Virtual reality is the closest we have to teleportation today. This technology allows us to make experiences even more real and immersive through special devices. There are many questions about it, what is virtual reality? How it works? In what areas is it used? we tell you everything!
What is Virtual Reality?
Let’s start at the beginning, Virtual Reality (VR) is born from the creation of a fictional environment or scenario that simulates a real appearance. It allows people to move to another place or situation and feel like they’re really there, even if they haven’t moved from home. This is achieved through headsets or virtual reality glasses, which are the ones that help to immerse yourself in video games. Thus the player can feel that he is living the experience of the character or that he is really exploring another world. Other devices such as helmets or simulated laser swords can also be used to achieve this experience.
This one, which may seem extremely futuristic, is not of as recent origin as one might think. Many consider that one of the first virtual reality devices was the so-called Sensorama, a machine with a built-in seat that played 3D movies, gave off smells, and generated vibrations to make the experience as lively as possible. The invention dates back to the mid-1950s. From there, the technological and software development of the following years led to the relevant developments in the design of devices and interfaces.
How it works?
Well, we have already established that to achieve this experience you need specific devices. As helmets or goggles because that is what will create the environment. Also, you will need another device to create the background, which can be your mobile phone or your computer. The glasses will successfully isolate you from everything around you and widen your field of vision by making the screen appear to be all around you, not just in front of you.
To immerse you in it, it uses two different images in each eye, depicting different angles of the same scene. That’s really it simulates depth. And that’s exactly why, without the glasses, you see the videos dedicated to this technology as double or separate installments. In addition, it uses specific sensors that detect when we turn to rotate the space simultaneously.
Virtual reality vs augmented reality
Although you may have heard of both, augmented reality and virtual reality are different concepts. Augmented reality is what we see in games like Pokemon Go. Since it uses the real scenario by adding certain objects or “characters” via the screen or the camera.
It’s just like the filters people use on Instagram to have animals in their photos or even the infamous filter to add cat or dog ears. Or like the Pokémon that appear in the middle of the street. The street is real but this object is created thanks to augmented reality. On the other hand, the virtual is created 100% using technology which can be viewed on mobile or computer. But there is no part of the script that is real and another fictional because it is all fictional.
Uses of virtual reality
Although we have not yet taken full advantage of virtual reality, it is already used in many fields. Let’s get to know a few of them:
Gaming is the field where virtual reality is used the most. This is mainly due to the specific material which has been launched by different developers over the past few years. For example, with PS VR we can play all kinds of games, whether it’s shooting, fighting, racing, zombies or any other game you know. These are available for computers or consoles that have the hardware compatible with VR technologyas in the case of PlayStation.
Virtual reality technology makes it possible to visit museums remotely, as Google did with the Frida Kahlo exhibit. Or discover constellations and planets in an immersive way. In education, virtual reality offers a wide range of possibilities for learners of all ages.
Younger children can explore any part of the world without having to leave the classroom or college students can deepen their fields of study. Whether they need to learn tourism, medicine, architecture, science or robotics, anything is possible!
The use of virtual reality to teach medicine is one of the most interesting uses at the academic level. With this, students can get to know the human body without having to wait for a real practice. In addition, thanks to VR technology, students can simulate all kinds of possible causes, diseases and operations, among others. This can reduce the need to use cadavers or animals, for example, and enable ongoing testing at no additional cost.