yourself while you are playing the game and “be in the game.” Some video games that use virtual reality are Elite: Dangerous, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Job Simulator, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Eagle Flight, Batman: Arkham VR, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and Euro Truck Simulator 2. Fine arts can also be used with this new technology in many ways. With VR you can make art and create 3D visuals. At theme parks virtual reality has been implemented too. It is used on roller coasters and many other rides to “enhance” the experience. These are only a few of the fun ways VR can be used and there are probably more coming.
Virtual reality can also be used for many educational and training purposes. Two of these are training without the possibility of failing and practicing medical procedures. Training can be made easier by there not being any possibility of failing. This takes the pressure off of the people doing this training as there is not as much pressure to succeed. This can be used for new surgeons to learn surgeries or to find new surgeries. Practicing medical procedures is easier with VR as you are not risking a real life. There are many other educational and training uses for virtual reality and there are probably more to come.
There are also lots of ways engineering can be affected by VR. When an architect designs a plan for a building there can be flaws. By using virtual reality people can “go inside” the plans of the building and look for anything that needs to be fixed or changed. Also pictures can be taken of a real building and people can look for anything that is wrong. There are many ways this is used currently to help all sorts of engineering.
Many companies are using virtual reality to help with retail. Certain companies like Lowe’s, IKEA, and Wayfair are using VR to let customers experience their products. At some of the stores there is virtual reality available so that the people can see what the product would be like at their house. There are many other small ways that virtual reality is used for retail and many ways it can be used.
Some people experience side effects to virtual reality such as nausea or headaches. These side effects affect only a small amount of people. But Dean Repetti who has used VR said,”It felt awesome, it was like I was in a new world.” Some experts say they are working on a way to resolve these issues and plan to have it done by 2020.
Virtual reality is a great way to immerse yourself in an artificial world and prepare yourself for real life situations. VR is helping people all around the word with training, engineering, gaming, education, and much more. Virtual reality is changing and advancing more and more as time goes on. The only question is, what is next?