What is VR? Virtual reality explained

Virtual Reality

About Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality: There were days when people used to live without any technology, but now it is impossible to imagine life without technology. The technology in simple terms is the development and use of essential tools for scientific investigation. It is the gathering of techniques, skills, methods, and process used in the production of goods or services. It is classically a consequence of science and engineering. Over time, there has been much development in the field of technology. And one such growing trend is of Virtual Reality or commonly known as VR. This article brings all the information about VR. 

Virtual Reality

This is the generation with full on-screen experience and smartphone that include everything. The rising concept is of VR. VR can be defined as a simulated experience which can be similar to or entirely different from the real world. There are various applications of VR, which include entertainment that is games and for educational purposes like medical or military training. Some of the distinct types of virtual reality-style technology include augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. 

Since the mid-1400s, the meaning of virtual has been of being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact. The term virtual, since 1959, has been used in the computer science of not physically existing but made to appear by software. 

The current standard of virtual Reality either use virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments to generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations. The multi-projected settings are used to simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual environment. A person using virtual reality equipment can look around the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. The result is usually created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted show with a tiny low screen before the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens. Virtual Reality stereo typically incorporates acoustic and video feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory and force feedback through hap tic technology.

Basics of VR

Basics of VR

VR is everywhere in the current phase of generation. And the most pervasive product of VR is the VR headset. There are many versions of VR headsets from top tech brands like Google and Sony, and each has their unique approach. The earphones are easily divided into categories based on the hardware design to work. These can basically be divided into three groups. The first one being the high-end headsets which are typically designed to work with computers that have been enabled to run VR software. The second type of VR headsets are common and intended for other machines like game consoles, notably PlayStation VR. And the last and third type of VR headsets on the rise are stand-alone headsets which include all necessary hardware on board. 

Apart from above three major virtual reality headsets, there are some other types of cheaper headsets of VR. These more affordable headsets are designed to work with smartphones, with a slot in the headset to position the smartphone screen at the right distance from the eyes. 

Components of VR

It is essential to understand the parts of the VR to understand the functioning of virtual Reality and their headsets. The following is the list of the components that make these devices work: –

  • Content feeds:- It is the data that makes up the digital world and are supplied by hardware in a computer, console, or phone. In the current scenario, VR experiences can be found within a single app or game. 
  •  Controls:- Some simple virtual reality headsets allow the necessary exploration and interaction with just a few buttons located on the headset. While there are some advanced headsets which offer handheld controllers. And some most advanced virtual reality headsets provide controllers that mimic real devices, such as the guns mentioned above and swords. They cooperate directly with the hardware that sends the feed.
  •   Displays:- In the previous days of VR, there were two separate displays – one for each eye and were fitted in goggles. But with the changing trend and the extra cost of two different shows, it becomes less accessible and gives invention to the lenses. Many VR headsets use the full smartphone screen as a display or a single OLED screen.
  •  Lenses:- These were invented to focus the eyes on the screen to experience as of looking into the real environment. Most of the smartphones have glasses, and more advanced versions also allow for the lens adjustment, which is very important for both eyestrain and realism. 
  • Field of View:- A whole field of view for virtual Reality would be 360 degrees, of course. But it is practically not possible on a headset, so the most virtual reality headsets creators settle for approx. 100 to 120 degrees. This helps improve immersion.
  •   Frame Rate:- In the virtual reality world, it is believed that the higher the frame rate, the better the immersion. Therefore, the goal is frequently 60 FPS to 120 FPS and powerful hardware to back it up. There are some less ambitious experiences may not worry much about frame rate, but if it starts slowing down, then all the immersion is lost, and the result is often the headaches. 
  •  Tracking sensors:- VR headsets are now developed with the movement sensors on the earphones. This is a need to know the movement of the head, hands, and even body so that the headsets can correspondingly move the content feed. There are some advanced VR headsets with the additional hardware to map out your space, and example of this is the PlayStation virtual reality. 
  • Audio:- There are two ways to send the sound to the user of the virtual reality. One is that the audio is supplied as part of content feed in the headset itself. And the other way the sound is sent is the use of an additional speaker headset which the user needs to wear to have the complete virtual reality experience. 

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

The experience of VR is exciting and thrilling. But the side effect of the virtual Reality with prolonged use can affect the health of the user. There are several unwanted symptoms and safety considerations of virtual reality. With the priority on health, there are maximum virtual reality systems that associate with user warnings which comprise seizures; developmental problems in children; trip-and-fall and collision warnings; discomfort; repetitive stress injury; and interference with medical devices. People with heart problems or sensitive health issues are warned to not to use the Virtual Reality. It has been observed that women are significantly more affected than men by headset-induced symptoms. The ratio calculated for women and men came to 77% verses 33% respectively. The regular use of virtual reality headsets many cause eye fatigues, and the reason is that the people blink less while watching screens which cause their eyes to become more dried out. The most common symptoms of excessive use of virtual Reality are general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, vomiting, sweating, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, and apathy. While there are some ill effects on health, but it should also be noted that as many as one in 4000, people may experience these symptoms. Children are advised against virtual reality experience as these are familiar with children under age 20. 

History of VR

History of VR

VR is nothing but a means of creating the illusion that is not present somewhere. The beginning of Virtual reality can be the earliest attempt at the 360-degree panoramic paintings from the nineteenth century. These paintings were intended to fill the viewer’s entire field of vision, which makes them feel present at some historical event. It was in the year 1930 that the science fiction story predicted Virtual Reality. It was a story by science fiction writer Stanley G. Weinbaum that contains the idea of a pair of goggles that let the wearer experience a fictional world through holographic, smell, taste and touch. And then in the year 1960, the first virtual reality head-mounted display. The invention of Morton Heilig’s was the Telesphere Mask. It was the first example of a head-mounted screen, albeit for the non-interactive film medium without any motion tracking. The headset provided stereoscopic 3D and a comprehensive vision with stereo sound. And since then there have been many changes in the virtual reality world. The first fifteen years of the 21st century has seen significant, rapid advancement in the development of virtual reality. Computer technology, especially small and powerful mobile technologies, have exploded while prices are always driven down. The intensification of smartphones with high-density displays and 3D graphics proficiency has enabled a generation of light-weight and practical video games devices. The computer game business has continued to drive the expansion of consumer virtual reality unrelieved. Complexity sensing cameras sensor suites, motion controllers, and normal human interfaces are now a part of regular human computing tasks. The year 2016 was the critical year for virtual reality. 

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