Consumer & Gadgets

Virtual reality makes splash, but not ready for prime time

Virtual reality showed off its spectacular side at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, whisking people onto hockey arenas, baseball fields and even into the internet with animated film trouble-maker "Wreck-it Ralph."

Hi Tech & Innovation

Cutting-edge VR in Magdeburg

Europe`s biggest 3-D mixed reality laboratory is located in Magdeburg. Four meters high and sixteen meters in diameter, the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF's Elbedome resembles a hemisphere. ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Google's shoe idea teases moonwalks in the VR zone

"Try walking forwards and the magic quickly falls apart—either when you walk into a wall, or are yanked back by the cable attaching your headset to a computer." That is Alistair Charlton in GearBrain. He was—you guessed ...

Robotics

Virtual learning robot for youngsters

Programming a robot: something most kids would love to do. "RosieReality" makes it possible – even if it's only in augmented reality. The ETH spin-off plans to use the new technology to teach young kids about programming ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Eating with your eyes: Virtual reality can alter taste

Humans not only relish the sweet, savory and saltiness of foods, but they are influenced by the environment in which they eat. Cornell University food scientists used virtual reality to show how people's perception of real ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Ultra-light gloves let users 'touch' virtual objects

Scientists from EPFL and ETH Zurich have developed an ultra-light glove – weighing less than 8 grams per finger– that enables users to feel and manipulate virtual objects. Their system provides extremely realistic haptic ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Think Facebook can manipulate you? Look out for virtual reality

As Facebook users around the world are coming to understand, some of their favorite technologies can be used against them. It's not just the scandal over psychological profiling firm Cambridge Analytica getting access to ...

Robotics

Software enables robots to be controlled in virtual reality

Even as autonomous robots get better at doing things on their own, there will still be plenty of circumstances where humans might need to step in and take control. New software developed by Brown University computer scientists ...

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Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment, whether that environment is a simulation of the real world or an imaginary world. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special or stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. Some advanced, haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback, in medical and gaming applications. Users can interact with a virtual environment or a virtual artifact (VA) either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove, the Polhemus boom arm, and omnidirectional treadmill. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world, for example, simulations for pilot or combat training, or it can differ significantly from reality, as in VR games. In practice, it is currently very difficult to create a high-fidelity virtual reality experience, due largely to technical limitations on processing power, image resolution and communication bandwidth. However, those limitations are expected to eventually be overcome as processor, imaging and data communication technologies become more powerful and cost-effective over time.

Virtual Reality is often used to describe a wide variety of applications, commonly associated with its immersive, highly visual, 3D environments. The development of CAD software, graphics hardware acceleration, head mounted displays, database gloves and miniaturization have helped popularize the notion. In the book The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, Michael Heim identifies seven different concepts of Virtual Reality: simulation, interaction, artificiality, immersion, telepresence, full-body immersion, and network communication. The definition still has a certain futuristic romanticism attached. People often identify VR with Head Mounted Displays and Data Suits.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA