Virtual reality (VR) is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate places in the real world

, as well as in imaginary worlds. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. Some advanced, haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback, in medical and gaming applications. Users can interact with a virtual environment or a virtual artifact (VA) either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove, the Polhemus, and unidirectional treadmills. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world²for example, in simulations for pilot or combat training²or it can differ significantly from reality, such as in VR games. In practice, it is currently very difficult to create a high-fidelity virtual reality experience, due largely to technical limitations on processing power, image resolution, and communication bandwidth; however, the technology's proponents hope that such limitations will be overcome as processor, imaging, and data communication technologies become more powerful and cost-effective over time. Virtual reality is often used to describe a wide variety of applications commonly associated with immersive, highly visual, 3D environments. The development of CAD software, graphics hardware acceleration, head mounted displays, database gloves, and miniaturization have helped popularize the notion. In the book The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by Michael R. Heim, seven different concepts of virtual reality are
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identified: simulation, interaction, artificiality, immersion, telepresence, fullbody immersion, and network communication. The definition still has a certain futuristic romanticism attached[clarification needed]. People often identify VR with head mounted displays and data suits.[citation needed]
INTRODUCTION

The term 'Virtual Reality' (VR) was initially coined by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research (1989). Other related terms include 'Artificial Reality' (Myron Krueger, 1970s), 'Cyberspace' (William Gibson, 1984), and, more recently, 'Virtual Worlds' and 'Virtual Environments' (1990s). Today, 'Virtual Reality' is used in a variety of ways and often in a confusing and misleading manner. Originally, the term referred to 'Immersive Virtual Reality.' In immersive VR, the user becomes fully immersed in an artificial, three-dimensional world that is completely generated by a computer.
"Virtual Reality: A computer system used to create an artificial world in which the user has the impression of being in that world and with the ability to navigate through the world and manipulate objects in the world."

A Brief History of Virtual Reality
The creation of virtual reality has been slow going, arduous and, up until the mid-µ90s, largely theoretical in nature. In 1965 Ivan Sutherland, an ARPA scientist, published his grand oeuvre ³The Ultimate Display.´ In his essay Sutherland predicted all sorts of advances in computer technology: computer mice, drag and drop interfaces and voice

but Krueger¶s experiments showed that science was at least trying to move forward with VR. VIDEOPLACE was crude. In 1968 with the help of one of his assistants. Sutherland created one of the first head mounted augmented reality display systems²what would come to be known through movies and TV as a VR helmet² known to some as The Sword of Damocles because it was so big and heavy that it had to be suspended precariously over the user¶s head with a series of cables. But most importantly. but his wild (and shockingly accurate) predictions helped plant the seed of VR in the minds of scientists and non-scientists to follow. This section describes some of the common modes used in VR systems. And while VR charged ahead in the realm of fiction. Mixed Reality 3. he wrote about the ultimate display²³a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter.1. 3. Window on World Systems (WoW) 2 . The movie TRON had people imagining the possibilities of interactive gaming to the Nth degree.5. Using cameras. William Gibson rocked the minds of a generation when he wrote of a cyber-punk society where a brain-computer interface was possible in Neuromancer. VR made its first major strides in fiction. The first major technical leap forward came in the mid-µ70s in the form of Myron Krueger¶s VIDEOPLACE. Despite the technology¶s scientific beginnings.recognition software. 3. however. in the field of science it scrambled to keep up. computers and projectors. people in a VR room were able to see and interact with silhouettes of people in other similar rooms.´ Sutherland¶s essay might have been full of fanciful speculations about the future of digital technology. Ray Bradbury took the concept of a VR room to its most horrific extreme in The Veldt. Compared to the advances that writers and directors of the time were coming up with. The display only showed the users crude outlines of a virtual environment.Types of VR Systems A major distinction of VR systems is the mode with which they interface to the user.

