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Danielle Greening

30 Apr 2014
Virtual Reality
Le 1310

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to
the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a
computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through sight and sound.
In the 1950s, Morton H Eilig built a single user console called Sensorama that
included a stereoscopic display, fans, or emitters, stereo speakers and a moving chair. This
made it possible for users to watch television in 3D.
In 1961, Philco Corporation engineers developed the first HMD known as the Headsight,
which consisted of a video screen and a tracking system that they linked to a closed circuit
camera system. Similar HMD was used for helicopter pilots. These were very helpful when
flying in the dark.
The simplest form of virtual reality is a 3-D image that can be explored interactively at a
personal computer. More sophisticated efforts involve such approaches as wrap-around display
screens, actual rooms augmented with wearable computers, and devices that let you feel the
display images.
Virtual reality has its advocates and opponents which are mainly due to a lack of
understanding about this technology and its capabilities. Unrealistic expectations and lack of
awareness regarding technical limitations means that for many people, virtual reality is difficult
to grasp or even take seriously.
The growth in popularity of virtual reality was matched by a growth in public
expectations which then over hyped the abilities of this technology. This led to dissatisfaction
with virtual reality in general and a scaling back of many research activities in this area. Because
of this, virtual reality has slowed down a lot over the years.
Virtual reality has not disappeared and has instead been repackaged as virtual
environments. This is to prevent any unrealistic expectations as regards this technology which
keeps it in the domain of science fact and not science fiction.
The experience of a virtual world mimics real world scenarios without all of its
constraints. Virtual reality allows someone to do any of the following:
Walk around a three-dimensional building
Perform a virtual operation
Play a multi-user game
Take part in a theatre of war
Interact with an artwork
The fact that they can do this in a 3D environment means that they replicate an
experience similar to real life but without many of the dangers. This is preferable to trying to
simulate these experiences in a two-dimensional setting such as a computer desktop.
Virtual reality has re-invented itself into something which fits our vision and
expectations of what this technology can do. One example of this is the development of virtual
reality games for the Playstation and Xbox. These games have become popular with children
and adults and continue to push the boundaries of gaming technology.
One of my favorite aspects of virtual reality is Virtual Worlds. Virtual worlds combine the
power of 3D graphics and the internet, giving users the ability to create new versions of
themselves within a virtual world. People can join a virtual world and become whatever they
want to be in real life, but do not dare or do not have the money for.

Second Life is one of the most popular virtual world games and has had major success,
which includes creating millionaires out of their most dedicated players. This is possible through
the currency and exchange rates.
Thankfully, virtual reality lives on in popular culture as a heavy influence on
many consumer products that are in use today. These range from games to revolutionary input

Bibliography (2013) Virtual Realities, Ltd. (2009) Virtual Reality
How Virtual Reality Works Strickland, J.S (2014)
Second Lifes Strange Second Life Walker, C.S.W (2013)

1. What impact did this assignment make on your understanding of the future applications of
AI in the world we live in? Seeing how far virtual reality went in the past, I think it would be
awesome to see more development. It is a shame that is it not popular anymore because it
could be a lot of fun.
2. In what way did your study for this paper challenge any of your assumptions? Before this
assignment, not only did I not give virtual reality much thought, but I also did not realize how
the popularity has decreased over the years. Aside from video games, it doesnt seem to be of
much use.