Category: VR and AR

Let’s unpack the term virtual reality. What is VR?

Well, “virtual” meaning almost or near something and “reality” as in human experience.  So virtual reality emulates “near the human experience.”

In other words, virtual reality mimics human reality in the digital space.

Beginnings of VR and AR

VR was derived from the Sensorama invented in 1957, and patented in 1962.  The sensorama was an interactive theatre in which the viewers would sit in a rotating chair and stereoscopic images, similar images taken at two different angles, creating depth.  

The Sensorama was complete with speakers, oscillating fans, and scents that gave an IMAX experience in the 1950s.

In the 1980s NASA emulated the Ultimate Display, a head-mounted display created by Ivan Sutherland. NASA used virtual reality for projects and training to mimic space travel.

Following this in the 1990s, gentleman Jaron Lanier and Tom Zimmerman marketed virtual reality. They, unfortunately, made the fatal marketing error in overselling the benefits of the product, leading to decrease consumer trust.

Modern Day VR and AR

In the present day, researchers and marketers are doing just the opposite, underselling its capabilities. They are often calling it, “virtual environment” as to not discredit the value of legitimate human experience.  

Let’s talk about what we’re all wondering. How does VR work?

If you think of it like going to the movie theater, think about how the size of the screen in front of you occupies so much of your sight and peripheral vision, that you can barely see what else is around you, assuming you have decent seats of course.

Virtual reality essentially takes this to another level. The VR headset has a screen in front of each eye, eliminating any images from the real world.  

There are then two autofocus lenses in between the screen and the eye that move and focus along with each eye’s individual movement. The visuals are derived from either a mobile phone or PC attachment.

On the technical end, there are frame rate requirements that ensure the view refreshes quickly enough it can move with your eyes and head movements. This also ensures that VR is safe on the eyes, as tearing can result from the delay between the frame and refresh rate.  

Too much of a time gap harms user experience and snatches them back into physical reality.

What’s the difference between virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)?

We know virtual reality means “near reality.” Augmented in the dictionary, is defined as “made greater, larger, or more complete.” So in a sense, augmented reality is a greater, enhanced reality.  This differences from virtual reality, which is more of an immersive, artificial experience.

Forms of AR include snapchat filters, Pokemon Go, or the IKEA Place app which lets you place furniture inside a picture of your home.

Augmented reality acts as an advanced, seamless photoshop, while virtual reality takes users outside of themselves and into this new digital constructed reality.

What can VR and AR be used for?

Virtual reality has legitimate applications across a variety of industries for training and simulation activities including military, healthcare, education, engineering, construction and many more!

For consumer use, VR can provide entertainment, experiential learning, even relaxation through medication.

To learn more about the applications of VR and AR, follow the links below:

3 Virtual Reality Gadgets You Should Know About

3 Virtual Reality Gadgets You Should Know About

Although virtual reality has been the aspiration of many individuals for decades, years of research and development are finally beginning to bear fruit. The technology may still be in the rudimentary stages, but what happens now could shape the trajectory of the technology for years. It’s an exciting time for designers, game developers and consumers …

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