An early implementation was called "The Closet Cathedral" for the ability to create the impression of an immense environment. This concept traces its lineage back through the entire history of computer graphics. The Holodeck used in the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is afar term extrapolation of this technology. 3. or it might be attached to some sort of a boom armature. The helmet may be free ranging. Ivan Sutherland laid out a research program for computer graphics in a paper called "The Ultimate Display" that has driven the field for the past nearly thirty years. A nice variation of the immersive systems use multiple large projection displays to create a 'Cave' or room in which the viewer(s) stand. sound real and the objects act real.Some systems use a conventional computer monitor to display the visual world.2. In 1965. This sometimes called Desktop VR or a Window on a World (WoW). At least one commercial system uses this approach. within a small physical space. "as a window through which one beholds a virtual world. Immersive Systems The ultimate VR systems completely immerse the user's personal viewpoint inside the virtual world." [quoted from Computer Graphics V26#3] 3. The user watches a monitor that shows his body's interaction with the world. Video Mapping A variation of the WoW approach merges a video input of the user's silhouette with a 2D computer graphic. These "immersive" VR systems are often equipped with a Head Mounted Display (HMD). The virtual world is presented in full scale and relates properly to the human size. walk-around.3. "One must look at a display screen. The challenge to computer graphics is to make the picture in the window look real. This system is based on a Commodore Amiga with some added hardware and software. Myron Kruger has been a champion of this form of VR since the late 60's. Stereoscopic viewing enhances the perception of depth and the sense of space. Characteristics of Immersive VR The unique characteristics of immersive virtual reality can be summarized as follows: y y y Head-referenced viewing provides a natural interface for the navigation in three-dimensional space and allows for look-around. 3 . and fly-through capabilities in virtual environments. the Mandala system. tethered. He has published two books on the subject: "Artificial Reality" and "Artificial Reality II". A version of the Mandala is used by the cable TV channel Nickelodeon for a game show (Nick Arcade) to put the contestants into what appears to be a large video game. This is a helmet or a face mask that holds the visual and auditory displays." he said.

Merging the Telepresence and Virtual Reality systems gives the Mixed Reality or Seamless Simulation systems. or they might be on the ends of WALDO like tools. Mixed Reality 4 .y y y Realistic interactions with virtual objects via data glove and similar devices allow for manipulation. The phrase "fish tank virtual reality" was used to describe a Canadian VR system reported in the 1993 InterCHI proceedings. It combines a stereoscopic monitor display using liquid crystal shutter glasses with a mechanical head tracker. Surgeons are using very small instruments on cables to do surgery without cutting a major hole in their patients. A fighter pilot sees computer generated maps and data displays inside his fancy helmet visor or on cockpit displays. Fire fighters use remotely operated vehicles to handle some dangerous conditions. Evans and Sutherland demonstrated a head-mounted stereo display already in 1965. and control of virtual worlds. NASA plans to use telerobotics for space exploration. There is currently a joint US/Russian project researching telepresence for space rover exploration. The remote sensors might be located on a robot. A surgeon's view of a brain surgery is overlaid with images from earlier CAT scans and real-time ultrasound. It took more then 20 years before VPL Research introduced a commercially available HMD. Networked applications allow for shared virtual environments (see below).4. haptic.5. operation. (see INTERCHI '93 Conference Proceedings. and other non-visual technologies. the famous "EyePhone" system (1989). ACM Press/Addison Wesley . Telepresence Telepresence is a variation on visualizing complete computer generated worlds. 3. ISBN 0-20158884-6) Head-Mounted Display (HMD) The head-mounted display (HMD) was the first device providing its wearer with an immersive experience. A head-mounted display (HMD): 3. Here the computer generated inputs are merged with telepresence inputs and/or the users view of the real world. This a technology links remote sensors in the real world with the senses of a human operator. The instruments have a small video camera at the business end. Robots equipped with telepresence systems have already changed the way deep sea and volcanic exploration is done. The convincing illusion of being fully immersed in an artificial world can be enhanced by auditory. The resulting system is superior to simple stereo-WoW systems due to the motion parallax effects introduced by the head tracker.

