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A Brief History of Virtual Reality

Original Article by TechSling Weblog:

An exceptional and innovative truth of today – Virtual Reality. Though the term speaks of ‘virtuality’, yet it gives the feel of ‘reality’, as the incidents are occurring in front of our eyes. Hence, the term is presented as ‘virtual reality’.

“Virtual Reality” is a way to interact with our imaginations and fascinations through a technical simulation of a three-dimensional image by people using particular electronic devices, such as gloves with sensors or a helmet with a screen inside.

If we consider the history of the origin of VR, we would be amazed by the fact that the idea of this technology dated back to the 1800s, which was almost the beginning of practical photography. The first stereoscope was invented in 1838, where twin mirrors were used to project a single image. Eventually, we developed this into View-Master in 1939 and it is still in use.

In 1956, Sensorama was considered to be a milestone. Morton Heilig’s work in the Hollywood motion picture industry was a masterstroke to make people feel like they were “in” the movie. The Sensorama created a real city environment where people rode through on a motorcycle. The multisensory stimulation gave a real feeling to the mass to see the road, feel the vibration, hear the engine and smell the motor’s exhaust. Heilig also designed a Telesphere Mask in 1960 which was a head-mounted display device.

Hereafter, many inventors built upon the foundational work and created miracles in the world of “virtual reality”. In 1965, Ivan Sutherland proffered “the Ultimate Display”, a head-mounted device that would serve as a window into the virtual world. Further, in the 1970s and 1980s, optical advances ran simultaneous projects which worked on tactile devices and instruments that allowed us to move around in the virtual space.

Let’s deal with the technical terms of virtual reality:

In simple name, it is a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment that is probed and interacted by people. Here, the human becomes part of the virtual world and get immersed in it and can manipulate the various objects and execute a string of actions.

The aim of virtual reality:

A natural and effusive form of interaction that outcome in an unforgettable experience.

The characteristics of VR systems:

Various types of VR systems are present that have the same features- It authorizes one to glance at the life-sized 3D images.

The images change as the individual moves around the virtual environment that is consonant with the change in the areas of vision. The shift in perception corroborates that the virtual surrounding is both gratifying and realistic.

In today’s world, virtual reality gadgetry owes a debt of gratitude to the innovators from the past six decades who created the way to the low-cost, high-quality devices which are accessed with ease. Through VR we can go beyond our limitations to do anything that can be computed. Initially, this technology was used in gaming and movies, but nowadays it is implemented in medical industry and education system for the betterment of humanity.

Systems used for experiencing VR:

  • Headsets
  • Special gloves
  • Omni-directional treadmills

These devices stimulate the senses and create the illusion of the reality.

The application of VR is widespread in the fields of:

  • Sport
  • Army
  • Architecture
  • Scientific research
  • Medicine
  • Arts
  • Entertainment
  • Education

If we consider an in-depth analysis, we can observe that the virtual environment is supposed to offer the accurate responses in real time because in this case, an individual explores the surroundings.

Is there any drawback?

There is no such pitfall of VR except a minor issue. If there is a postponement between the human being’s actions and the system’s latency, it interrupts the experience, and he/she becomes conscious of the artificial environment and tries to adjust to the particular behavior that triggers a mechanical and forced form of intercommunication.

Virtual Reality undoubtedly leads to new innovative discoveries that influence our daily lives. It permits us to take the potential virtual risks for achieving real-world experience. Gradually VR associated costs are decreasing and more organizations are coming forward to embrace the system, especially the education forums. Both virtual reality and augmented reality together is working hard to humanize the digital technology.

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