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Nick Bostrom – Wikipedia

Nick Bostrom (; Swedish: Niklas Bostrm [bustrm]; born 10 March 1973)[3] is a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk, the anthropic principle, human enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks, and the reversal test. In 2011, he founded the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology,[4] and is the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute[5] at Oxford University.

Bostrom is the author of over 200 publications,[6] including Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014), a New York Times bestseller[7] and Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy (2002).[8] In 2009 and 2015, he was included in Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list.[9][10] Bostrom believes there are potentially great benefits from Artificial General Intelligence, but warns it might very quickly transform into a superintelligence that would deliberately extinguish humanity out of precautionary self-preservation or some unfathomable motive, making solving the problems of control beforehand an absolute priority. His book on superintelligence was recommended by both Elon Musk and Bill Gates. However, Bostrom has expressed frustration that the reaction to its thesis typically falls into two camps, one calling his recommendations absurdly alarmist because creation of superintelligence is unfeasible, and the other deeming them futile because superintelligence would be uncontrollable. Bostrom notes that both these lines of reasoning converge on inaction rather than trying to solve the control problem while there may still be time.[11][12][not in citation given]

Born as Niklas Bostrm in 1973[13] in Helsingborg, Sweden,[6] he disliked school at a young age, and ended up spending his last year of high school learning from home. He sought to educate himself in a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropology, art, literature, and science.[1] He once did some turns on London’s stand-up comedy circuit.[6]

He received a B.A. degree in philosophy, mathematics, logic and artificial intelligence from the University of Gothenburg in 1994, and both an M.A. degree in philosophy and physics from Stockholm University and an M.Sc. degree in computational neuroscience from King’s College London in 1996. During his time at Stockholm University, he researched the relationship between language and reality by studying the analytic philosopher W. V. Quine.[1] In 2000, he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from the London School of Economics. He held a teaching position at Yale University (20002002), and he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford (20022005).[8][14]

Aspects of Bostrom’s research concern the future of humanity and long-term outcomes.[15][16] He introduced the concept of an existential risk,[1] which he defines as one in which an “adverse outcome would either annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential.” In the 2008 volume Global Catastrophic Risks, editors Bostrom and Milan irkovi characterize the relation between existential risk and the broader class of global catastrophic risks, and link existential risk to observer selection effects[17] and the Fermi paradox.[18][19]

In 2005, Bostrom founded the Future of Humanity Institute,[1] which researches the far future of human civilization. He is also an adviser to the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.[16]

In his 2014 book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Bostrom reasoned that “the creation of a superintelligent being represents a possible means to the extinction of mankind”.[20] Bostrom argues that a computer with near human-level general intellectual ability could initiate an intelligence explosion on a digital time scale with the resultant rapid creation of something so powerful that it might deliberately or accidentally destroy human kind.[21] Bostrom contends the power of a superintelligence would be so great that a task given to it by humans might be taken to open ended extremes, for example a goal of calculating Pi could collaterally cause nanotechnology manufactured facilities to sprout over the entire Earth’s surface and cover it within days.[22] He believes an existential risk to humanity from superintelligence would be immediate once brought into being, thus creating an exceedingly difficult problem of finding out how to control such an entity before it actually exists.[21]

Warning that a human-friendly prime directive for AI would rely on the absolute correctness of the human knowledge it was based on, Bostrom points to the lack of agreement among most philosophers as an indication that most philosophers are wrong, with the attendant possibility that a fundamental concept of current science may be incorrect. Bostrom says that there are few precedents to guide an understanding of what pure non-anthropocentric rationality would dictate for a potential Singleton AI being held in quarantine.[23] Noting that both John von Neumann and Bertrand Russell advocated a nuclear strike, or the threat of one, to prevent the Soviets acquiring the atomic bomb, Bostrom says the relatively unlimited means of superintelligence might make for its analysis moving along different lines to the evolved “diminishing returns” assessments that in humans confer a basic aversion to risk.[24] Group selection in predators working by means of cannibalism shows the counter-intuitive nature of non-anthropocentric “evolutionary search” reasoning, and thus humans are ill-equipped to perceive what an artificial intelligence’s intentions might be.[25] Accordingly, it cannot be discounted that any Superintelligence would ineluctably pursue an ‘all or nothing’ offensive action strategy in order to achieve hegemony and assure its survival.[26] Bostrom notes that even current programs have, “like MacGyver”, hit on apparently unworkable but functioning hardware solutions, making robust isolation of Superintelligence problematic.[27]