BOOM and CAVE) for immersive viewing of virtual environments were developed. A head tracking system continuously adjust the stereo projection to the current position of the leading viewer. A motion tracker continuously measures the position and orientation of the user's head and allows the image generating computer to adjust the scene representation to the current view. a head-coupled display device: 5 Update Note: The BOOM device has mostly disappeared from the market. CAVE The CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago and provides the illusion of immersion by projecting stereo images on the walls and floor of a room-sized cube. As a result. Head tracking is accomplished via sensors in the links of the arm that holds the box. BOOM The BOOM (Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor) from Fakespace is a head-coupled stereoscopic display device. alternative concepts (e. presenting a stereo view of a virtual world. To overcome the often uncomfortable intrusiveness of a head-mounted display. significantly improved HMD devices and projection-based systems like the CAVE have taken over.g. sees the virtual world. the viewer can look around and walk through the surrounding virtual environment. and can guide the box to any position within the operational volume of the device. Screens and optical system are housed in a box that is attached to a multi-link arm. CAVE system (schematic principle): Web size (29K) . The user looks into the box through two holes.Max size (100K) A typical HMD houses two miniature display screens and an optical system that channels the images from the screens to the eyes.. Several persons wearing lightweight stereo glasses can enter and walk freely inside the CAVE. The BOOM.Web size (83 K) Screen size (170K) . Better. thereby.

[citation needed] One year later. short lag. the surgical workstation and remote worksite. One of the non-science fiction movies that uses VR as a story driver is 1994's Disclosure. Walter Reed Army Medical Center. and helps architects understand their critical needs in public or personal space. Database visualization creates 3-D images of complex medical data for new perspectives in analysis. reasonably short lag. short lag. complex medical database 6 . Using a helmet mounted display and DataGlove. USA. starring Michael Douglas and based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name. pulsating LEDs monitored by a camera at a fixed position o Fast. the operating room and hospital of the future will be first designed and tested in virtual reality. and rehabilitation. These applications are mediated through the computer interface and as such are the embodiment of VR as an integral part of the paradigm shift in the field of medicine. but often prone to interference caused by ambient lighting conditions o Line of sight problems Acoustic o Use ultrasound waves to measure position and orientation o Slow and often imprecise Medical applications of virtual reality. DC 20307. it would be fully expanded in the Natalie Wood film Brainstorm. bringing together the full power of the digital physician. Satava RM. but often prone to interference o Limited range Optical o Typically. Washington. Motion pictures Steven Lisberger's 1982 movie TRON was the first mainstream Hollywood picture to explore the idea of virtual reality. The Green Telepresence Surgery System consists of two components. Rehabilitation medicine permits impaired individuals to explore worlds not otherwise available to them. And to support these advanced technologies. A VR headset is used as a navigating device Abstract Medical applications for virtual reality (VR) are just beginning to emerge. At the remote site there is a 3-D camera system and responsive manipulators with sensory input. At the workstation there is a 3-D monitor and dexterous handles with force feedback. but restict movement Electromagnetic [ Image ] o Measures strength of magentic fields in coils attached to objects o Fast. visualization. telepresence surgery. The VR surgical simulator is a stylized recreation of the human abdomen with several essential organs. allows accurate assessment and therapy for their disabilities. These include VR surgical simulators.Motion tracking Main types y y y y Mechanical o Usually a mechanical arm attached to the tracked object o Very accurate. or can practice surgical procedures with a scalpel and clamps. a person can learn anatomy from a new perspective by 'flying' inside and around the organs.

uppercuts. the United States military forces have been a driving factor in developing and applying new VR technologies. including a comatose state which some players assume. the . The system featured several VR games including Dactyl Nightmare. 7 . Introduction to How Virtual Reality Military Applications Work From the earliest moments in the history of virtual reality (VR). Along with the entertainment industry. either as a part of the plot (notably Metal Gear Solid 2). Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. explosions. James Cameron's Avatar depicts a time when people's consciousness are virtually transported into biologically grown avatars. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Metal Gear Solid bases heavily on VR usage. the military is responsible for the most dramatic evolutionary leaps in the VR field. Hero.[citation needed] Games This section does not cite any references or sources. and Grid Busters. (July 2010) Find sources: "Virtual reality" ± news · books · scholar · images In the Mage: The Ascension role-playing game. In this article. we'll look at how the military uses virtual reality for most everything -. demonstrating the adverse effects on human health and possible viruses. crashes. kicks.from learning to fly a jet fighter to putting out a fire on board a ship. This shows the potentially dangerous side of virtual reality. the mage tradition of the Virtual Adepts is presented as the creators of VR. Legend Quest. Virtuality (originally W Industries) licensed the Amiga 3000 for use in their VR machines. Also.hack series centers on a virtual reality video game. It works with the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. and bodyblows. slam-dunks. and released a VR gaming system called the 1000CS. The Aura Interactor Virtual Reality Game Wear is a chest and back harness through which the player can feel punches. This was a stand-up immersive HMD platform with a tracked 3D joystick. Virtual Reality Image Gallery Classic Virtual reality HMD with glove In 1991. scrapping their physical bodies in favour of improved virtual ones. The Adepts' ultimate objective is to move into virtual reality. or simply to guide the players through training sessions.for a prototype computer filing system.

