Virtual reality Definition,importance and much more
What would happen if I told you that you can change the reality you live in and replace it with any other reality you want? This is exactly what virtual reality technology means, which is to replace the environment around you with any other environment that you wish and need, and escape from your reality with all the meaning of the word.
In the middle of the harsh January winter, you can go to a beach in the Maldives in late June, and see the clear sky, sea waves and golden sand.
Immersion Techniques: Virtual Reality as a Start
What we are talking about here is immersion techniques or Immersive technology, which works to immerse the user’s senses in another environment different from the reality in which he lives, by affecting what he sees, smells, hears and senses, thus losing contact with his original reality and completely immersed in reality default it wants.
Of course, these technologies are still emerging, and they have achieved great success only in the areas of affecting vision and hearing in a way. This emerging technology has expanded a lot, and has witnessed tremendous growth in the past years until it has many types, such as: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Reality, Mixed Reality, and Extended Reality.
Here is an explanation of each of these types:
The simplest version or the initial form of immersion techniques was virtual reality technology that can transfer you from your personal reality to another, through which you can break into your electronic game, watch the final in the stadium from your home, or even perform surgery on a patient who has never been While you are lying on your comfortable sofa, I will not dwell any longer because our article will focus on virtual reality.
Augmented reality has witnessed a real boom during the past few years until it reached the height of its success with the famous game Pokemon Go that swept the world in the year 2016, which motivated major companies, such as: Google, Facebook and Microsoft to enter this market, and build and develop many applications and tools to suit With him, such as: Facebook Wristband and Microsoft HoloLens.
Using augmented reality technology, you can integrate some features with the reality you live in, such as shopping using augmented reality glasses that show you the prices of products and their information, or driving using glasses connected to the Google Maps application and showing you the map and directions directly through the glasses, or even playing a game Embedded in reality like what happened in Pokemon Go.
Mixed reality is the most amazing technology of all of them, as it can combine real and virtual reality, like what we see in science fiction films, and enables you to be somewhere else in the form of a hologram and create your own reality, and impose it on the real reality in which you live, and this is in contrast to the augmented reality that In which the real world is the basis on which a digital presence is reinforced or reinforced.
The world’s leading company in this field is Microsoft, which is trying to dominate this field because it will constitute a major shift in the fields of work, design and entertainment, and you can see the extent of the development of this technology through a video published by Microsoft for its famous HoloLens product:
Extended reality is not a technology in itself. Rather, it is a term that appeared in the last few years, to include under it the three immersion techniques as a result of the tremendous development that these areas witnessed in a few years and the lack of a distinct umbrella for them. Extended reality means the extension of virtual or digital reality to real reality.
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality is a technology that allows its user to simulate a reality other than the one he lives in, where he becomes able to interact with, influence and be affected by it through advanced devices that allow him to immerse himself in this audio-visual experience, the most famous of which is the HDM device or the head-mounted display.
The most famous form of this technology is 3D materials, where through certain glasses and devices you can see a movie or video clip as if you were watching it in front of your eyes, and you see all its dimensions, which gives realism and authenticity to what you are watching and provides more fun, but this is just a simplification of virtual reality , it is a much more complex term, and serves to transport you to a completely different reality than the one you live in.
It will not stop there, the goal is to give you the full experience, which will only happen by affecting all the senses, and to be able to smell the smells of this new reality, and feel the texture of the things you touch in this virtual reality, but that will require us after Time and research to find it.
The history of virtual reality
Virtual reality is not a modern idea as you think, but its history dates back to the thirties of the nineteenth century, when the scientist and physicist Charles Wheatstone discovered the phenomenon of stereography, which was the basis for the stereoscopic device or stereoscope on which virtual reality technology depends, through which the two-dimensional vision occurs in three dimensions. That gives images depth and immersion to make them three-dimensional.
The matter did not stop at this, but virtual reality had a presence in science fiction literature. Insight into virtual reality was mentioned in a short story by the writer Stanley Grumman Weinbaum dating back to 1935: “The film that gives one hearing and sight, imagine if you add taste, smell and even touch to it, if The story took all of your focus.
Suppose I made it so that you are in the story, talking to the shadows and they respond to you, and instead of the story being on the screen away from you, the whole story being about you, does that make the dream a reality.”
The year 1956 was a remarkable year in the history of immersion techniques, as the famous filmmaker Morton Heilig developed the Sensorama device, through which he was able to immerse all the viewer’s senses with the clips he presented, and even immerse him in atmospheric effects such as wind and rain, and Heilig continued his research until he made in The 1960s also featured the Telesphere Mask, which provided a 360-degree view.
After these discoveries and from 1965, the omens of virtual reality technology as we know it today began to appear, until in 2007 Google began transferring immersion techniques until the Oculus Rift appeared in 2012 and the game Pokemon Go in the year 2016… Then all the major companies began to pay attention to it And the rush to invest in it as a technology of the future.