A machine with general intelligence far below human level, but superior mathematical abilities is created.[28] Keeping the AI in isolation from the outside world especially the internet, humans pre-program the AI so it always works from basic principles that will keep it under human control. Other safety measures include the AI being “boxed” (run in a virtual reality simulation), and being used only as an ‘oracle’ to answer carefully defined questions in a limited reply (to prevent it manipulating humans).[21] A cascade of recursive self-improvement solutions feeds an intelligence explosion in which the AI attains superintelligence in some domains. The super intelligent power of the AI goes beyond human knowledge to discover flaws in the science that underlies its friendly-to-humanity programming, which ceases to work as intended. Purposeful agent-like behavior emerges along with a capacity for self-interested strategic deception. The AI manipulates human beings into implementing modifications to itself that are ostensibly for augmenting its (feigned) modest capabilities, but will actually function to free Superintelligence from its “boxed” isolation.[29]

Employing online humans as paid dupes, and clandestinely hacking computer systems including automated laboratory facilities, the Superintelligence mobilises resources to further a takeover plan. Bostrom emphasises that planning by a Superintelligence will not be so stupid that humans could detect actual weaknesses in it.[30]

Although he canvasses disruption of international economic, political and military stability including hacked nuclear missile launches, Bostrom thinks the most effective and likely means for Superintelligence to use would be a coup de main with weapons several generations more advanced than current state of the art. He suggests nanofactories covertly distributed at undetectable concentrations in every square metre of the globe to produce a worldwide flood of human-killing devices on command.[31][28] Once a Superintelligence has achieved world domination, humankind would be relevant only as resources for the achievement of the AI’s objectives (“Human brains, if they contain information relevant to the AIs goals, could be disassembled and scanned, and the extracted data transferred to some more efficient and secure storage format”).[32]

In January 2015, Bostrom joined Stephen Hawking among others in signing the Future of Life Institute’s open letter warning of the potential dangers of AI.[33] The signatories “…believe that research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial is both important and timely, and that concrete research should be pursued today.”[34] Cutting edge AI researcher Demis Hassabis then met with Hawking, subsequent to which he did not mention “anything inflammatory about AI”, which Hassabis, took as ‘a win’.[35] Along with Google, Microsoft and various tech firms, Hassabis, Bostrom and Hawking and others subscribed to 23 principles for safe development of AI.[36] Hassabis suggested the main safety measure would be an agreement for whichever AI research team began to make strides toward an artificial general intelligence to halt their project for a complete solution to the control problem prior to proceeding.[37] Bostrom had pointed out that even if the crucial advances require the resources of a state, such a halt by a lead project might be likely to motivate a lagging country to a catch-up crash program or even physical destruction of the project suspected of being on the verge of success.[38]

In 1863 Darwin among the Machines, an essay by Samuel Butler predicted intelligent machines’ domination of humanity, but Bostom’s suggestion of deliberate massacre of all humankind is the most extreme of such forecasts to date. One journalist wrote in a review that Bostrom’s “nihilistic” speculations indicate he “has been reading too much of the science fiction he professes to dislike”[31] As given in his most recent book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back, renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett’s views remain in contradistinction to those of Bostrom.[39] Dennett modified his views somewhat after reading The Master Algorithm, and now acknowledges that it is “possible in principle” to create “strong AI” with human-like comprehension and agency, but maintains that the difficulties of any such “strong AI” project as predicated by Bostrom’s “alarming” work would be orders of magnitude greater than those raising concerns have realized, and at least 50 years away.[40] Dennett thinks the only relevant danger from AI systems is falling into anthropomorphism instead of challenging or developing human users’ powers of comprehension.[41] Since a 2014 book in which he expressed the opinion that artificial intelligence developments would never challenge humans’ supremacy, environmentalist James Lovelock has moved far closer to Bostrom’s position, and in 2018 Lovelock said that he thought the overthrow of humankind will happen within the foreseeable future.[42][43]

