Thu, 20 Feb, 2020

Virtual Reality : A World Apart

By Kundan Shumsher Rana

Photo Courtesy: http://www.extremetech.com/ Imagine that you are running through a field. You can see the beautiful scenario in front of you. You see the sky above you, the trees in front of you, the rivers, the beautiful flowers beside your leg. You are submerged in another world. This is what you call virtual reality. A computer simulated 3D environment that can stimulate physical presence in the real world or imagined world.  Virtual reality can recreate sensory experiences, which include virtual, taste, sight, smell, sound, and touch. Virtual reality can also be called immersible multimedia since you feel like you have just immersed yourself into a realm beyond your own. In some cases, virtual reality is also refereed to as Augmented Reality but they are slightly different. Virtual reality enables a person to explore and interact within a three dimensional environment, whereas augmented reality blurs the boundary between real and virtual worlds but always with the aim of enhancing reality. Virtual reality has already made its way into sectors like education , gaming, sports, health care, military and many more. One of the most famous virtual reality games currently is Second Life. This game lets you create an avatar and life a “second life” inside the game. There are many more games that use virtual reality to its advantage. Games like DOTA, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Grand Theft Auto and other similar games used 3D to make it seem that you are in a virtual reality. Another well known gaming gear that used virtual reality is the Kinect. It is a line of motion sensing input devices by Microsoft for Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles. In case of education, astronomy students can learn about the solar system and how it works by physical engagement with the objects within. They can move planets, see around stars and track the progress of a comet. This also enables them to see how abstract concepts work in a three dimensional environment which makes them easier to understand and retain. This is useful for students who have a particular learning style, e.g. creative or those who find it easier to learn using symbols, colors and textures. One ideal learning scenario is medicine: virtual reality can be used to develop surgery simulations or three dimensional images of the human body which the students can explore. This has been used in medical schools in UK and many other countries. HumanSim system which enables doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to interact with others in an interactive environment. They engage in training scenarios in which they have to interact with a patient but within a 3D environment only. This is an immersive experience which measures the participant’s emotions via a series of sensors. Virtual Reality is the way of the future. There are many devices out there that used virtual reality to its full advantage. Devices like the Oculus Rift, Holo Lens, Microsoft Surface and many more devices that are sure to make a person feel like that have entered into another world. Virtual reality is the way of the future and I can hardly wait to try it.