Nowadays we always hear this word VR or gear VR which is actually a headset, which uses a computer programmed technology called VIRTUAL REALITY. It is a fully immersive computer simulated 360-degree environment which gives the user a feeling that they are present in that environment, rather than the real environment that they are actually present in.
In 1950s, flight simulators were built by US Air Force to train student pilots. In 1956
Morton L.Heilig invented the first virtual reality machine ‘Sensorama’ that contained stereoscopic 3-D images in a wide-angle view, motion chair, audio, temperature changes, odours and blows air by which one could see, hear, feel motion and smell during the simulation and he got patent rights for this machine in 1960s. Later in 1987 Jaron Lanier popularised the term, ‘virtual reality’ and in a 1988 commercial, development of VR began. In 1996, the Nintendo Virtual video game was launched in Japan which is a pioneer to all the VR gaming consoles present in the market now.
Virtual reality(VR) can be stated as a futuristic technology that gets the users immersed into a virtual environment in which, they can interact with the objects present in that virtual environment by using the computer software and hardware. This is made possible by combination of physical spaces or multi-projected environments, along with sound and vibrational senses which simulates a user’s presence in a virtual or a computer programmed imaginary environment.
This can be easily understood by a simple example; in a computer game, the user connects a joystick to the computer to track down the joystick’s motion and the objects present in the game are moved accordingly to the joystick movements. In the same way a simulated, three-dimensional environment is created around the user to interact with the objects, people etc. in a virtual reality console. A virtual environment can be created on the different platforms ranging from a cell phone to a desktop or monitor.
Generally these virtual reality consoles are Head Mounted Display (HMD), which is supported by audio devices like headphones, speakers and controllers (to control the objects and to feel the vibrations) which enable us to feel more immersed in the virtual environment. Some of the examples for VR headsets are Google card board, Samsung gear VR, Oculus Rift, Sony playstation VR out of which Oculus Rift uses dedicated OLED display to the Headset itself, while the others use our smartphone to create this virtual environment. Among these Samsung gear VR was rated to be the most accessible VR system with the most realistic simulation, but you need a compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone which is a bit backdrop for the other android and iPhone users.
A lot of video game franchises had actually developed the technology to make the user feel the environment present in the game like the driver seat in a car or on the battlefield with gun to shoot or even in a new little town created by them. The best examples for these are Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 which offers users another way of interacting with their virtual environment without having to wear any bulky equipment.
Applications of VR technology :-
*Virtual tour of a tourist spot or monument.
*A 360 view of a product.
*Training of army students with flight and battlefield simulators.
*Simulators for medical students, to perform surgery, skills training, nursing, dentistry and first aid.
*Virtual reality games and theme parks.