Virtual reality technology has many guises, has not long been on the scene, and many of the terms used are often misunderstood. We set ourselves the task of writing his explanatory page to try to redress the problem. Read on to find out about VR from top to bottom and back to front!
On this page:
- What is the Definition of Virtual Reality
- What Does Virtual Mean?
- What are Virtual Reality Cameras?
- Virtual Reality in Entertainment and Video Games
- When Did the Idea of Creating a “Virtual Reality” First Surface?
- What is Simulation-based Virtual Reality?
- Projector-based Virtual Reality
- What is Desktop-based Virtual Reality?
- What is a Head-Mounted Display (HMD)?
- What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
- What is Mixed Reality (MR)?
- How Long Ago was VR First Thought Of?
- Was Sensorama the First ever VR Experience?
- Who was First to Create Navigable Virtual Worlds?
- What Were LEEP and VIEW?
- Was Autodesk the First to Implement VR on Low-Cost Computing Environment?
- Sega VR Headset for Arcade Games?
- Physically Realistic Mixed Reality in 3D
- Sega VR – 1 Motion Simulator Arcade
- Special Input Devices
What is the Definition of Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include entertainment (i.e. video games) and educational purposes (i.e. medical or military training). Other, distinct types of VR style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality.
Currently, standard virtual reality systems use either virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments to generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to look around the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens. Virtual reality typically incorporates auditory and video feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory and force feedback through haptic technology.
What Does Virtual Mean?
“Virtual” has had the meaning of “being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact” since the mid-1400s. The term “virtual” has been used in the computer sense of “not physically existing but made to appear by software” since 1959.
What are Virtual Reality Cameras?
Virtual reality cameras can be used to create VR photography using 360-degree panorama videos. 360-degree camera shots can be mixed with virtual elements to merge reality and fiction through special effects. VR cameras are available in various formats, with varying numbers of lenses installed in the camera.
Virtual Reality in Entertainment and Video Games
Virtual reality is most commonly used in entertainment applications such as video games and 3D cinema. Consumer virtual reality headsets were first released by video game companies in the early-mid 1990s. Beginning in the 2010s, next-generation commercial tethered headsets were released by Oculus (Rift), HTC (Vive), and Sony (PlayStation VR), setting off a new wave of application development. 3D cinema has been used for sporting events, pornography, fine art, music videos, and short films. Since 2015, roller coasters and theme parks have incorporated virtual reality to match visual effects with haptic feedback.
When Did the Idea of Creating a “Virtual Reality” First Surface?
In 1938, French avant-garde playwright Antonin Artaud described the illusory nature of characters and objects in the theatre as “La Realite Virtuelle” in a collection of essays, Le Theatre 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 term “artificial reality”, coined by Myron Krueger, has been in use since the 1970s. The term “virtual reality” was first used in a science-fiction context in The Judas Mandala, a 1982 novel by Damien Broderick.
What is Simulation-based Virtual Reality?
One method by which virtual reality can be realized is simulation-based virtual reality. Driving simulators, for example, give the driver on board the impression of actually driving an actual vehicle by predicting vehicular motion caused by driver input and feeding back corresponding visual, motion, and audio cues to the driver.
With avatar image-based virtual reality, people can join the virtual environment in the form of real video as well as an avatar. One can participate in the 3D distributed virtual environment as a form of either a conventional avatar or a real video. A user can select their own type of participation based on the system capability.
Projector-based Virtual Reality
In projector-based virtual reality, modeling of the real environment plays a vital role in various virtual reality applications, such as robot navigation, construction modeling, and airplane simulation. Image-based virtual reality systems have been gaining popularity in computer graphics and computer vision communities. In generating realistic models, it is essential to accurately register acquired 3D data; usually, a camera is used for modeling small objects at a short distance.
What is Desktop-based Virtual Reality?
Desktop-based virtual reality involves displaying a 3D virtual world on a regular desktop display without the use of any specialized positional tracking equipment. Many modern first-person video games can be used as an example, using various triggers, responsive characters, and other such interactive devices to make the user feel as though they are in a virtual world. A common criticism of this form of immersion is that there is no sense of peripheral vision, limiting the user's ability to know what is happening around them.
What is a Head Mounted Display (HMD)?
