Virtual Reality is the idea of experiencing
an environment while not being physically there. This is all done by using
computers to make a simulated environment and use VR glasses also called
Head-mounted display to experience it. The goal of VR is to make it as engaging
as possible that means it must feel realistic as the real world, this is done
by stimulating as many senses possible such as vision, hearing and touching.
When talking about the senses we want to have all of them available, the vision
and sound are the simplest to cover but the rest like smell, touch, and feel are more complicated to have, this is
all depending on the equipment. The VR glasses have sensors in them that rotate
with your head so that you can look around in the VR environment. The limitations
we are facing and is keeping us from experiencing the best VR environment are
computer power, available content and motion sickness.
There are multiple headsets in Virtual
Reality currently, the main ones being Cardboard with no hardware, so the user
must use his own phone for the VR. There’s GearVR where the user uses his
phone, but the Gear has its own applications and has for interaction the Gear
VR side pad, home button and going back or the controller using Bluetooth. The
last main headset is PC based that have tracking involved. The HTC VIVE is an HMD that uses two tracking stations to mark
a playing area and everything in that playing area is tracked from movement to
interaction with the two controllers, and there’s the Oculus which has the
tracking of the head and recently received controllers for more complex
Since it became an interesting and trendy topic companies are applying it.
VR is being applied in many industries as a
way of training for education, healthcare, military, entertainment, engineering
and much more. These are all examples in what sections VR is applied to the
In VR medical care an example of VR is that
it helps people with their phobia by doing exposure therapy and simulate
various stimuli related to their phobia. You can have sessions with the patient
and teach them how to control responses to overcome their situations. Another
example would be 3D models of a skeleton that teaches you about the bones.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming a big part of the growing
market, a good example of this is Pokémon Go with their AR way of interaction.
It was aimed at people around the world
and it became a big success.
The difference between VR and AR is that
when in VR the user feels like he is moved to a whole virtual environment when using AR the user doesn’t move
and he stays in his environment and can view virtual items and objects in the
real world that can be interacted with.
VR the user has his eyes covered using an HMD so that he can visualize a
different world that makes the user feel immersed in it, but you must be
cautious about crashing or bumping into objects in the real world. In AR you will
see simulated objects in the real world. In other AR apps, you can see the
inside of your house as a place to scan so that you can place some virtual
objects like tv screens, furniture’s for measuring and fitting. Most of the AR
applications can be experienced and seen by making use of the phone’s camera,
you use the camera to scan a QR code that could be on a piece of paper and this
will display the virtual object.