Specialized military training can be very expensive. Both the Navy and the 8 . making it safer to land in difficult conditions. See more virtual reality images. Simulators use sophisticated computer models to replicate a vehicle's capabilities and limitations within a stationary -. in the long run it's much more cost effective than putting soldiers into real vehicles or physically simulated situations. Army. A user wearing the HMD could control where the camera pointed by turning his head in different directions. which tours the country as part of the Armed Forces¶ recruiting strategy. particularly for vehicle pilots.Air Force funded some of the earliest work in developing effective HMDs.and safe -. In an early application of this technique.they were linked to a camera. Some training procedures have an element of danger when using real situations. the military took notice. USN displays The Virtual Army Experience (HMD). Army. Flight Simulators Out of all the earliest VR technology applications. That's why when engineers first began to experiment with headPhoto courtesy of the U.S. they provide the user with an accurate simulation of real events in a safe. Hayner Guests try out the Virtual Army Experience. VR technology also has other potential applications that can make military activities safer. but also to analyze military maneuvers and battlefield positions. Today. Engineers mounted a camera to a servocontrolled base (a base platform connected to one or more motors that adjust the position of the base by rotating or tilting the platform). The chopper pilot could get an unprecedented look at the terrain beneath his vehicle when flying at night. In the next section. controlled environment. photo by Hannah M. military vehicle simulations have probably been the most successful.S. While the initial development of VR gear and software is expensive. When well designed. Bell Helicopter Company mounted an infrared camera on the bottom of a helicopter. The first HMDs weren't linked to a virtual environment -. we'll look at the various simulators commonly used in military training. Photo courtesy of the U. the military uses VR techniques not only for training and safety enhancement. photo by mounted Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly Burgess.computer station. Virtual environments work well in military applications.

In simulators they use are different from one other words. VR simulators for ground hydraulic lift system that reacts to user input vehicles are an important part of the and events within the simulation. Army. simulators are a 9 . there's a big push to create better consequently a more effective training method. Possibly the most well-known of all the simulators in the military are the flight simulators.simulated from computer models. he sees the same controls and layout as he would in a real aircraft. giving the user haptic feedback. we'll look at VR simulators for ground vehicles and submarines. Computer scientists uses a collection of data gathered when linking systems together -.pilot steers the aircraft. the motion simulator shouldn't tilt at a sharp angle. Army and Navy all use flight simulators to train pilots.S. for example. In fact. Ideally. They discovered that convincing force-feedback greatly affected the user's experience. while others just have a series of computer monitors arranged to cover the pilot's field of view. Currently. field tests and complex algorithms to program enemies may not appear in the same point ofsimulators' behavior. the flight simulator will be designed so that when the pilot looks around. networks among simulators to facilitate coordinated training missions. As the military's strategy. Often. so a haptic system is one that gives the user feedback he can feel. how to recover in an emergency. if a pilot gently guides a simulated aircraft into a turn. Training missions may include how to fly in battle. this can cause difficulty much tighter turn. making it seem more real and space for multiple pilots. The simulator sits on top Although not as high profile as flight of either an electronic motion base or a simulators. The Air Force. the module he sits in twists and tilts. Because one aircraft can have a very different cockpit layout than another. which would represent a another. Some training centers invest in multiple simulators. Some flight simulators include a completely enclosed module. Because of this. photo by Eamonn Bourke The Future Combat System simulator can recreate the experience of driving many different vehicles. A joystick with force-feedback is an example of a haptic device. On the Ground and In the Water Although flight simulators may vary from one model to another. the vendors. while others sacrifice accuracy for convenience and cost by sticking to one simulator model. most of them have a Ground Vehicle Simulators similar basic setup. All three branches use hardware developed You've Got That Simulated Feeling by the military as well as from third-party In order for a user to feel that a motion simulator is accurate. In the next section. Photo courtesy of the U. there isn't a perfect simulator choice that can accurately represent every vehicle. The word "haptic" refers to the sense of touch. many of the flight simulator has to behave in a way that feels realistic and predictable. even doubling as a flight simulator. or how to coordinate air support with ground operations.

