Published on June 17th, 2016 | by Muralidar S.0
What is virtual reality and how will it change your life?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer technology that creates an imaginary environment or recreates a real one, with which a user can interact. In other words, it is a technology that allows users to experience an environment without actually being present in it. 3D cinema is one of the best examples.
The first practical breakthrough in the world of virtual reality was the invention of Sensorama in the year 1962. The brainchild of the American cinematographer and visionary Morton Heilig, Sensorama was a mechanical device that could display wide-angled 3D views, with body tilts, stereo sound and smells corresponding with the frames. The Sword of Damocles, the first head-mounted display system, was created by Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull in 1968, which paved way for the prototype towards evolution. Two decades later, the American VR company founded by the pioneer Jaron Lanier, VPL Research, introduced virtual reality gear like the Data Glove, the Eye Phone, and the Audio Sphere, which are considered to be significant virtual reality aids.
In the gaming industry too, companies like Atari, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have pushed boundaries in the field of virtual gaming. Consoles like Wii Sports, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation VR, etc. have brought digital gaming closer to reality, where the controller quickly converts a player’s body movements into corresponding virtual actions. Virtual reality, which is the technology behind flight simulators that are used for training pilots, is also employed to enable soldiers to drive armoured vehicles.
In 2010, Google brought virtual reality as close to us as our computers screens with Street View, a service that provided stereoscopic 3D panoramic views of worldwide locations. Recent developments like the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, etc. have become game changers in the field of virtual reality. Google’s dream of virtual reality came true with Daydream, the company’s own VR platform, which is set to release in November 2016. The platform is a notch above its predecessor, the Cardboard, and one ‘could be in another world’ just by wearing the accessory and slipping the smartphone in.
Virtual reality is transitioning gradually from more virtual to more real!