Virtual reality means near-reality, it is close to real human experience, just felt differently, it can also be called reality emulation. We know and were taught that we have 5 senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. These senses relate to specific organs for example touch with skin, taste with tongue, but really there are many more, like the sense of balance. There are more, for example, sensory input, they require processing of sensory information by our brain that ensures that we have a lot of information flowing in from our surroundings to our minds.
How VR is achieved?
Virtual reality is implemented using computer technology. There are a lot of accessories that are needed to experience VR such as headsets, treadmills, gloves, etc. These various types of systems are used to stimulate our senses while creating an illusion of reality. It is actually harder than it sounds, because our brains are much more evolved than you can possibly imagine. If something is slightly off, our senses will give us a warning sign, it is an instinct to stay alive like separating dreams from reality. You can use the term “immersive” for good quality virtual reality because developers are trying to create unforgettable experiences that not even our brains could differ between what is real and what is not. They still have not achieved this kind of level because of human physiology. We are not seeing the world like a video frame, we have 180-degree field of vision, and usually we are not aware of it because of our vestibular apparatus. When ears and eyes are in conflict internally, motion sickness occurs and the body tries to defend itself from feeling uncomfortable. That’s what really happens for people on boats when they experience sea sickness, or in cars.
Virtual reality is a combination of software and hardware, plus sensory synchronicity at just the right level, to be able to achieve a sense of presence. That means projecting images and spaces like they are a person’s real environment.
Why VR is important?
It might look like, it is just a lot of effort for computer games, but it’s not. What makes VR special is not the entertainment factor, even though it is a multibillion-dollar industry, but novelty. It is used in such fields like medicine, sport, arts and architecture. This kind of technology is leading the world to a better future.
When something needs to be done or attempted, but it’s too expensive, or too dangerous, or maybe impractical at first in real life, it can be achieved and simulated in VR. Army fighter pilots train in virtual reality, trainee surgeons perform complicated surgeries; in other words, it’s like taking a risk without risking someone else’s life or your own. Virtual reality helps people with phobias, or those who have PTSD, and are too afraid to go outside, they, at first can experience those kinds of environments with just a headset. There are organizations that help older people who cannot move or are disabled or experience severe pain to see pleasant views which trigger the right parts of the brain and help fight the pain. In a way, it can be called humanizing technology.
With years going by and further development of this kind of technology, it is becoming cheaper and more accessible to more fields and people. We can expect to encounter virtual reality pretty soon.