WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)?
Until recently, Virtual Reality (VR) has been something of a fantasy for storytellers and tech geeks. But today the breakthrough is a fact. Many big players are investing in the development and an increasing number of companies are implementing the technology in their daily work. But what is VR?
In VR you can meet anyone, anywhere!
Virtual reality moves the digital world from flat screens to something we humans are made for – vivid worlds in three dimensions. When you put on a VR headset, you are immersed in a virtual world where you can have meaningful conversations and striking presentations, regardless the number of participants.
Virtual reality is a computer generated simulation which allows you to interact with a virtual world. At its core, the technology uses two separate stereoscopic screens in front of each eye, which allows the brain to process depth. As you move around, the computer inside of the headset updates the digital world in real-time, which gives you the illusion of being present in a virtual world.
Laptops can also be used to talk to people in virtual worlds.
Digital sensory information
Why Virtual reality works is because the technology substitutes the sensory information our brain uses to orient itself in the physical world. The degree of substitution is called immersion, which in turn creates that which we call presence, the degree to which your brain accepts the sensory information as its reality
This means that you can experience Virtual reality even without a headset. With the help of a regular computer it is possible to jump into virtual worlds, even though the immersion is not at the same degree.
THE FASCINATING STORY BEHIND VR
Virtual reality tends to get associated with futurism, and that by good reasons. Behind the VR-headset there hides very advanced hardware and software. But the foundational idea of virtual worlds has captivated humans for very long.
A captivating idea
Franz Roubaud’s ambitious panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Borodino
One of the first attempts to create a Virtual reality is considered to be 360 degree paintings. Their purpose was to fill the observers entire field of view and make them feel present at some historic event or scene. One example is the battle of Borodino year 1812 by the artist Franz Roubaud, which stretches an entire 115 meters. By the year of 1838, important progress was made. Charles Wheatstone’s research proved that the brain processes two different 2D pictures from each eye into a whole object of 3 dimensions. By looking at two stereoscopic images side by side you could create an experienced sense of depth and immersion.
During the 1960’s the cinematographer Morton Heilig invented the Sensorama, an arcade like theater cabinet that was supposed to stimulate all the senses. The theater cabinet contained a stereoscopic 3D screen, fans, odor generators and a vibrating chair. However, it never became popular and it took more than 30 years before VR publicly relevant again. VR simulators started to pop up and some game producers created their won VR-units, which unfortunately did not gain any popularity either. The computers did not have the processing power required to show enough frames per second and the optics were too expensive.
Year 2014 is considered to be the beginning of the modern era of VR. Facebook bought Oculus for 2,3 billion dollars and Mark Zuckerberg stuck out his chin with his ambition to get a billion users. This gave an indication to the world that VR will play an important role in things to come. Since then, enormous technical advancements have been made, which has opened up for lots of fascinating and practical usage areas.
Companies in all the conceivable industries are implementing VR in their businesses today
An exciting future ahead of us
VR today and in the future
Virtual reality is no longer just a niche of sci-fi spectacle, but a transforming power that can be of great value to people in their daily lives. With the help of VR we can improve how we work, present information, and communicate with each other. VR is already today used by many companies to host interactive and effective conferences.
But applications of VR today stretches even further than just meetings. One of the biggest forces in VR-technology is its ability to visualize things. You can for example visit new office buildings before they are built, interact with products before they are made, and visualize all imaginable processes.
Did you know?
With us at Around the Corner you don’t even need a VR-headset to take part in our digital worlds for meetings and conferences, a mere laptop will suffice!
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