many training facilities are using simulators to familiarize soldiers with urban combat tactics. They not only accurately recreate the handling and feel of the vehicle they represent.key part of the Future Combat System (FCS) -.the foundation of the armed forces' future. Computer scientists designed FCS simulators to link together in a network. Trainees can learn how the real vehicle handles in treacherous weather 10 Simulators can be pretty expensive. Some of these look like long-lost twins to flight simulators. Virtual reality tank simulator Photo courtesy of the U. Today. The modules can simulate several different ground vehicles. Still. facilitating complex training missions involving multiple participants acting in various roles.S. it's easy to justify the cost.without having to construct a physical artificial environment. could be millions of dollars) and keep in mind that the soldier behind the controls will be safe from harm. so there isn't a need for . depending upon the model variant. The newest Stryker simulator costs about $800. The FCS consists of a networked battle command system and advanced vehicles and weapons platforms.000 per unit. Networked simulators allow users to participate in complex war games. The Army uses several specific devices to train soldiers to drive specialized vehicles like tanks or the heavily-armored Stryker vehicle. There are no windows to the outside world on board a sub. when you compare that against the cost of an actual vehicle (which. photo by Jason Kaye This simulator helps teach soldiers how to drive the Stryker armored vehicle. but also can replicate just about any environment you can imagine. including non-line-of-sight mortar vehicles. Army. Today's battlefields are much different from those of previous eras. Simulators give the military a chance to teach soldiers how to navigate and operate effectively within urban landscapes . conditions or difficult terrain. Water Vehicle Simulators Navy submarine simulators are different from other military-vehicle simulators. The FCS simulators include three computer monitors and a pair of joystick controllers attached to a console. with soldiers venturing into cities and towns rather than drawing traditional battle lines. reconnaissance vehicles or an infantry carrier vehicle.

we'll look at how the military uses virtual environments to train foot soldiers. which can detract from a user's sense of immersion. Another impressive Naval application of virtual environments is the virtual bridge. The navigation. some that serve as the bridge's windows and some that serve as ship monitors. Pandemic Studios later offered a modified version of the software as a commercial game. They use an Xbox console to run the game and take on the role of a team leader attempting to achieve specific objectives in various scenarios. the military uses these games to help connect with recruits and give them a safe environment to practice techniques and skills. Soldiers can practice small team tactics in a virtual urban environment. immersive virtual scenarios that help soldiers acclimate to various combat environments and situations. Some programs are web-based. trainers have discovered that virtual environments can come in handy in other applications as well. are mounted on a set of pneumatic arms that can tilt the module.lifelike graphics. Military officials and video game studios have partnered to create realistic. allowing it to physically simulate a diving or surfacing maneuver. The simulator has dozens of computer monitors. In the next section. Nonmilitary gamers can even get a sample of some of these scenarios by playing popular commercial software games. Submarine simulators instead must provide realistic instrument readings as the crew navigates through the simulation. however. Navy bridge teams can train together through various scenarios. Virtual reality military training gear Pandemic Studios created a complex training simulation as part of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) initiative. allowing recruits to interact with 11 . seamanship and shiphandling trainer (NSST) accurately replicates the bridge of a large Navy ship." The military recognizes that today's Armed Forces recruits have grown up in a culture where video games are common. building teamwork and ship-handling skills in the process. called "Full Spectrum Warrior. Some submarine simulators are stationary. Others. Today. Virtual Boot Camp Apart from familiarizing soldiers with some of the most complex vehicles in the military fleet." Other games and simulations include "America's Army" and "Guard Force.

