Virtual reality technology is the system that enables a single or multiple users to react and move in a computer controlled environment. It is composed of various devices allowing the users to detect and manipulate imaginary objects in a similar way as if it were in a real world. The virtual reality enables the users to feel immersed in the virtual world. The environment in which the users are immersed is created through computer programs and audio-visual backup. The virtual reality technology makes the boundaries between real and imaginary words blurred. This paper presents the origin and the applications of the virtual reality technology.
The virtual reality technology can be traced back to the 1950s when a cinematographer, Morton Heilig made a first attempt at stimulating different senses. Primarily, the virtual reality technology became popular in the 1990s (Jerald, 2016). Morton worked on the idea of the virtual reality technology and invented the use of the machine sensorama that included mobile chairs and odor meters that provided the audience with a visual treat. However, many people tend to think that the concept of the virtual reality technology is a relatively new trend in the electronic word, actually it began as early as the 1950s with the Morton Heiligs invention..
Furthermore, Philco Corporation improved the technology considerably with the introduction of head sight (Jerald, 2016). The Philco Corporations head sight provided visual stimulation and the tracking stick. Similarly, the virtual reality technology has been used in the military sector, for instance, the pilots are trained under the head light to stimulate flying experience in total darkness.
The concept of virtual reality was further improved in 1965 by Ivan Sutherland. Ivan Sutherland invented the ultimate display with the aid of stimuli (Sosnoski, 2006). Sutherlands focus was on the 3D objects that provided the stimulation similar to the original objects.
The applications of the virtual reality technology have increased because of the public exposure to the technology. The virtual reality has been applied in video games where the user can control the virtual players with the aid of the keyboard. The virtual reality technology has been applied by the architects in the buildings to provide virtual models of the buildings. This allowed clients to access the exterior and the interior parts of the building through the virtual models. The use of this technology helps the architects to improve the imperfections of the structure and meet clients needs.
In the car industry, this technology is used to construct virtual prototypes before the real cars are built. The technology helps the designers of the cars to perfect the virtual model to the desired design (Sosnoski, 2006). The process of perfection with the aid of the virtual reality technology saves time and cuts the expenses in the car manufacturing companies.
Also, advantages of the virtual reality technology have been applied in medical field and the military space programs. In the medical sector, the professionals have used the virtual reality technology to educate and train students (Sosnoski, 2006). Through the technology, the students are trained on the surgical processes to attend the patients. The military has entailed the technology in the training that has proved to be less cheap and accurate over the long run.
To sum up, the advancement in technology has resulted in invention of virtual reality technology. The technology has proved to be of immense use and many professional in various fields have already appreciated its effectiveness. As the technological advancement keeps developing, so does the VR technology. Many scientist have already predicted a breakthrough in this field in the near future.
Jerald, J. (2016). The VR book: Human-centered design for virtual reality
Sosnoski, J. J. (2006). Configuring history: Teaching the Harlem renaissance through virtual reality cityscapes. New York: Lang.
Sherman, W., & Craig, A. (1998). Working with virtual reality. Morgan Kuafmann.
Schroeder, R. (1996). Possible worlds: The social dynamic of virtual reality technology. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press.
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