A head-mounted display (HMD) more fully immerses the user in a virtual world. A virtual reality headset typically includes two small high-resolution OLED or LCD monitors which provide separate images for each eye for stereoscopic graphics rendering a 3D virtual world, a binaural audio system, positional, and rotational real-time head tracking for six degrees of movement. Options include motion controls with haptic feedback for physically interacting within the virtual world in an intuitive way with little to no abstraction and an omnidirectional treadmill for more freedom of physical movement allowing the user to perform locomotive motion in any direction.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented reality (AR) is a type of virtual reality technology that blends what the user sees in their real surroundings with digital content generated by computer software. The additional software-generated images with the virtual scene typically enhance how the real surroundings look in some way. AR systems layer virtual information over a camera live feed into a headset or smartglasses or through a mobile device giving the user the ability to view three-dimensional images.
What is Mixed Reality (MR)?
Mixed reality (MR) is the merging of the real world and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real-time.
A cyberspace is sometimes defined as a networked virtual reality.
Simulated reality is a hypothetical virtual reality as truly immersive as the actual reality, enabling an advanced lifelike experience or even virtual eternity.
How Long Ago was VR First Thought Of?
The exact origins of virtual reality are disputed, partly because of how difficult it has been to formulate a definition for the concept of an alternative existence. The development of perspective in Renaissance Europe created convincing depictions of spaces that did not exist, in what has been referred to as the “multiplying of artificial worlds”. Other elements of virtual reality appeared as early as the 1860s. Antonin Artaud took the view that illusion was not distinct from reality, advocating that spectators at a play should suspend disbelief and regard the drama on stage as reality. The first reference to the more modern concept of virtual reality came from science fiction.
Was Sensorama the First ever VR Experience?
Morton Heilig wrote in the 1950s of an “Experience Theatre” that could encompass all the senses in an effective manner, thus drawing the viewer into the onscreen activity. He built a prototype of his vision dubbed the Sensorama in 1962, along with five short films to be displayed in it while engaging multiple senses (sight, sound, smell, and touch). Predating digital computing, the Sensorama was a mechanical device. Heilig also developed what he referred to as the “Telesphere Mask” (patented in 1960). The patent application described the device as “a telescopic television apparatus for individual use… The spectator is given a complete sensation of reality, i.e. moving three-dimensional images which may be in colour, with 100% peripheral vision, binaural sound, scents, and air breezes.”
The virtual reality industry mainly provided VR devices for medical, flight simulation, automobile industry design, and military training purposes from 1970 to 1990 htc vive.
Who was First to Create Navigable Virtual Worlds?
David Em became the first artist to produce navigable virtual worlds at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from 1977 to 1984. The Aspen Movie Map, a crude virtual tour in which users could wander the streets of Aspen in one of the three modes (summer, winter, and polygons), was created at MIT in 1978.
What Were LEEP and VIEW?
In 1979, Eric Howlett developed the Large Expanse, Extra Perspective (LEEP) optical system. The combined system created a stereoscopic image with a field of view wide enough to create a convincing sense of space. The users of the system have been impressed by the sensation of depth (field of view) in the scene and the corresponding realism. The original LEEP system was redesigned for NASA's Ames Research Center in 1985 for its first virtual reality installation, the VIEW (Virtual Interactive Environment Workstation) by Scott Fisher. The LEEP system provides the basis for most of the modern virtual reality headsets.
Who was Jaron Lanier and What has he to do with Virtual Reality?
By the 1980s, the term “virtual reality” was popularized by Jaron Lanier, one of the modern pioneers of the field. Lanier had founded the company VPL Research in 1985. VPL Research has developed several VR devices like the DataGlove, the EyePhone, and the AudioSphere. VPL licensed the DataGlove technology to Mattel, which used it to make the Power Glove, an early affordable VR device.
Did Atari Have an Early Involvement in VR which Failed?
Atari founded a research lab for virtual reality in 1982, but the lab was closed after two years due to the Atari Shock (North American video game crash of 1983). However, its hired employees, such as Tom Zimmerman, Scott Fisher, Jaron Lanier, Michael Naimark, and Brenda Laurel, kept their research and development on VR-related technologies.
Was Autodesk the First to Implement VR on Low-Cost computing environment?
