Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
Virtual reality creates a virtual world where the computer uses the virtual reality headsets to generate the realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment or create an imaginary setting. It makes the user that he is inside the world which he is seeing.Virtual reality also simulates a user’s physical presence in the physical environment. VR has been defined as “a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional 360-degree environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body”.
The word Virtual reality has been first introduced in 1938. Antonin Artaud described the illusory nature of characters and objects in the theatre as “la réalité virtuelle” in a collection of essays, Le Théâtre et son double. The English translation of this book, published in 1958 as The Theater and its Double, is the earliest published use of the term “virtual reality”.
The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML), first introduced in 1994, had a plan of creating “virtual worlds” without dependency on headsets. The Web3D consortium was subsequently founded in 1997 for the development of industry standards for web-based 3D graphics. The consortium subsequently developed X3D from the VRML framework as an archival, open-source standard for web-based distribution of VR content.
The VR devices were prepared in coordination with smart phones and it’s features including: gyroscopes and motion sensors for tracking head, hand, and body positions; small HD screens for stereoscopic displays; and small, lightweight and fast processors.
Independent production of VR images and video has increased by the development of omnidirectional cameras, also known as 360-degree cameras or VR cameras, that have the ability to record in all directions, although at low-resolutions or in highly compressed formats for online streaming.In contrast, photogrammetry is increasingly used to combine several high-resolution photographs for the creation of detailed 3D objects and environments in VR applications.
virtual reality tricks your brain into believing you are in a 3D world. The first way VR does this is with the 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), shading and techniques create an almost life like experience.
VR mainly depends on two things i.,e the frame rate and the refresh rate. Different VR headsets will have different specifications but the primary goal is that VR headsets should maintain 60 FPS (Frames per second). Frames per second is how fast your GPU can display images per second. 60 FPS means the GPU is producing 60 images every second. The refresh rate is nothing but, how fast the monitor can display images per second which is measured in Hertz. For example, if you are playing a game and the FPS is 120 but your monitor refresh rate is 60 Hz, you will only be able to display 60 FPS. You are essentially losing half of your frames, which is not a good thing as “tearing” can occur. Watch the below video to get a clear view on how VR works.
Virtual reality is mainly used in gaming field. Today many games are made in virtual reality technique and the users will have a feel that they are in the game. Another main field is Cinema and Entertainment, Films produced for VR permit the audience to view a 360 degree environment in every scene. Production companies, such as Fox Searchlight Pictures and Skybound, utilize VR cameras to produce films and series that are interactive in VR.
Virtual reality is also used for Education & Training purposes where the where they can develop their skills without the real-world consequences of failing.Also Virtual reality is widely used in Military uses,Space Training, Medical Training and Flight and vehicular applications.
Virtual reality has more advantages and also many disadvantages. Comparatively, disadvantages weigh more than the advantages. There are many health and safety considerations of virtual reality. Most virtual reality systems come with consumer warnings, including: seizures; developmental issues in children; trip-and-fall and collision warnings; discomfort; repetitive stress injury; and interference with medical devices.
Virtual reality sickness (also known as cyber-sickness) occurs when a person’s exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness symptoms. The most common symptoms are general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy. Estimates for susceptibility range from one in every thirty to one in every two people. For women, rates are as high as four in five.