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

The display only showed the users crude outlines of a virtual environment. Mixed Reality 3. Ray Bradbury took the concept of a VR room to its most horrific extreme in The Veldt. This section describes some of the common modes used in VR systems. And while VR charged ahead in the realm of fiction. Using cameras. but his wild (and shockingly accurate) predictions helped plant the seed of VR in the minds of scientists and non-scientists to follow. but Krueger¶s experiments showed that science was at least trying to move forward with VR. 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.5. Despite the technology¶s scientific beginnings. But most importantly. 3.1.recognition software.Types of VR Systems A major distinction of VR systems is the mode with which they interface to the user. 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. 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 movie TRON had people imagining the possibilities of interactive gaming to the Nth degree. however. In 1968 with the help of one of his assistants.´ Sutherland¶s essay might have been full of fanciful speculations about the future of digital technology. he wrote about the ultimate display²³a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. Window on World Systems (WoW) 2 . in the field of science it scrambled to keep up. 3. VIDEOPLACE was crude. computers and projectors. people in a VR room were able to see and interact with silhouettes of people in other similar rooms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

revealed what they saw as a giant leap forward in VR tech. 14 . but few have ventured into the realm of taste and smell. 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. 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. the Virtual Cocoon. In March 2009 a team of scientists from the Universities of York and Warwick in the U.K. One of the biggest innovations in VR came earlier this year.

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