Virtual reality uses
One can almost say that there is nothing that cannot be done through immersion techniques, especially virtual reality, given the interest and demand for it from all fields and industries, which has contributed to increasing the number of its uses significantly because it provides a real experience from a distance.
Here is a list of the most important and most famous uses of virtual reality in practical life:
1. Military training
Many armies around the world today use immersion techniques in order to train their soldiers in difficult and dangerous operations by creating a realistic experience of these conditions and observing the soldiers’ reactions and response to them, and this will contribute to increasing the professionalism of the soldiers at the same time it will preserve their lives.
The air force now depends on it in many countries and armies around the world. This is because it’s easier to practice fighting, launching bombs, missiles, and maneuvers using virtual reality models that happen in battle, rather than trying them out using multimillion-dollar planes in life-saving experiences.
2. Medical education
Medical education is using virtual reality models in many developed countries to study human anatomy and veterinary anatomy, and this is because the virtual reality experience is a great plus that allows students to imagine things in greater quality while avoiding wasting lives or using corpses in study.
Virtual reality technology may also contribute in the future to preserving millions of innocent animals such as frogs, mice and rabbits, by making simulations of their anatomy instead of killing thousands of these creatures unnecessarily in order to train to see their structure and organs only.
3. Design and technical fields
In the previous special announcement that we presented at the beginning of the article; Microsoft focused on promoting HoloLens that they could be a great addition to designers and artists around the world, and to some extent this is true, because today there are many platforms and applications that use virtual reality technology for precisely this purpose.
4. Sports fields
Many sports fans would like to attend matches and events live in the stadium and see their favorite players win, but this is a bit difficult due to the limited number of seats in the stadium.
But virtual reality technology had another opinion! Using it, it is possible for you to be in the stadium and watch the match from many angles through wonderful virtual reality technologies.
Indeed, the Champions League final was broadcast via virtual reality technology and 360 degrees through specialized platforms, and it was then possible to watch the match from several angles.
Immersion techniques including virtual reality technology take education to a completely different level. Today there are platforms such as; Unimersiv that allows you to explore Rome, the human mind, and many other great things.
It helps a lot to make the learning process different, more realistic and touches the mind of the learner, and thus helps to improve the educational process as a whole.
Some fields, as mentioned, use these technologies extensively, especially medical and surgical education and flight training.
Entertainment is one of the areas that uses immersion and virtual reality techniques, and in fact it was the only application of it for many years. Many video games, for example, have a version of virtual reality that allows you to immerse yourself in a parallel world to the game and experience it in a very realistic way, which improves the fun Play.
Movies as well, and visual content in general, is witnessing a remarkable development in this regard, as it makes the entertainment visual content very realistic, and increases the viewer’s pleasure in watching and listening to it.
In 2017, Lloyd’s Bank of Britain evaluated graduates through virtual reality technology, and this is for this year’s appointments, and although this is still an initial step in the transition from the stage of recruitment and real-time interviews to virtual interviews, it seems auspicious of the beginning of a new era of Evaluation and employment through modern technologies.
Now you can play poker from your home with many people around the world in a real casino-like environment, and all this through your own virtual reality platform, you can also talk to them, read their body language, and many other cool things that make the game so realistic And real.
Architects today can use 3D virtual reality technologies to improve the process of designing homes, and practically how the homes they design will look like before they are implemented.
This technique goes beyond the design stage and reaches the stage of feeling, where the architect can feel the feelings that the design emits in the same inhabitant.
The owner of the house can also try to design his house before building it, and feel the spaces of his house and make his comments and desires on the design, which saves a lot of time and effort for both the architect and the owner of the house.
10. Automotive industries
Many large car companies such as BMW and Jaguar are using virtual reality technology to allow engineers to develop their work using a more realistic and professional imagination, especially in the design and engineering review stages, which usually contain very great difficulty and importance, which ultimately contributes to saving millions of dollars on Prototypes before they are built.
11. Real Estate
Imagine that you are looking for a property to buy, and instead of visiting many homes, you browse, try and live in them at any time and from anywhere.
Well that’s what major real estate companies are trying to do now, by integrating virtual reality technology into their business, through specialized platforms thousands of homes have been made available for buyers to test out using virtual reality devices.
Tourism is also one of the areas that has exploited this technology extensively. Now you can visit many museums and countries while you are on your couch, and move from Rome to Paris in a jiffy, and then when you get bored you move to Argentina or Japan.
Many tourism companies and technology companies such as Google Maps are doing this now, as it provides you with the experience and vision of the place before you spend your money on traveling to it, which makes companies have great credibility with their customers and contributes to increasing their profits.
