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

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]

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

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

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

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

the viewer can look around and walk through the surrounding virtual environment. As a result. significantly improved HMD devices and projection-based systems like the CAVE have taken over. Screens and optical system are housed in a box that is attached to a multi-link arm. presenting a stereo view of a virtual world. Head tracking is accomplished via sensors in the links of the arm that holds the box. alternative concepts (e. 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.g.Web size (83 K) Screen size (170K) . CAVE system (schematic principle): Web size (29K) .. To overcome the often uncomfortable intrusiveness of a head-mounted display. thereby. sees the virtual world. Better. a head-coupled display device: 5 Update Note: The BOOM device has mostly disappeared from the market. The user looks into the box through two holes. The BOOM. BOOM The BOOM (Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor) from Fakespace is a head-coupled stereoscopic display device. and can guide the box to any position within the operational volume of the device. 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. Several persons wearing lightweight stereo glasses can enter and walk freely inside the CAVE. 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.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.

allows accurate assessment and therapy for their disabilities. One of the non-science fiction movies that uses VR as a story driver is 1994's Disclosure. the operating room and hospital of the future will be first designed and tested in virtual reality. A VR headset is used as a navigating device Abstract Medical applications for virtual reality (VR) are just beginning to emerge. and rehabilitation. USA. Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At the remote site there is a 3-D camera system and responsive manipulators with sensory input.[citation needed] One year later. the surgical workstation and remote worksite. a person can learn anatomy from a new perspective by 'flying' inside and around the organs. telepresence surgery. but often prone to interference o Limited range Optical o Typically. And to support these advanced technologies. Satava RM. Using a helmet mounted display and DataGlove. These include VR surgical simulators. and helps architects understand their critical needs in public or personal space. short lag. short lag. visualization. Database visualization creates 3-D images of complex medical data for new perspectives in analysis. 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. 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. bringing together the full power of the digital physician. Rehabilitation medicine permits impaired individuals to explore worlds not otherwise available to them.Motion tracking Main types y y y y Mechanical o Usually a mechanical arm attached to the tracked object o Very accurate. 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. or can practice surgical procedures with a scalpel and clamps. reasonably short lag. Washington. pulsating LEDs monitored by a camera at a fixed position o Fast. it would be fully expanded in the Natalie Wood film Brainstorm. complex medical database 6 . starring Michael Douglas and based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name. DC 20307. The VR surgical simulator is a stylized recreation of the human abdomen with several essential organs. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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