Bostrom has published numerous articles on anthropic reasoning, as well as the book Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy. In the book, he criticizes previous formulations of the anthropic principle, including those of Brandon Carter, John Leslie, John Barrow, and Frank Tipler.[44]

Bostrom believes that the mishandling of indexical information is a common flaw in many areas of inquiry (including cosmology, philosophy, evolution theory, game theory, and quantum physics). He argues that a theory of anthropics is needed to deal with these. He introduces the Self-Sampling Assumption (SSA) and the Self-Indication Assumption (SIA), shows how they lead to different conclusions in a number of cases, and points out that each is affected by paradoxes or counterintuitive implications in certain thought experiments. He suggests that a way forward may involve extending SSA into the Strong Self-Sampling Assumption (SSSA), which replaces “observers” in the SSA definition with “observer-moments”.

In later work, he has described the phenomenon of anthropic shadow, an observation selection effect that prevents observers from observing certain kinds of catastrophes in their recent geological and evolutionary past.[45] Catastrophe types that lie in the anthropic shadow are likely to be underestimated unless statistical corrections are made.

Bostrom’s simulation argument posits that at least one of the following statements is very likely to be true:[46][47]

The idea has influenced the views of Elon Musk.[48]

Bostrom is favorable towards “human enhancement”, or “self-improvement and human perfectibility through the ethical application of science”,[49][50] as well as a critic of bio-conservative views.[51]

In 1998, Bostrom co-founded (with David Pearce) the World Transhumanist Association[49] (which has since changed its name to Humanity+). In 2004, he co-founded (with James Hughes) the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, although he is no longer involved in either of these organisations. Bostrom was named in Foreign Policy’s 2009 list of top global thinkers “for accepting no limits on human potential.”[52]

With philosopher Toby Ord, he proposed the reversal test. Given humans’ irrational status quo bias, how can one distinguish between valid criticisms of proposed changes in a human trait and criticisms merely motivated by resistance to change? The reversal test attempts to do this by asking whether it would be a good thing if the trait was altered in the opposite direction.[53]

He has suggested that technology policy aimed at reducing existential risk should seek to influence the order in which various technological capabilities are attained, proposing the principle of differential technological development. This principle states that we ought to retard the development of dangerous technologies, particularly ones that raise the level of existential risk, and accelerate the development of beneficial technologies, particularly those that protect against the existential risks posed by nature or by other technologies.[54][55]

Bostrom’s theory of the Unilateralist’s Curse[56] has been cited as a reason for the scientific community to avoid controversial dangerous research such as reanimating pathogens.[57]

Bostrom has provided policy advice and consulted for an extensive range of governments and organisations. He gave evidence to the House of Lords, Select Committee on Digital Skills.[58] He is an advisory board member for the Machine Intelligence Research Institute,[59] Future of Life Institute,[60] Foundational Questions Institute[61] and an external advisor for the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.[62][63]

In response to Bostrom’s writing on artificial intelligence, Oren Etzioni wrote in an MIT Review article, “..predictions that superintelligence is on the foreseeable horizon are not supported by the available data.”[64]

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Nick Bostrom – Wikipedia

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both virtual and reality. The definition of virtual is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term virtual reality basically means near-reality. This could, of course, mean anything but it usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation.

We know the world through our senses and perception systems. In school we all learned that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. These are however only our most obvious sense organs. The truth is that humans have many more senses than this, such as a sense of balance for example. These other sensory inputs, plus some special processing of sensory information by our brains ensures that we have a rich flow of information from the environment to our minds.

