Virtual Reality 2 Essay Research Paper Virtual

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Virtual Reality 2 Essay, Research Paper Virtual Reality Virtual Reality which Warren Robinett describes as a cut little oxymoron. What exactly is does the term virtual reality mean. Imagine being able to point into the sky and fly. Or perhaps walk through space and connect molecules together. These are some of the dreams that have come with the invention of virtual reality. With the introduction of computers, numerous applications have been enhanced or created. The newest technology that is being tapped is that of artificial reality, or “virtual reality” (VR). Jaron Lanier first coined the phrase “virtual reality” around 1989, and it has stuck ever since. Lanier stated, It s very hard to describe if you haven t experienced it. But there is an experience when you are

dreaming of all possibilities being there, that anything can happen, and it is just and open world where your mind is the only limitation. Unfortunately, the catchy name Virtual Reality has caused people to dream up incredible uses for this technology including using it as a sort of drug. This became evident when, among other people, Timothy Leary became interested in VR. It was at a computer conference in Dallas in August 1990 were Leary stated, I think this is one of the most important meetings ever held by human beings. Leary was a man who had many problems in his lifetime and eventually became very interested in drug experimentation. This has also worried some of the researchers who are trying to create very real applications for medical, space, physical, chemical, and

entertainment uses among other things. In order to create this alternate reality, however, you need to find ways to create the illusion of reality with a piece of machinery known as the computer. This is done with several computer-user interfaces used to simulate the senses. Among these, are stereoscopic glasses to make the simulated world look real, a 3D auditory display to give depth to sound, sensor lined gloves to simulate tactile feedback, and head-trackers to follow the orientation of the head. Since the technology is fairly young, these interfaces have not been perfected, making for somewhat of a cartoon simulated reality. Stereoscopic vision is probably the most important feature of VR because in real life, people rely mainly on vision to get places and do things.

Presenting different views to each eye gives the illusion of three dimensions. The glasses that are used today work by using what is called an “electronic shutter”. The lenses of the glasses interleave the left-eye and right-eye views every thirtieth of a second. The shutters selectively block and admit views of the screen in sync with the interleaving, allowing the proper views to go into each eye. The “Convolvotron” is one such device that simulates the location of up to four audio channels with a sort of imaginary sphere surrounding the listener. This device takes into account that each person has special auditory signal processing, and personalizes what each person hears. Using a position sensor from Polhemus, another VR research company, it is possible to move the

position of sound by simply moving a small cube around in your hand. This portion of a VR system can really enhance the visual and tactile responses. Imagine hearing the sound of footsteps behind you in a dark alley late at night. That is how important 3D sound really is. The third important sense that we use in everyday life is that of touch. There is no way of avoiding the feeling of touch, and thus this is one of the technologies that are being researched the most. The two main types of feedback that are being researched are that of force- reflection feedback and tactile feedback. Force feedback devices exert a force against the user when they try to push something in a virtual world that is ‘heavy’. Tactile feedback is the sensation of feeling an object such as the