We can define virtual reality from both Virtual as well as Reality. Virtual means near and Reality is the things that we are experiencing as humans and from this, we can say that virtual reality means near reality. Of course, this can have different meaning but still, it will refer to a specific kind of reality emulation.
We are well aware of the world around us through our perception systems and senses. Back in school, we learnt that the sense of touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste are the 5 senses we have. These on the other hand are the most obvious sense organs we know. In reality, humans got different senses like for example, the sense of balance. These other sensory inputs together with other special processing of sensory information by our brain ensures that we are having rich flow of info from the surroundings to our minds.
Everything we know in our reality comes by means of our senses or in other words, our whole experience of reality is a combination of sensory information and our brain’s sense making mechanism for that info.
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But you might be wondering on how we are able to achieve virtual reality? Even though we’ve tackled a short info about VR, still virtual reality of today is implemented often by using computer technology. There are wide range of systems that are being used to achieve this purpose like omni directional treadmills, special gloves and headsets. These are all used to be able to stimulate our senses in an effort to create an illusion of our reality.
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The truth is, this is way harder than what it sounds as our brains and senses evolved to provide us with a fine mediated and synchronized experience. In case that something is a little bit off, we can almost immediately tell and this is where you are going to hear terms like realism and asimmersiveness. These said issues are dividing enjoyable or convincing virtual reality experience from unpleasant or jarring ones are partly conceptual and partly technical.
The technology that are used for VRs are taking our physiology in mind. As a quick example of this, human fields are nothing like video frames due to the fact that we more or less 180 degrees of vision and even if you are not thoroughly aware of your peripheral vision, you will surely notice if it were gone. On the same note, when our eyes as well as vestibular system in your ears say that you are in conflict, it is going to cause motion sickness that is often the case to those who are reading while in a car or riding on boats.