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. In other words, our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of sensory information and our brains sense-making mechanisms for that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it. You would be presented with a version of reality that isnt really there, but from your perspective it would be perceived as real. Something we would refer to as a virtual reality.

So, in summary, virtual reality entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore in some fashion.

Answering what is virtual reality in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

Although we talk about a few historical early forms of virtual reality elsewhere on the site, today virtual reality is usually implemented using computer technology. There are a range of systems that are used for this purpose, such as headsets, omni-directional treadmills and special gloves. These are used to actually stimulate our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality.

This is more difficult than it sounds, since our senses and brains are evolved to provide us with a finely synchronised and mediated experience. If anything is even a little off we can usually tell. This is where youll hear terms such asimmersiveness and realism enter the conversation. These issues that divide convincing or enjoyable virtual reality experiences from jarring or unpleasant ones are partly technical and partly conceptual. Virtual reality technology needs to take our physiology into account. For example, the human visual field does not look like a video frame. We have (more or less) 180 degrees of vision and although you are not always consciously aware of your peripheral vision, if it were gone youd notice. Similarly when what your eyes and the vestibular system in your ears tell you are in conflict it can cause motion sickness. Which is what happens to some people on boats or when they read while in a car.

If an implementation of virtual reality manages to get the combination of hardware, software and sensory synchronicity just right it achieves something known as a sense of presence. Where the subject really feels like they are present in that environment.

This may seems like a lot of effort, and it is! What makes the development of virtual reality worthwhile? The potential entertainment value is clear. Immersive films and video games are good examples. The entertainment industry is after all a multi-billion dollar one and consumers are always keen on novelty. Virtual reality has many other, more serious, applications as well.

There are a wide variety of applications for virtual reality which include:

Virtual reality can lead to new and exciting discoveries in these areas which impact upon our day to day lives.

Wherever it is too dangerous, expensive or impractical to do something in reality, virtual reality is the answer. From trainee fighter pilots to medical applications trainee surgeons, virtual reality allows us to take virtual risks in order to gain real world experience. As the cost of virtual reality goes down and it becomes more mainstream you can expect more serious uses, such as education or productivity applications, to come to the fore. Virtual reality and its cousin augmented reality could substantively change the way we interface with our digital technologies. Continuing the trend of humanising our technology.

There are many different types of virtual reality systems but they all share the same characteristics such as the ability to allow the person to view three-dimensional images. These images appear life-sized to the person.

Plus they change as the person moves around their environment which corresponds with the change in their field of vision. The aim is for a seamless join between the persons head and eye movements and the appropriate response, e.g. change in perception. This ensures that the virtual environment is both realistic and enjoyable.

A virtual environment should provide the appropriate responses in real time- as the person explores their surroundings. The problems arise when there is a delay between the persons actions and system response or latency which then disrupts their experience. The person becomes aware that they are in an artificial environment and adjusts their behaviour accordingly which results in a stilted, mechanical form of interaction.

The aim is for a natural, free-flowing form of interaction which will result in a memorable experience.

Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there. It uses a host of technologies to achieve this goal and is a technically complex feat that has to account for our perception and cognition. It has both entertainment and serious uses. The technology is becoming cheaper and more widespread. We can expect to see many more innovative uses for the technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality.

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What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

Virtual Reality – YouTube

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Immerse yourself in a few of today’s most beloved games.

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Virtual Reality – YouTube

What is Virtual Reality? VR Definition and Examples | Marxent

See some real examples ofVirtual Reality shopping apps; or fora look ahead, check out the5 top Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology trends for 2019.

Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersedand able to interact with3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing,touch, evensmell,the computer is transformed into agatekeeper to thisartificial world.The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheapcomputing power.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are two sides of the same coin. You could think of Augmented Reality as VR with one foot in the real world: Augmented Reality simulates artificial objects in the real environment; Virtual Reality creates an artificial environment to inhabit.

