Virtual reality, or what is VR?

In recent months, virtual reality has become an extremely popular term. Do you know what virtual reality is? What could its applications be? If you want to find out, we encourage you to read our text.

Virtual reality – what is it?

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional image that was created by a computer. VR can represent various objects, objects, and even entire events. Depending on the concept, virtual reality is based both on elements of the real world and completely fictional. The easiest way to say this is that this term simply means a virtual imitation of reality.

At the beginning, it is worth emphasizing the assumptions of this technology. VR is supposed to evoke natural and real experiences in people. Our brains, however, are constructed in such a way that, on the basis of small details, they can tell that something is wrong – in this case, that the image seen is not real. Therefore, the creators of virtual reality were faced with a big challenge, consisting in creating a virtual world that would give the appearance of reality to the maximum.

Virtual reality – action

How to do this? The key was to understand human physiognomy. We recognize every element of reality through our senses, so it was necessary to introduce solutions that would allow them to be deceived. The most popular of them are special glasses that present the selected image on the screen, and at the same time are built on the sides – thanks to which they almost cut us off from the real world. The creators of VR had to take into account other factors as well, such as the fact that the range of human vision covers almost 180 ° or that we are looking for confirmation of the image we see with the sense of hearing – if these signals are contradictory, a phenomenon commonly known as motion sickness occurs.

Another challenge was making the system fully operational – the software must respond to all user actions in real time to guarantee a pleasant and natural experience. New solutions supporting VR technology, such as headphones, special treadmills or gloves, which additionally stimulate our senses, positively affect the quality of the experience, and support the creation of the illusion of reality, also appear regularly.

Simply put: VR presents us with a computer-generated environment that we can explore and interact with some of its elements. Objects in VR technology are presented in a 1: 1 scale, so they have real dimensions. The picture we see changes depending on our movement – we can admire the virtual world from different perspectives, e.g. if we turn our head or crouch.

Virtual reality – applications

Virtual reality is used primarily in entertainment, presenting 360 ° films or as complementary accessories for video games. We can not only take part in the game, seeing the virtual world on the screen, but also become part of it. Virtual reality is also used, among others in medicine, art and architecture.

VR is an ideal solution in cases where the implementation could in fact be extremely expensive or particularly dangerous. Therefore, it can be used, for example, to train future pilots or conduct surgery classes at medical studies. In such situations, virtual reality allows you to gain real and valuable experience in a virtual and maximally safe world. In most cases, it is also the most economical solution.

Virtual reality and augmented reality

It is also worth mentioning the cousin of VR, i.e. augmented reality (AR), which combines the real and virtual world. Typically, an image from a camera is used for AR, and then computer-generated 3D elements are superimposed over it. Nowadays, AR is used, as is VR, incl. in aviation, medicine or automotive, as well as for marketing purposes, e.g. in smartphone applications that allow users to virtually change the color of the walls or arrange furniture from a given store in a room.

There is no doubt that virtual reality is a technology that will continue to be developed – both in terms of entertainment and applications in various industries. Remember not to associate VR only as a fashionable element of the present day, but also as a practical and necessary tool, the use of which may even save our lives.

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