Virtual reality

Virtual reality is a means of generating immersive, computer-enhanced environments that replicate a real environment, the concept is to remove the sensory input from the real world and use the auditory and visual signals to allow the virtual world to take over and become the temporary environment. more than 70 years ago, we saw the development of the first simulation device, the first form of interactive multimedia theater, and the first head mounted display (HMD) and the use of virtual reality in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). This was first invented back in the late 60s by Ivan Sutherland where he made a HMD system that linked with a projector that was suspended from a ceiling where the user was able to see simple wireframe computer generated graphics.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is similar to Virtual reality, however, the main difference is the sensory input and how the brain processes both types of information, augmented reality, is only an enhanced image that is produced by a computer generated device placed over the environment, thus enhancing the surroundings. notwithstanding, this doesn’t completely cut the user away from their sensory inputs from their environment whereby virtual reality does. Augmented reality was first founded by Tom Caudell in the early 90s, Augmented reality was further implemented by the military for soldiers in the airforce as AR fixtures and then later, Julie Martin – for entertainment purposes used AR technology in a theater production naming the play “Dancing in Cyberspace”. In the late

In the late 90s, we then see Military and special forces using AR technology such as the NASA Engineers/pilots with the X-38 airships. In the 2000s A group of German researchers provided AR technology to cell phones such as Google Maps also in the late 2000s ARtoolkit brings AR to WebBrowsers. In 2013 we see car manufacturers such as Audi, Toshiba, and Volkswagen implementing AR for the car technicians, medical environments and car consumers. Volkswagen’s MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) which replaces the car consumers user paper user’s service manual which efficiently provides detailed information for technicians. Audi car manufacturers also then provided an Iphone AR application which allowed the user to use the cell phone’s camera to display their car’s features. Which is also another efficient way of displaying information to the car consumer without using paper.

Toshiba also delivered a 3-Dimensional Augmented reality hybrid theater in which medical procedures are now able to be planned before executing the procedure. In 2014 we see the augmented reality Google Eyeglass, an optical head-mounted (OHM) display.  Google Glass displayed information in a smartphone which advertised a hands-free construction. Wearers had the ability to utilise the Internet, check emails, record video and pictures, check the date and time similar to smartphones via natural language voice commands. In 2016 We’ve seen the latest installment of AR technology such as the free-to-play, smartphone location-based, augmented reality game, Pokemon GO. In the video game, players use a mobile device’s GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon, appearing on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player.

Benefits of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and Augmented reality can be seen as considerably greater than reality. Most commonly used in Video games since the most popular releases such as the Xbox Kinect in 2010 and 2016 Playstation VR. The PlayStation VR technology can produce sensations that are not of reality but virtual reality, translating vibrations,  7.1 surround sound audio paired with advanced state of the art graphics, creates this out the world experience, amplifying the gaming experience for the user. Although AR doesn’t have all these features, AR still upholds its wow factor whereby the user still can feel reality but at the same time is paired with the virtual reality, almost like a cyborg feature.

VR and AR technology can be used in more than video games such as the architecture, to view the final construction, medical field to aid in surgery, educational systems to help tutor students and the military have implemented the technology into their vehicles.

Disabled people can really benefit of, of VR and AR technology, not only does the user have tremendous experiences feeling all the sensations and virtual settings but if disabled the user can undergo, experiences that they have never encountered before such as walking climbing. We can even go as far as proposing that the Akouphone or Hearing aid invented in 1898 by Miller Reese Hutchison, was a form of augmented reality as the microphone that was transmitting audio into the hearing impaired user was able to create a sensation that was impossible to be achieved by the ear alone – sound and thus allowing the user to experience reality aided by a technology. This can also be said about voice aids and possibly even glasses.

Communication is greatly enhanced with VR and AR technology as it gives the user to have the ability to communicate with people either unknown or known in their real life. far or close without actually being with them in reality, we see examples such as Skype, Video game consoles and even cell phones.

Inconsistency In Virtual and Augmented Reality

Since VR and AR technology is very advanced in its technological input, it is very expensive Sony PlayStation VR system is around $500 which is a high price for the average consumer whereby it costs more than the actual $249 PlayStation system.

Also another massive problem with VR and AR technology is that if not properly used it can not only allow the user to become addicted to the virtual reality; which is possibly a health issue due to prolonged exposure which may induce chemical imbalances and RSI to the neck and hands due to the users drive to continue experiencing the enhanced stunning visuals, crisp sounds and in some cases exaggerated sensations, but it can also draw the user out of reality and away from traditional communication which is only normal for a human. This leads onto my next point that the user then feels worthless once the technology is inactive because the virtual reality doesn’t match up to their normal reality.

Another negative with VR or AR technology is that if a student has been trained using the technology they may find that reality is different than the virtual reality and thus have different results during reality when practiced.

Augmented Reality Timeline



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