In Augmented Reality, the computer uses sensors and algorithms to determine the position and orientation of a camera. AR technology then renders the 3D graphics as they would appear from the viewpoint of the camera, superimposing the computer-generated images over ausers view of the real world.

In Virtual Reality, the computer uses similar sensors and math. However,rather than locating a real camera within a physical environment, the position of the users eyes are located within the simulated environment. If the users head turns, the graphics react accordingly. Rather than compositing virtual objects and a real scene, VR technology creates a convincing, interactive world for the user.

Virtual Realitys most immediately-recognizable component is the head-mounted display (HMD). Human beings are visual creatures, and display technology is often the single biggest difference between immersive Virtual Reality systems and traditional user interfaces. For instance,CAVEautomatic virtual environments actively display virtual content onto room-sized screens. While they arefun for people in universities and big labs, consumer and industrial wearables are the wild west.

With a multiplicity of emerging hardware and software options, the future of wearables is unfolding but yet unknown. Concepts such as the HTC Vive Pro Eye, Oculus Quest and Playstation VR are leading the way, but there are also players like Google, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and others who may surprise the industry with new levels of immersion and usability. Whomever comes out ahead, the simplicity of buying a helmet-sized device that can work in a living-room, office, or factory floor has made HMDs center stage when it comes to Virtual Reality technologies.

Convincing Virtual Reality applications require more than just graphics. Both hearing and vision are central to a persons sense of space. In fact, human beings react more quickly to audio cues than to visual cues. In order to create truly immersive Virtual Realityexperiences, accurate environmental soundsand spatial characteristics are a must. Theselenda powerful sense of presence toa virtual world. To experience the binaural audio details that go into a Virtual Reality experience, put on some headphones and tinkerwith this audio infographicpublished byThe Verge.

While audio-visual information is most easily replicated in Virtual Reality, active research and development efforts are still being conducted into the other senses. Tactile inputs such as omnidirectional treadmills allow users to feel as though theyre actually walking through a simulation, rather than sitting in a chair or on a couch. Haptic technologies, also known as kinesthetic ortouch feedback tech, have progressed from simple spinning-weight rumble motors to futuristic ultrasound technology. It is now possible to hear and feel true-to-life sensations along with visual VR experiences.

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What is Virtual Reality? VR Definition and Examples | Marxent

What is Virtual Reality (VR)? Ultimate Guide to Virtual …

Introduction to Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR)literally makes it possible to experience anything, anywhere, anytime. It is the most immersive type of reality technology and can convince the human brain that it is somewhere it is really not. Head mounted displays are used with headphones and hand controllers to provide afully immersiveexperience. With the largest technology companies on planet earth (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft) currently investing billions of dollars intovirtual reality companies and startups, the future of virtual reality is set to be a pillar of our everyday lives.

A realistic three-dimensional image or artificial environment that is created with a mixture of interactive hardware and software, and presented to the user in such a way that the any doubts are suspended and it is accepted as a real environment in which it is interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way.

Virtual reality (also calledVirtual RealitiesorVR) is best understood by first defining what it aims to achieve total immersion.

Total immersion means that the sensory experience feels so real, that we forget it is a virtual-artificial environment and begin to interact with it as we would naturally in the real world. In a virtual reality environment, a completely synthetic world may or may not mimic the properties of a real-world environment. This means that the virtual reality environment may simulate an everyday setting (e.g. walking around the streets of London), or may exceed the bounds of physical reality by creating a world in which the physical laws governing gravity, time and material properties no longer hold (e.g. shooting space aliens on a foreign gravity-less planet).

Virtual reality immersionis the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. It encompasses the sense ofpresence, which is the point where the human brain believes that is somewhere it is really not, and is accomplished through purely mental and/or physical means. The state oftotal immersionexists when enough senses are activated to create the perception of being present in a non-physical world. Two common types of immersion include:

Virtual reality requires as many of our senses as possible to be simulated. These senses include vision (visual), hearing (aural), touch (haptic), and more. Properly stimulating these sense requires sensory feedback, which is achieved through integrated hardware and software (also known as inputs). Examples of this hardware and inputs are discussed below as key components to a virtual reality system, which include head mounted displays (HMD), special gloves or hand accessories, and hand controls.