In 1988, the Cyberspace Project at Autodesk was the first to implement VR on a low-cost personal computer
The project leader Eric Gullichsen left in 1990 to found Sense8 Corporation and develop the WorldToolKit virtual reality SDK, which offered the first real-time graphics with Texture mapping on a PC and was widely used throughout industry and academia.
The 1990s saw the first widespread commercial releases of consumer headsets. In 1992, for instance, Computer Gaming World predicted: “affordable VR by 1994”.
Sega VR Headset for Arcade Games Available for Purchase?
In 1991, Sega announced the Sega VR headset for arcade games and the Mega Drive console. It used LCD screens in the visor, stereo headphones, and inertial sensors that allowed the system to track and react to the movements of the user's head. In the same year, Virtuality launched and went on to become the first mass-produced, networked, multiplayer VR entertainment system that was released in many countries, including a dedicated VR arcade at Embarcadero Center. Costing up to $73,000 per multi-pod Virtuality system, they featured headsets and exoskeleton gloves that gave one of the first “immersive” VR experiences.
That same year, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Daniel J. Sandin, and Thomas A. DeFanti from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory created the first cubic immersive room, The Cave automatic virtual environment (CAVE). Developed as Cruz-Neira's Ph.D. thesis, it involved a multi-projected environment, similar to the holodeck, allowing people to see their own bodies in relation to others in the room. Antonio Medina, an MIT graduate, and NASA scientist designed a virtual reality system to “drive” Mars rovers from Earth in apparent real time despite the substantial delay of Mars-Earth-Mars signals (oculus quest).
Physically Realistic Mixed Reality in 3D
In 1992, Nicole Stenger created Angels, the first real-time interactive immersive movie where the interaction was facilitated with a dataglove and high-resolution goggles. That same year, Louis Rosenberg created the virtual fixtures system at the U.S. Air Force's Armstrong Labs using a full upper-body exoskeleton, enabling a physically realistic mixed reality in 3D. The system enabled the overlay of physically real 3D virtual objects registered with a user's direct view of the real world, producing the first true augmented reality experience enabling sight, sound, and touch.
Sega VR – 1 Motion Simulator Arcade
By 1994, Sega released the Sega VR-1 motion simulator arcade attraction, in SegaWorld amusement arcades. It was able to track head movement and featured 3D polygon graphics in stereoscopic 3D, powered by the Sega Model 1 arcade system board. Apple released QuickTime VR, which, despite using the term “VR”, was unable to represent virtual reality, and instead displayed 360 photographic panoramas. The reality virtual reality of oculus rift's!
Independent production of VR images and video has increased alongside the development of affordable omnidirectional cameras, also known as 360-degree cameras or VR cameras, that have the ability to record 360 interactive photography, although at relatively low resolutions or in highly compressed formats for online streaming of 360 videos. In contrast, photogrammetry is increasingly used to combine several high-resolution photographs for the creation of detailed 3D objects and environments in VR applications.
To create a feeling of immersion, special output devices are needed to display virtual worlds. Well-known formats include head-mounted displays or the CAVE. In order to convey a spatial impression, two images are generated and displayed from different perspectives (stereo projection). There are different technologies available to bring the respective image to the right eye. A distinction is made between active (e.g. shutter glasses) and passive technologies (e.g. polarizing filters or Infitec).
Special Input Virtual Reality VR Devices
Special input devices are required for interaction with the virtual world. These include the 3D mouse, the wired glove, motion controllers, and optical tracking sensors. Controllers typically use optical tracking systems (primarily infrared cameras) for location and navigation, so that the user can move freely without wiring. Some input devices provide the user with force feedback to the hands or other parts of the body so that the human being can orientate himself in the three-dimensional world through haptics and sensor technology as a further sensory sensation and carry out realistic simulations. This allows for the viewer to have a sense of direction in the artificial landscape. Additional haptic feedback can be obtained from omnidirectional treadmills (with which walking in virtual space is controlled by real walking movements) and vibration gloves and suits.
In social sciences and psychology, virtual reality offers a cost-effective tool to study and replicate interactions in a controlled environment. It can be used as a form of therapeutic intervention. For instance, there is the case of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET), a form of exposure therapy for treating anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias.