Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses Virtual reality headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces or multi-projected environments, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulates a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.Virtual reality can be defined as an upcoming technology that makes users feel in a Virtual Environment (VE) by using computer hardware and software. It was originally conceived as a digitally created space which humans could access by donning special computer equipments. It enables people to deal with information more easily.
VR provides a different way to see and experience information, one that is dynamic and immediate. For example, in a computer game, user’s joystick motions are tracked and the objects in the game are moved according to the joystick movements. In the same way a simulated, three-dimensional world is created around the user in which he/she could interact with objects, people, and environments. Typically three-dimensional life-sized images with support of audio devices are presented around the user and the perspective is modified in accordance with the user input.Many devices along with the computers are used to create a virtual environment.
To enter in a VE, a user dons special gloves, earphones, and goggles, all of which send their output to the computer systems. The virtual environments are intended to replace the real world environment with the digital one and the human senses are immersed in the VE. Immersion is an experience of losing oneself in the VE and shutting out all cues from the physical world. A Virtual Environment can be created on different extents depending on the computer based platform ranging from a cell phone screen to a desktop monitor or a fully Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE).
The tracking and rendering turns the whole process more immersive and interactive than the traditional media like televisions and video games. The user actions result in immediate and observable impact on the content of virtual environment. Following are the main components of a virtual environment:
1.The visual displays that immerse the user in the virtual world and block out contradictory sensory impressions from the real world.
2.The graphics rendering system that generates the ever changing images at 20 to 30 frames per second.
3.A tracking system that continuously informs the position and orientation of the user’s movements.
4.The database construction and maintenance system to build and maintain a detailed and realistic model of the virtual world.
5.A sound system that can produce high quality directional sounds and simulated sound fields.
6.Devices like tracked gloves with push buttons to enable users to specify their interactions with the virtual objects.