Virtual Reality is plainly speaking, seeing an imaginary world, rather than the real one. Seeing, hearing, smelling, testing, feeling. The imaginary world is a simulation running in a computer. The sense data is fed by some system to our brain.A medium composed of interactive computer simulation giving users the feeling of being present in the simulations.
Why virtual reality is needed?
There are still many examples of people working in dangerous or hardship environments. That could benefit from the use of VR-mediated teleportation. Workers in radioactive, space, or toxic enviourment could be relocated to the safety of a VR environment. Where they could handle any hazardous materials without any real danger using teleportation or telepresence.
Why virtual reality is needed?
1. Scientific visualization
Scientific visualization provides the researcher with immediate graphical feedback. During the course of the computations and gives him/her the ability to steer the solution process.
Application at NASA Ames Research Center is the virtual planetary Exploration. It helps planetary geologists to remotely analyse the surface of a planet. They use VR techniques to roam planetary terrains.
Until now experimental research and education is medicine was mainly based on dissection and study of plastic models. Computerized 3D human models provide a new approach to research and education in medicine. Experimenting medical research with virtual patients will be a reality.
We will be able to create not only realistic looking virtual patients. But also histological and bone structures. With the simulation of human body.
3. Education and training
The most common example is the flight simulator. This type of simulator has shown the benefits of simulation environments for training. They have lower operating costs and safer to use than real aircraft. They also allow the simulation of dangerous scenarios not allowable with real aircraft.
Virtual reality systems.
VR systems can be divided to three groups
- Non-immersive systems (like workstations)
- Hybrid system (graphic on top of real world)
- Immersive systems (like HMD or CAVE)
Hardware used in VR.
A variety of input devices allow the user to navigate through a virtual environment and to interact with virtual objects. Directional sound, voice recognition and other technologies are being employed to enrich. The immersive experience and to create more sensualized interfaces.
Input Devices (The data Glove)
The sensors measure the bending angles of the joints of the thumb and the lower and middle knuckles of the other fingers. Attached to the back is a polemic sensor to measure orientation and position of the gloved hand. This information, along with the ten flex angle for the knuckles is transmitted through a derail communication line to the host computer.
3D Mouse and Space Ball:
The Logitech 3D mouse figure is based on an ultrasonic position reference array. Which is a tripod consisting of three ultrasonic speakers, set in a triangular position. Emits ultrasonic sound signals from each of the three transmitters. These are used to track the receiver position, orientation and movement. It provides proportional output in all degrees of freedom: X.Y.Z. pitch yaw and Roll.
The motion tracking system is based on magnetic sensors. Which are attached to the user. Most common are sensors measuring the intensity of a magnetic field generated at a reference point. The emotion of o the different segment is tracked using magnetic sensors. These sensors return raw data expressed in a single frame system.
A MIDI keyboard controller has 88 keys. Any of which can be struck within a fraction of second. Each key transmit velocity of key stroke as well as pressure offer the key is pressed.
Real-time video input:
SIRIUS video card from silicon graphic with SIRIUS images. That are digitized at a frequency of 25 Hz (PAL) or 30 Hz (NTSC). Maybe analyzed by the VR program.
Real-time audio input:
Speech synthesis facilities are a clear utility in a VR environment. Especially for command feedback. Although speech synthesis software is available even at the personal computer level. Some improvement is still needed, particularly in the quality of speech
Head-mounted displays (HMDs)
The head mounted display (HMD) was the first device providing its wearer with an immersive experience. A typical HMD houses to maintain display screen and an optical system. That channels the image from the screen to the eyes. Thereby, presenting a stereo view of a virtual image. As a result viewer can look around and walk through the surroundings virtual environment.
BOOM (Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor)
The BOOM from fake space is a head-coupled stereoscopic display device. Screen and optical system are housed in a box that is attached to a multilink arm. The user look into the box through two holes, sees the virtual world. Can guide the box to any position within the operational volume of the device.
Haptic interfaces and tactile feedback for VE applications:
It enables user to actually touch computer-generated objects and experience force feedback via the human hand. The Cyber Grasp is a lightweight, unencumbered force reflection. That fits over a Cyber Grasp and resistive feedback to every finger. With the Cyber Grasp force feedback system. User is able to explore the physical properties of computer generated 3D objects. They manipulate in a simulated virtual world.
Virtual Reality developing tools:
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), that has become a standard authoring for the creation of home pages. VRML provides three dimensional worlds with integrated hyperlinks on the web.
The viewing of VRML models via VRML plug-in for web browsers. That is usually done on a graphics monitor under mouse control and, therefore not fully immersive.
The syntax and data structure of VRML provides an excellent tool. For the modeling of three dimensional world that are funcitonately and interactive. That can ultimately be transferred into fully immersive viewing system.
The current version VRML 2.0 has become an international ISO/IEC standard under the name VRML97.
The Future of Virtual Reality
It is a growing industry
The PC and specialized hardware are getting better, faster and cheaper because of development in VR
Maybe 3D user interfaces will replace windows based ones?
Huge demand for VRML programmers in future
Revolution in gaming industries.