Virtual Reality (VR) means different things to different people. At the thought of virtual reality, most individuals paint the picture of Sci-Fi movies and games, and anything that can usher them into another reality. While to others, virtual reality is a form of make-real illusion - the sort that magicians play with. Without any dispute, Virtual Reality is already commonplace and is seen in practically every aspect of our lives, and even industrial sectors, such as medicine and education, are racing to implement the fast-growing technological innovation.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality in the real sense goes beyond what we envision after seeing science fiction movies and playing video games. Virtual Reality (VR) is an environment generated by a computer design, with objects and scenes mimicking real-life scenarios, leaving the user fully immersed in an artificial reality in their surroundings. Virtual Reality is quite an intriguing technology that fascinates its user. It ushers users into an environment they can perceive to be real with virtual reality gadgets known as virtual reality helmets or headsets.
Asides from making video games a lot more interesting by making the users immersed in the game as though they were one of the characters, virtual reality is poised to maximize performance and effectiveness in fields like medicine, education, and sports.
One thing isn't clear yet to a lot of people and that is the fact that although virtual reality appears to be an extremely novel and futuristic technological innovation, it has been around for a while now, dating back to decades ago. One of the first virtual reality devices was called the Sensorama. It made 3D movies more vivid by giving off certain smells and vibrations to keep anyone fully immersed in that environment.
The machine played these movies with a built-in seat. This invention dates back to six decades ago. Subsequent technology advancements after the Sensorama, alongside novel software developments, enhanced virtual reality with innovative designs both in devices and interfaces.
However, it is noteworthy that Virtual Reality (VR) is different from Augmented Reality (AR). While virtual reality creates the environment for us to be immersed in by using either a virtual reality headset or helmet, augmented reality does not create any environment but images and objects are placed in our reality. We might not necessarily need to wear a headset or helmet to experience them.
Applications Of Virtual Technology
Medicine, education, sports, architecture, and other industrial sections are applying virtual reality to enhance performances. From learning heart surgery to guided travels, virtual reality allows us to exist in a reality that would normally be far from realized. Some innovative uses of virtual reality include:
- Medical Practices: Many infectious diseases including terminal conditions in patients are being curbed with special treatments that use virtual reality. Asides from that, learning for aspiring medical practitioners is made easy using virtual reality. For example, a student using any of the virtual reality devices can be immersed in a lab to have a close-up view of surgical procedures.
- Restaurants: Has anyone told you it is possible to travel to any part of the globe for breakfast? And then to another in a different continent for lunch? Sounds ridiculous right? It is interesting to see how some restaurants in certain countries across the globe make dining an exciting experience. Virtual Reality makes it possible to immerse ourselves in any environment and it is possible to enjoy your dish from these locales.
- Education: This is perhaps one of the most interesting applications of virtual reality technology. Learning becomes more fun when students can easily assimilate and understand what is being taught hence educators employ the use of images and objects to better convey the message to students. In other cases where educators have to deal with struggling learners, advanced technological devices are employed. The likes of virtual reality are often used to make learning and memorizing a lot easier for both normal students and those with learning disabilities.
- Entertainment And Sports: With Virtual Reality, there are a lot of jaw-dropping experiences a user can have without moving. Imagine riding a horse in a field without moving an inch or performing your favorite song in front of a large crowd while you're right there on your sofa in the? Sounds impossible right? Well, it is not. Virtual reality is helping us cross boundaries that would ordinarily be unthinkable. With a virtual reality helmet or headset, a user can enter any scene, be fully immersed in that environment, and enjoy the feeling of being their environment and in another reality at the same time.
...and much more
The application of virtual reality technology is limitless. It can be utilized in learning many things, such as learning to dance, martial arts, driving, cooking, etc. Hundreds of virtual reality applications exist on the web where all users need to do is get their headset and swing into action.
What Is The Future Of Virtual Reality?
People will visit their dream countries, drive their dream cars and tour the world just with a helmet or a headset. However, software developers and engineers are constantly working on how to improve the technology behind virtual reality to minimize certain defects including clipping which makes objects appear like they can be passed through, and effects like motion sickness in people trying to find a balance between what is around them and what is in the virtual world.
Virtual Reality has the propensity to see massive growth in the near future. It is a revolutionary technology that will transform various industries digitally and redefine many ways of doing things.