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Analysis of Virtual Reality

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Virtual Reality (VR) is a kind of technology which enables a user to experience a computer-simulated environment without moving him/her physically. The sensory organs of the user are controlled, to be able to associate the perceived environment into the preferred Virtual Environment (VE) through a process which is manipulated by a computer model. VR varies from simple environments in a computer to immersive multisensory environments. Immersion plays a pivotal role in Virtual Reality Systems to let the user experience the Virtual Environment. However, immersion can be attained to varying degrees through the introduction of additional modalities, a greater degree of body tracking, richer body representations and the decreased lag between body movements (Thalmann and Thalmann, 1998).

There are three types of VR systems namely: non-immersive systems, semi-immersive projection systems, and fully immersive head-mounted displays. The non-immersive systems are the least immersive among VR techniques because it only utilizes a portal window to enable to view the virtual environment. Keyboards, mice, and trackballs are used to interact in the virtual environment. The semi-immersive projection systems provide a greater sense of presence compared to the non-immersive system because it uses large screen monitor, large screen projector system or multiple television projection systems which enhance the feeling of immersion of the user (Costello, 1997).
But among the three types of VR systems, the fully immersive head-mounted systems provides the most direct experience of virtual environment (Bolas,1994). The first device that provided immersive experiences with computer-generated imagery was the head-mounted display (HMD) which was invented in the mid-1960s. It has an optical system that channels images from a screen to the eyes and a motion tracker that continuously lets an image-generating computer adjust the scene to the user's current view. After the extensive development of two NASA Ames scientists, Fisher and McGreevy, HMD technology was produced and commercially available in 1989 (Costello, 1997).

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preview essay on Analysis of Virtual Reality
  • Pages: 12 (3000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Technology
  • Level: Masters
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