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Virtual Reality

term objects comes environment

Definition: Virtual Reality is the technology that provides almost real and/or believable experiences in a synthetic or virtual way.

To achieve this goal, virtual reality uses the entire spectrum of current multimedia technologies such as image, video, sound and text, as well as newer and upcoming media such as e-touch, e-taste, and e-smell. To define the characteristics of VR, Heim used the three ‘I’s, immersion, interactivity and information intensity.

  • Immersion comes from devices that isolate the senses sufficiently to make a person feel transported to another place.
  • Interactivity comes from the computer’s lighting ability to change the scene’s point of view as fast as the human organism can alter his or her physical position and perspective.
  • Information intensity is the notion that a virtual world can offer special quality such as telepresence and artificial entities that show a certain degree of intelligent behavior.

The term Virtual Reality (VR) was initially introduced by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research in 1989. This term is a contradiction in its self, for nothing can be both real and virtual at the same time. Perhaps Real Virtuality would be a better term, because this is what new technologies have been giving. Other related terms include Artificial Reality (Myron Krueger, 1970s), Cyberspace (William Gibson, 1984), and, more recently, Virtual Worlds and Virtual Environments (1990s). Virtual Reality may be considered to have been born in the mid-1960s, based on the work of Van Sutherland from the University of Utah. A paper, published in 1972 by D.L Vickers, one of Sutherland’s colleagues, describes an interactive computer graphics system utilizing a head-mounted display and wand. The display, worn like a pair of eyeglasses, gives an illusion to the observer that he/she is surrounded by three-dimensional, computer-generated objects. The challenge of VR is to make those objects appear convincingly real in many aspects like appearance, behavior, and quality of interaction between the objects and the user/environment. Figure 1 shows users interacting in a virtual reality environment.

Virtues [next] [back] Virtual Broadway, Virtual Orchestra: De Forest and Vitaphone - Other Talkies

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