Virtual Reality - What It Is And How It Works



Imagine being able to point into the sky and fly. Or perhaps walk through
space and connect molecules together. These are some of the dreams that
have come with the invention of virtual reality. With the introduction of
computers, numerous applications have been enhanced or created. The newest
technology that is being tapped is that of artificial reality, or "virtual
reality" (VR). When Morton Heilig first got a patent for his "Sensorama
Simulator" in 1962, he had no idea that 30 years later people would still
be trying to simulate reality and that they would be doing it so
effectively. Jaron Lanier first coined the phrase "virtual reality" around
1989, and it has stuck ever since. ...

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with a piece of machinery known as the
computer. This is done with several computer-user interfaces used to
simulate the senses. Among these, are stereoscopic glasses to make the
simulated world look real, a 3D auditory display to give depth to sound,
sensor lined gloves to simulate tactile feedback, and head-trackers to
follow the orientation of the head. Since the technology is fairly young,
these interfaces have not been perfected, making for a somewhat cartoonish
simulated reality.

Stereoscopic vision is probably the most important feature of VR because
in real life, people rely mainly on vision to get places and do things.
The eyes are approximately 6.5 centimeters apart, and allow you to have a
full-colour, three-dimensional view of the world. Stereoscopy, in itself,
is not a very new idea, but the new twist is trying to generate completely
new images in real-time. In 1933, Sir Charles Wheatstone invented the
first stereoscope with the same basic principle being ...

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users the proper stereo
images when moving their heads well when a head-motion sensor is used to
adjust the effect.

Sound is another important part of daily life, and thus must be simulated
well in order to create artificial reality. Many scientists including Dr.
Elizabeth Wenzel, a researcher at NASA, are convinced the 3D audio will be
useful for scientific visualization and space applications in the ways the
3D video is somewhat limited. She has come up with an interesting use for
virtual sound that would allow an astronaut to hear the state of their
oxygen, or have an acoustical beacon that directs one to a trouble spot on
a satellite. The "Convolvotron" is one such device that ...

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Virtual Reality - What It Is And How It Works. (2004, April 20). Retrieved April 24, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Virtual-Reality-What-It-How-Works/6576
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Added: 4/20/2004 08:35:38 PM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3281
Pages: 12

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