What Do We Understand About Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality has been proven to boost students’ attention levels by 92% when used in education.

Before we start, it’s important to explain what virtual reality actually is. This technology has been used in various forms, from arcades to modern classrooms.

According to the Oxford English dictionary, virtual reality is defined as “a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”

In my opinion, virtual reality was initially used only for gaming and was only found in arcade simulator pods.

Virtual reality allows a person to immerse themselves completely in a game, movie, or scene, making the experience more realistic and engaging.

The Origins of Virtual Reality

The light pen, which was capable of writing on a computer without the need for physical ink, was the first device-assisted manipulation of a computer that could be classified as virtual reality. It was created in 1962.

The first immersive experience came in the 1970s when the US developed the first real flight simulator in real-time using advanced computer-generated graphics. By the 1980s, pilots were able to fly through virtual worlds thanks to better hardware, software, and motion-control platforms.

The Nintendo Power Glove or the Segascope 3-D were the birthplaces of virtual reality gaming. Released in 1987, the Segascope was a basic pair of 3-D glasses produced for the Sega Master System. Instead of lens-projected images, it used a rapid-fire shutter system that opened and closed each side one after another. Cathode ray tube TVs would send half an image each time, and the glasses were timed to utilize this, giving the illusion of seeing stereoscopic 3-D.

Throughout history, there have been numerous successes and flops from many of the big brands, from Sega’s VR to Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Sony’s EyeToy to Xbox Kinect.

Modern Virtual Reality

Now that we’ve covered the history and background, let’s move on to how virtual reality is being used today.

One of the primary modern uses for virtual reality is gaming. Players want to immerse themselves in their game and feel like they’re physically a part of it, which has become particularly manageable since 2012.

The Oculus Rift is one of the most common virtual reality equipment available on the market today, with a 1080p display and infrared positioning. It’s supported by some big PC gaming names, but mainly the games are more of the Indy genre.

HTC’s Vive is the next competitor to the Oculus’ title, with a relationship with the well-known Steam gaming platform and gaining real traction in this area of technology.

Even the heavyweights of the gaming world are getting involved! PlayStation is set to release the PlayStation VR in October 2016 with fully 360-degree movement, demonstrating just how viable virtual reality is for the modern gamer.

Educational Uses

Another significant use for virtual reality that is becoming more and more common is in education.

Virtual reality technology has revolutionized the way people learn, especially for those in at-risk groups or with disabilities. It provides a more hands-on and immersive experience compared to traditional textbook learning. Virtual reality and interactive 3D solutions have been shown to increase student attention levels by 92% and test scores by 35%. Some companies are offering idesks, which are monitor and 3D glasses combos that allow students to fully involve themselves in their learning. They can create 3D models and designs with real-time response and head-tracking. For example, students can travel the world from their classroom using an Android device, cardboard VR glasses, and an app controlled by the teacher’s tablet.

Virtual reality technology is also useful for job training, especially for high-risk professions such as fighter pilots, bomb disposal, medics, and firemen. It allows trainees to repeat and develop their skills in a safe and efficient environment. Flight simulators and Eyesi, a virtual reality device that allows ophthalmology residents to practice procedures, are examples of how virtual reality is used in training. Virtual reality technology will become more commonplace in universities, colleges, and training establishments.

Virtual reality has many applications in education, from interactive idesks to historical replicas. It allows more pupils to engage in their learning and get the most out of their education. Soon, almost every school will employ idesks or similar technology. Many organizations are investing in virtual reality development, such as St Georges University London, which has established a new clinical simulation center to train the next wave of paramedics. Virtual reality technology is truly mind-boggling and will continue to benefit life and the world itself.

In the world of marketing, technological advancements are always embraced in order to gain an edge. Virtual reality is no exception. Companies are already developing virtual catalogs to test products, holidays, and experiences. As virtual reality becomes more common, this will become even more prevalent. TUI, a leading travel agency group, has introduced this concept to more than 120 European travel agencies, including Thomas Cook. With the use of interactive tools like world maps and iPads, customers can be inspired when planning their next trip.

Although virtual reality is mostly associated with gaming, there are many other groundbreaking and significant uses for this technology. Schools, universities, pupils, and trainee professionals will one day use virtual reality on a daily basis for training, simulations, and developing their skills. This technology is a game changer, allowing users to immerse themselves in a different world and environment. It can even simulate catastrophic events without the need for travel, risk, or complications.

From a gamer’s perspective, the idea of complete 3D 360 degree gameplay is astounding. Virtual reality can be both serious and groundbreaking for the modern world, as well as a way for people to relax and enjoy themselves. It is set to become the norm and will unfurl itself across every sector and institution, making every person more effective in their chosen profession, subject, or way of life. As for me, I will be getting a PlayStation VR and cannot wait to see the impact of virtual reality.


What is virtual reality and how does it work?

Virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that simulates real-world experiences. It is immersive and interactive, allowing users to feel like they are actually in a different place. The technology works by using a headset or other device to display images and sounds that are designed to mimic the physical world. As the user moves their head or body, the images and sounds change in response, creating a sense of presence and movement within the virtual environment.

What are the potential applications of virtual reality?

Virtual reality has a wide range of potential applications across various industries. In healthcare, it can be used for pain management, therapy, and to train medical professionals. In education, it can provide immersive learning experiences that are more engaging and effective than traditional methods. In entertainment, it can be used for gaming, movies, and virtual tourism. It also has potential in the areas of architecture, engineering, and design, allowing for virtual prototyping and testing.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of virtual reality?

The benefits of virtual reality include its ability to provide immersive and engaging experiences, its potential to improve learning and training outcomes, and its ability to simulate dangerous or costly situations for practice and experimentation. However, there are also drawbacks to consider, such as the potential for motion sickness, the cost of hardware and software, and the risk of addiction or over-reliance on virtual experiences. Additionally, virtual reality may not be accessible or appealing to everyone, and there are concerns about the impact of prolonged use on mental and physical health.

What is the future of virtual reality?

The future of virtual reality is exciting and full of potential. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that virtual reality will become more immersive, realistic, and accessible. There will be more applications across various industries, and the technology may become more integrated with other forms of media, such as augmented reality and mixed reality. Additionally, there may be new developments in the areas of haptic feedback and brain-computer interfaces, allowing for even more realistic and responsive virtual experiences.

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