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What is virtual reality?
What comes to mind when you hear the word virtual reality? Can you imagine someone wearing a helmet connected to a computer with a cable? Do rudimentary dinosaur images follow you?? Can you imagine Morpheus and Neo inside the Matrix? Or do you just avoid the word virtual reality?
If you are one of the latter, you are probably an engineer or computer scientist. Many of them now avoid the current term, even when working with technologies that most of us associate with virtual reality. Today, there are more options to hear the term Virtual environment (VH from English) to refer to what people know as virtual reality. We will use the two terms interchangeably in this article..
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Leaving aside the different ways of calling it, the idea remains the same: Use information technology to create a three-dimensional imaginary world simulated with which a user interacts while he feels he participates in that virtual world. Technicians and engineers have developed countless virtual reality devices and applications. Opinions differ on what exactly constitutes a true virtual reality experience.
In general it should include:
- Life-size 3D images for the user's perspective
- The ability to capture the user's movements, especially head and eye movements, body and limbs. What's more, The images displayed should reflect the movement of the user with the change of perspective
Take a look at the following video which summarizes a good explanation of virtual reality.
What is immersion in virtual reality
In a virtual reality environment a user experiences the immersion or what we call the feeling of being inside and being part of that virtual world.
In addition, they must be able to interact with their environment in a clear way.. The combination of this interactivity and user investment is called telepresence. Some scientists have defined it as "The extent to which one feels present in the environment they provide us, do it in the real physical environment ". In other words, a real virtual reality experience should disconnect you from your real environment and make the user focus on their experience within the virtual environment.
There are two main components of immersion, breadth and depth of information.
The depth of information refers to the quantity and quality of the data in the signals that a user receives when he is within the virtual environment interacting with said environment. This could mean the resolution of a screen, audio system complexity, the quality of the graphics, etc., etc.
The amplitude of information is defined as the "Number of sensory dimensions presented simultaneously". A virtual environment experience must have a great breadth of information that stimulates all the user's senses.
Most virtualized environments prioritize audio and image components over other sensory factors. Today there are many technicians and scientists who are trying to incorporate the sense of touch into virtual reality. What these systems provide to the user force feedback and tactile sensation, they are called haptic systems.
For the virtual experience to be satisfactory, the user must feel a virtual environment natural size and change your perspective without any problem. If virtual reality consists of a single pedestal in a room, the user should be able to see that pedestal from any angle and the viewpoint must adapt and change with the user's location.
It has been analyzed that it is necessary on the screens a frame update rate of 20 to 30 frames per second to create a compelling virtual reality experience