S. Some view this strategy as dubious. mostly because they're expensive to purchase and maintain. however. we'll look at some other applications of virtual environments in the military. Some VR training applications go a step Photo courtesy of the U. and One such pilot program is the Virtual Squad recent years have been challenging as recruitment numbers have declined. the military requires soldiers to undergo extensive training on real courses. Military officials are quick to stress that virtual training in no way replaces physical training. the pair of binoculars seen here. Recruitment drives often include a demonstration of virtual environment training systems. Part of the new strategy to recruit soldiers is to appeal to the Training System (VSTS). but can also use a program called the BattleMaster IOS. Quantum3D. The Armed Forces don't see virtual reality replacing real training techniques in the foreseeable future. weight and shape of real military weapons. and recruiters facility commissioned a new training encourage civilians to try them out to experience what it's like to be a system. They run on a specialized software package. The programs allow soldiers to train with simulated weapons like the M4. photo by Jason McCammack further than The Navy¶s simulated bridge console includes peripheral devices like games. y A wireless weapon controller that matches the size. the video-gaming community. They hope to appeal to the typical gamer's sense of that allows soldiers to move unencumbered competitiveness and drive. While virtual environments continue to support useful training applications. through a virtual environment with the help and point out that equating a life of being a soldier to a video game is at the very least misleading. M165 or M249 while navigating a virtual combat environment. Inc. created the systems specifically for the military. It's a wearable and wireless system soldier. Recently. We Want You as a New Recruit The military recognizes that recruiting is critical to their success. Battlefield visualization is vital when determining combat strategies in real time. only a few places have extensive virtualenvironment training facilities. Navy. In the next section. Results from pilot programs have been encouraging. if not completely dishonest. While not common. and in the future more soldiers may log several hours flanking down pixilated enemies. of the following virtual-reality gear: y y y A head-mounted display with a motion tracker A special load-bearing vest that holds the batteries for the unit and a wireless computer unit A body motion tracker (usually strapped to a leg) Other Applications Another application of virtual environments in the military is battlefield visualization. located at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Trainers use everything from CAVE systems to head-mounted displays and treadmills to reinforce concepts and techniques with trainees. though. Currently. some bases include larger virtual reality setups for more intensive training. It's also a key element in the training regimen of commanding officers.experienced soldiers and learn about reallife techniques that can help keep them safe. It helps 12 .

but though we may have advanced inventory software to help enable near-robotic efficiency. still falls short of what we imagined it could be. The program is still in the validation process. The viewer wears a pair of special goggles that create the illusion of depth. In the last few years. In this program. Current VR technology.commanders assess their options before making decisions that could put soldiers in harm's way. visualization. military officials can explore a three-dimensional model of an area. check out the links on the next page. The military has found that it can adapt many commercial software and hardware packages for its own needs.S. As personal computers and graphics cards become more powerful. But science is getting tired of this plateau it¶s been stuck on. Navy The Dragon Battlefield Visualization System Tools like Google Earth and SketchUp make creating three-dimensional maps easy and inexpensive. Multiple users can view the same display at once. You don't get the same level of immersion when working with a personal computer as you would with a dedicated VR system. For example. To learn more about virtual reality and its applications. Today. controlled environment. The Nintendo Wii allows people to physically interact with a virtual opponent. the need for specialized display technology decreases. assuming they're all wearing the special goggles. researchers in the field of VR have been . Technology has evolved in leaping strides. the Navy Research Laboratory has the Virtual Environment Training Technology program. U. while more impressive than anything we¶ve had before. The military also uses virtual environments to prepare soldiers for emergencies. and many Navy officials hope it will allow sailors to train in dangerous techniques in a safe. so that the images displayed on the workbench appear to be three dimensional. the Navy trains sailors how to deal with shipboard fires using a virtual environment. a high-powered laptop can meet much of the military's needs for 13 Virtual Reality in« Reality This brings us to today. when it comes to VR technology. but the computers are much less expensive and easy to network. viewing it from any angle while formulating strategies and looking for potential logistical problems. most systems can only manage to immerse two senses at a time: The VR systems that therapists use to help treat client phobias or PTSD use helmets or small rooms to simulate sights and sounds. organization and workflow. The military has explored using a VR workbench as a display technology for battlefield visualization. Today.

The cocoon not only simulates the looks and sounds of a 3D environment on the inside of a portable helmet. 14 . One of the biggest innovations in VR came earlier this year. it also has a library of smells and tastes it can feed to the user to correspond to the world they are experiencing. In March 2009 a team of scientists from the Universities of York and Warwick in the U.stretching themselves to hit more of the five senses. Sight and sound have always been the go-to senses for virtual reality researchers. but few have ventured into the realm of taste and smell. the Virtual Cocoon. revealed what they saw as a giant leap forward in VR tech.K.

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