What is Virtual Reality?

According to Forbes magazine, virtual reality (VR) is the next big wave of the future. VR replaces boring, flat monitors with 3D worlds that immerse users in unique visual experiences. Although the concept of VR has been around since the 1970’s, consumers now can purchase and enjoy VR devices in their own home.

VR Basics

VR involves individuals using cutting edge devices that totally engross and encompass the users’ vision and cognitive awareness of 3D scenarios. VR navigation means that users experience themselves manipulating objects, reacting to events and moving around and exploring landscapes. This special immersion is achieved by using real-time, stereo-scopic sound and graphics that present virtual worlds in first-person views. In order to be successful, high-speed computer processing is vital because any image or sound production delays will weaken the experience. The benefits of VR are still being calculated because certain proposed ideas, such as therapists using VR to help patients overcome phobias, have not yet been tested. As illustrated below, VR technology provides intuitive ways for users to explore new environments and master new skills.

Why is VR important?

VR has endless educational benefits and real-world applications. It has excellent educational advantages with things like training surgeons how to perform operations. This will speed up training and reduce fatal mistakes and health care costs. VR can virtually reconstruct archeological sites. This means that school children and museum visitors will be able to experience ancient civilizations and their own heritage’s history first-hand. Flight simulators train civil and military pilots how to safety and effectively operate airplanes. The VR industry offers exciting games and entertainment options that enable users to more easily learn, have fun and discover new things. Overall, the use of panoramic 3D graphics is a powerful tool to visualize complex information and understand abstract concepts.

VR and Engineering

VR technology is already being used to teach people how to use expensive, complicated equipment. This drastically increases safety and training effectiveness, but also decreases costly mistakes and the impacts of man-made disasters. There are many engineering applications because graphic designers and engineers can use VR to create and test virtual prototypes, but urban planners and public administrators can also use VR to experiment with building expansions and environmental impacts. This means that oil and gas engineers will learn how to install expensive equipment undersea or underground without any potential disasters. Before the ground is even broken, construction experts and engineers can user VR technology to collectively experience and investigate projects in order to evaluate overall efficiency, machine accessibility and worker safety.

VR Technology

A company called Oculus offers users their one of a kind Oculus Rift VR package that comes with highly advanced headsets and equipment. The Oculus Rift offers realistic VR experiences that are achieved through providing 110-degree fields of view. Oculus is one of the first companies to offer consumers VR devices that use highly advanced software and engineering techniques to virtually transport users to new environments through encompassing their visual cortex. Another emerging product called Leap is being manufactured by a company called Leap Motion. Their USB peripheral device is the size of a smart device and provides a 3D interactive area the size of an office cubicle. This technology is still being fine-tuned because Leap Motions’ VR gloves are extremely sensitive, which means that every hand and finger movement independently translations to VR motion.

In the end, virtual reality technology provides safe ways for users to build skills, explore environments and obtain real-time feedback.