Many people face the problem of how to buy online , as most of the time you can’t see the products before you buy them, and this is what some companies noticed, so they provided a virtual store using virtual reality technology to be able to identify and see your purchases before you spend on them your money.
It is much more than this, where you can try on the clothes that you will buy, and see how it looks on you or if you want to buy furniture for your home, you can, through the IKEA application of augmented reality, try on the piece of furniture and see how it will look in your home.
14. The fields of health and psychological treatment
Believe it or not, this technique is used in treatment, as it is now known that it can relieve pain for burns, and people with phobias can improve their condition when they face their fears using virtual reality, and this improvement is reflected in their real reality.
15. Meditation and yoga
The interest in meditation and yoga has increased in recent times, which has contributed to the growth of its market and the market for its products, which is also reflected in the presence of applications for meditation and yoga through artificial intelligence as these applications provide you with a 360-degree view of a beautiful, calm view, in addition to relaxing music And a guide or help on how to do meditation and yoga the right way.
Modern marketing is based on value, feeling and need much more than the product, and that is what makes virtual reality technology a treasure for marketers, because it will make consumers feel and relate to the brand of their company, and there are many companies that have done this, especially Coca-Cola.
You may be surprised by this, but virtual reality technology has been used in charitable works and to draw the attention of nations and peoples to some problems and issues. In the year 2015, UNICEF used this technology to double the donations that come to it to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis, by displaying what they are exposed to He has problems and needs.
18. News and Press
The goal of news and journalism is to make you aware of what is going on around you, and to become aware and understanding of current events, and this is precisely what virtual reality technologies will strengthen by making this news more realistic, and many news and press organizations have done this, most notably the famous New York Times.
19. Flight Drills
Flying is one of the difficult tasks that require hard training, and it takes months and years to master and error in it either results in the loss of lives or millions of dollars in aircraft damage.
Therefore, pilots must be highly qualified and professionally trained, and this is precisely what virtual reality flight simulation applications provide them with.
Virtual Reality Dangers
Certainly there are many risks related to virtual reality technology and immersion techniques in general, and these dangers, although somewhat minor, become very dangerous both physically and psychologically if we consider the idea that there are many young children who use them.
These risks are:
1. Anxiety and stress
Virtual reality technologies cause some anxiety and tension as a result of the experience they provide to their user, and the incidence of this display increases if the content includes scenes of violence, vandalism or bloody actions.
For example, the virtual reality scenes of what happened in Syria cause anxiety and tension for those who watch them, and this is because they appear very realistic, and make the viewer live these conditions as if they are really living them.
Many users of immersion techniques, especially virtual reality, complain that they suffer from dizziness and nausea, and some researchers comment on this; It is due to the distortion of virtual reality technology to the concepts of time and space of the human being through the realistic or semi-real experience that it provides to users.
3. Eye strain
This is the most common danger or side effect for users of virtual reality technologies, immersion techniques, and screens in general, as the eyes tire from prolonged use, and the rates of this increase with virtual reality technology that works by displaying images or clips of the eyes to give them an immersive 3D visualization.
4. Hearing damage
Hearing damage may be a general presentation of video games, whether through regular screens or virtual reality devices, and this is because raising the volume for long periods may contribute to the ear getting used to this volume of sound instead of the usual volume of sound, which weakens the players’ hearing.
Therefore, Oculus Rift advises players to set the volume at a level where they can hear the conversations around them.
5. Radiation exposure
Screens and devices based on vision emit a lot of radiation to the eye, especially if they are based on technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and this may cause some risks to their users.
6. Make pre-existing conditions worse
Companies such as Sony and Oculus Rift advise some people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women, or heart patients to beware of this technology or its prolonged use, as it can harm them by making their conditions and diseases worse.
7. Impact on reality
Techniques such as those that tamper with the reality we live in make the brain confused about the reality of the experience, especially if it is strange, bloody or violent, which may negatively affect it and the psychological state of its user.
The future of virtual reality
Virtual reality is a very promising technology, and this is evident from the huge successes it achieved both in 2012 with the Oculus Rift, and in 2016 with the launch of Pokemon Go.
Of course, its importance has increased dramatically after almost all the major companies have invested billions of dollars in order to be the pioneers in this field, which researchers believe will be the technology of the next decade, which will be similar in impact to the Internet in the nineties, and social media in the first decade of the 2000s. .
The computers that we know as they are today will move to virtual reality, where we will be able to perform various tasks on our own reality.
This is what Microsoft has been trying to do since 2016 through HoloLens, and virtual reality will also have a big role in advertising and marketing. People spending a long time in this reality will motivate companies to advertise their products and services on this reality, or even to work with these technologies. Virtual reality in streets and squares.
The bottom line is that perhaps in a decade or less we will find that a large part of our lives are spent on various multi-use virtual reality platforms
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