Virtual Reality What It Is And How It Works

3469 words - 14 pages

Intro Sample...

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). When
Morton Heilig first got a patent for his "Sensorama
Simulator" in 1962, he had no idea that 30 years later
people would still be trying to simulate reality and that
they would be doing it so effectively. Jaron Lanier first
coined the phrase "virtual reality" around 1989, and it has
stuck ... View More »

Body Sample...

One such way is through the use of lenticular
lenses. These lenses, known since Herman Ives experimented
with them in 1930, allow one to take two images, cut them
into thin vertical slices and interleave them in precise
order (also called multiplexing) and put cylinder shaped
lenses in front of them so that when you look into them
directly, the images correspond with each eye. This
illusion of depth is based on what is called binocular
parallax. Another problem that is solved is that which
occurs when one turns their head. Nearby objects appear to
move more than distant objects. This is called motion
parallax. Lenticular screens can show users the proper
stereo images when moving their heads well when a head-
motion sensor is used to adjust the effect.

Sound is another important part of daily life, and thus
must be simulated well in order to create artificial
reality. Many scientists including Dr. Elizabeth Wenzel, a
researcher at NASA, are convinced the 3D audio will be
useful for scientific visualization and space applications
in the ways the 3D video is somewhat limited. She has come
up with an interesting use for virtual sound that would
allow an astronaut to hear the state of their oxygen, or
have an acoustical beacon that directs one to a trouble spot
on a satellite. 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 ...

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