Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. Thus, it is a simulated environment, which may or may not be similar to something which exists in reality. VR usually uses some kind of feedback mechanism wherein some inputs from the user, e.g. user’s movement or actions are tracked so that the virtual environment can be modified to show the interactive nature of the VR. The audio and video content generated by VR may be quite realistic and thus immersive in nature.
Generally, VR set consists of:
- A headset mounted on a person’s head which has a small screen in front of the user’s eyes where the user can see the virtual reality
- Devices/sensors attached to the user’s body to sense user’s movements and the feedback being generated by the user’s hands, legs, or other senses.
- Devices/sensors that are not attached to a user’s body but track the user’s movements – e.g. laser based trackers
- A secondary display for others to see what the user is seeing on the head mounted display.
Some of the applications of VR are as follows:
- Video games
- 3D Cinema
- Training purpose for military, flight, etc
- In medicine, it can be used to train doctors to perform virtual surgeries
Augmented Reality is somewhat similar to Virtual Reality where there is enhancement of the existing reality by addition of computer generated information as opposed to a totally computer generated environment. Here also, the user is able to react with and explore the augmented reality environment.
For Wikipedia entry on Virtual Reality, click here.
For Wikipedia entry on Augmented Reality, click here.
For more posts on Advanced Topics, click here.
For more posts in The Cyber Cops project, click here.