By Adaeze Theresa Ogeah
October 28, 2020
Are you someone with questions about reality? An inquisitive mind, searching for the basic stuff on which reality is based? I welcome you to yet another mind-blowing improvement, Virtual Reality (VR), also known as Synthetic environment, Cyberspace, and Simulator Technology. With all these names attributed to a function, it’s no surprise, the length technology can and will go to provide a worthwhile experience for us.
A few years back, a computer-generated experience was a dream. Today , this vivid innovation is significantly entering into our lives. So, what then is VR?
Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial environment using special electronic devices. In his Virtual Reality Laboratories article published 2009 in the Journal of Science Engineering and Technology, Onyesolu M.O. says, virtual reality is a highly interactive computer-based multimedia environment in which the user becomes the participant in a computer-generated world. That is to say, VR places the client in the experience, rather than them just watching on a screen. It creates a being there experience, whereas, you’re actually not there. Quite puzzling? Being there and not being there simultaneously? This simply means that virtual reality gives you the feeling of being right inside the action going on in an electronic or virtual world, whereas, you’re not there in an actual sense. In other words, there is the absence of concrete reality, but a near reality experience is what you get.
With VR, there’s some sort of experience, but no physical contact. However, the experience is exciting and revolutionary and utilizes various gadgets like goggles, headset / VR box, gloves, body Suit, among others.
It will interest you to know that the VR experience is a carefully arranged and executed innovation which flourishes based on human psychology, to give the user an extraordinary encounter. A quick pause; let’s think — “have you ever come across any video on social media, having people wearing headgear’s (VR boxes) and acting all funny, expressing all forms of emotions with bodily movements such as screaming, jumping around and even begging for mercy, and you just stop, stare and begin to wonder, what’s wrong? What’s going on here?” I’ll tell you. They are participating in their new reality, otherwise known as Virtual Reality. Their senses are being stimulated by a device, and as a result, they react, and that’s the VR experience.
HOW IT WORKS
The working of this experience is remarkable. Naturally, our body responds to signals sent to the cerebrum, and VR follows up on this by creating illusions which send the same signals, and thus, get a real response in return. This might seem somewhat simple, but I tell you, it’s technical, since our cerebrum is developed to furnish us with finely synchronized and contemplated understanding. Therefore, in executing a wonderful VR experience, all these ought to be contemplated. That is, there should be a method of engaging the senses by utilizing technology. Anyway, no worries if you seem not to catch the gist anymore, just pay attention to the following simplified example, and it’s as simple as that.
Example: When in a computer environment, say a video game scenario, we have a camera view of the screen, whereas, within the VR experience, the perspective of the user is placed inside the virtual environment, making them feel as though they are actually taking part in the action going on inside the screen. Yes, that’s the VR experience. The user becomes one with his or her environment and sees three-dimensional (3D) pictures which appear as life-sized images to the user, and in the event that the user’s head turns, the illustrations (graphics) which are meant to be a replica of concrete reality respond in like manner, relating with the adjustment in their field of vision. Hence, it is safe to say that ultimately, VR aims at creating a credible, authentic and interactive world.
In embracing the VR innovation, we have to consider the good, as well as the bad. Unarguably, areas where VR has added tremendous value, include, but are not limited to:
- the entertainment industry — creating short videos with realistic experience;
- medicine: aids in teaching and practising in an area of Intern Surgery;
- sports: creating simulations that give a realistic sports experience;
- architecture: creating modern architectural designs with user interaction
- military combat: creating simulations that help in combat training and skill upgrade
- aviation: helps in aircraft simulation training and other VR practices.
In a fascinating fashion, the movie, Star Trek: The Next Generation, despite being created in the 1990’s by Gene Roddenberry, grabbed the essence of VR through its fictional device known as a Holodeck, which was basically a VR framework that allowed the user reproduce and experience anything they desired, and that actually helps to appreciate VR.
Indeed, even with the above areas of merits, there are yet certain worries. A typical example is the 2009 movie, Avatar, directed by James Camron. I bet you saw that movie. Oh! you didn’t? No worries, just make sure you do. However, upon reflecting over this interesting movie after I saw it, I captured the essence of VR through the director’s creativity and presentation. It tells the story of a man, Jake Sully, an incapacitated former marine who gets mobile in a virtual world. He obtains entrance into this world when he goes into a cylinder, and in the virtual world, he becomes an Avatar, where he is unified with his new reality, and can play out specific capacities which were unthinkable in his concrete and real world. Now, the underlying issue is that gradually, there will be a migration into the virtual space to achieve euphoria, leaving behind what is real and concrete, inevitably influencing social connections, economy, society’s perspectives, and relational correspondence among individuals, as was the case with Jake.
Aside the aforementioned, a major worry is, for standard devices of VR, for example, goggles and VR boxes, long haul utilization may impact the eyes and cause some sort of damage, dizziness, and headache. Furthermore, the consistent use of VR makes a significant level of addiction, hence, VR requires a significant level of programming and design mastery, which consequently, makes it expensive to some extent.
Numerous forms of interest have been expressed in utilizing VR technology, as VR is cutting across several walks of life, and proving that it has the capacity to impact lives positively. Personally, I believe that with time, there will be lot more instances of VR utilization, particularly in business.
It will intrigue you to know that in my study, I came across a winery that utilizes VR to give clients the delight of wine sampling in another country. Hmm! Interesting, right? Imagine being in Nigeria, and tasting wine that is made in Italy, right in the middle of the vineyard where it is being produced. How cool.
As an entrepreneur, do you see yourself employing VR to make sales? As an instructor or a teacher, do you see yourself utilizing VR to impact knowledge? Now that VR is breaking new grounds and gaining recognition, suffice it to say that VIRTUAL REALITY IS OUR NEW REALITY?
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