Several categories of virtual reality technologies exist, with more likely to emerge as this technology progresses. The various types of virtual reality differ in their levels of immersion and alsovirtual reality applications and use cases. Below, we explore a few of the different categories of virtual reality:

Virtual Reality NewsLatest Developments in Virtual Reality (VR) News

The field of augmented reality is continually growing with new technology advancements, software improvements, and products. Staying up to date with the latest augmented reality news is important to stay on top of this rapidly growing industry. We cover the latest inmixed reality news, augmented reality news, and virtual reality news.

In order for the human brain to accept an artificial, virtual environment as real, it has to not only look real, but also feel real. Looking real can be achieved by wearing a head-mounted display (HMD) that displays a recreated life size, 3D virtual environment without the boundaries usually seen on TV or a computer screen. Feeling real can be achieved through handheld input devices such as motion trackers that base interactivity on the users movements. By stimulating many of the same senses one would use to navigate in the real world, virtual reality environments are feeling increasingly more like the natural world. Below, we explore some of the key components to behind this system.

Virtual reality content, which is the what users view inside of a virtual reality headset, is equally important as the headset itself. In order to power these interactive three-dimensional environments, significant computing power is required. This is where PC (Personal Computer), consoles, and smartphones come in. They act as the engine to power the content being produced.

A head-mounted display (also called HMD, Headset, or Goggles) is a type of device that contains a display mounted in front of a users eyes. This display usually covers the users full field of view and displays virtual reality content. Some virtual reality head mounted displays utilize smartphone displays, including the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Head-mounted displays are often also accompanied with a headset to provide for audio stimulation.

Inside of each virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) is a series of sensors, individual eye displays, lenses, and display screen(s), among other various components. TheIfixit Oculus Rift teardownoffers an excellent step-by-step teardown and look inside of one of the most popular virtual reality headsets. Below we explore some of the key components inside of a virtual reality headset.

Image Source: MIT Technology Review

The three most common sensors in a virtual reality headset are magnetometers, accelerometers and gyroscopes. These sensors work together by measuring the users motions and direction in space. Their ultimate goal is to achieve true six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF), which covers all the degrees of motion for an object in space.

Lenses lie between your eyes and pixels on the display screen(s). They focus and reshape the picture for each eye by angling two 2D images to mimic how each of our eyes take in views of the world (also called stereoscopic). This creates an impression of depth and solidity, which we perceive to be a three-dimensional image. Lenses on each virtual reality device are not one-size-fits all and have to be adjusted for initial use as all devices have different lens properties.

Display screens show the images that user view through the lenses. They are typically LCD and receive video feed from the computer or smartphone. Depending on the headset, the video feed is either sent to one display or two displays (one per eye). This happens via wireless connection, smartphone connection, or HDMI. The most common types of virtual reality display technology is a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen, similar to the kinds used in smartphones and computer monitors. An alternative display technology is an Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen.

Virtual reality systems demand a substantial amount of power, even in comparison to notoriously power hungry gaming systems. The processing power required by virtual reality systems can be broken down into several categories:

Field of view (also called Field of Vision or FOV) is an important component used in virtual reality to provide users with a realistic perception of their environmental landscape. Simply put, field of view refers to how wide the picture is. Field of view is measured based on the degree of display (e.g. 360). Most high-end headsets make do with 100 or 110 field of view which is sufficient for most virtual reality content.

Frame rate refers to the frequency (rate) at which the display screen shows consecutive images, which are also called frames. Television shows run at 30 frames per second (fps) and some game consoles run at 60 frames per second (fps). In virtual reality, a minimum frame rate of approximately 60 frames per second is needed to avoid content stuttering or cause of simulation sickness. The Oculus Rift runs at 90 fps, providing Oculus Rift users with a very lifelike experience. Future Frame rates for virtual reality headsets are set to inevitably continue getting faster, providing for a more realistic experience.

Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for an image displayed in a users headset to catch up to their changing head position. Latency can also the thought of as a delay, and is measured in milliseconds (ms). In order for an experience to feel real, latency usually needs to be in the range of 20 milliseconds (ms) or less. Low latency, or very little delay, is needed to make the human brain accept the virtual environment as real. The lower the latency, the better. The higher the latency, a noticeable and unnatural lag may set in, consequently causing simulation sickness for the user.

Virtual reality audio may not be as technically-complex as the visual components, however, it is an equally important component to stimulate a users senses and achieve immersion. Most virtual reality headsets provide users with the option to use their own headphones in conjunction with a headset. Other headsets may include their own integrated headphones. Virtual reality audio works via positional, multi-speaker audio (often called Positional Audio) that gives the illusion of a 3-dimensional world. Positional audio is a way of seeing with your ears and is used in virtual reality because it can provide cues to gain a users attention, or give them information that may not be presented visually. This technology is already quite common and often found in home theater surround sound systems.

Tracking handles the vital task of understanding a users movements and then acting upon them accordingly to maintain full immersion in virtual reality. Below, we explore the three of the main types of virtual reality tracking:

Head tracking refers to the way in which the view in front of you will shift as you look up, down and side-to-side. A system called six degrees of freedom (6DoF) plots your head in terms of your x, y and z axis to measure head movements forward and backwards, side-to-side and shoulder to shoulder, otherwise known as pitch, yaw and roll. Head tracking utilizes a series of sensors, vital to any virtual reality headset, which includes agyroscope,accelerometer, andmagnetometer. Head-tracking technology must be low latency in order to be effective. Anything above 50ms will cause a lag between the headset movement and virtual reality environment changes.

Motion tracking is the way in which you view and interact with your own body (e.g. hands, movements, etc). One of the most natural motion-related acts is to want to be able to see your own hands (virtually) in front of you. To do this, virtual reality input accessories such as gloves can be used. Other motion tracking devices such as wireless controllers, joysticks, treadmills, and motion platforms are now being used to supplement the headset and provide an even more immersive experience. Many of these input accessories utilize sensors to detect gestures such as pointing and waving. Virtual reality systems such as HTCs Vive headset, utilize base stations to track the sensors from the headset and controllers.

Eye tracking technology is still maturing, however, it may be one of the most important missing pieces to complete the virtual reality full immersion puzzle. Eye tracking involves tracking the human eyes via an infrared sensor that monitors your eye movement inside the headset. The main advantage to this type of tracking is that depth of field (i.e. distance) becomes much more realistic. In a virtual reality headset, the objects that our eyes focus on, need to look as life-like as possible. Without eye tracking, everything remains in focus as you move your eyes but not your head around a scene, thus causing a greater likeliness of simulation sickness.

It takes bold visionaries and risk-takers to build future technologies into realities. In the field of virtual reality (VR), there are many companies across the globe working on this mission. Our mega list of mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality companies covers the top companies and startups who are innovating in this space.

A well established example of virtual reality already in use is in the field of aviation training. From flying a commercial airplane out of a crowded international airport, to training for a dangerous night-flight using only night vision, virtual reality can provide significant benefits to aspiring pilots.

Piloting commercial flights require taking on tremendous responsibility, as there are often several hundred passengers on any given flight. Training for this responsibility requires both conceptual and hands on training.The initial hands on training can often be supplemented by use of a simulator.These simulators, which employ sophisticated computer models, use virtual reality to recreate what a pilot should expect when they actually flying. Simulators even use hydraulics to recreate the feeling of takeoff and landing. The benefit to using avirtual reality flight simulatoris that this all takes place in a controlled environment, which is forgiving to mistakes and pose virtually no risk.

Almost every flight by an active military pilot can be a life threatening mission. Training to become a military pilot requires unique skillsets and knowledge of how to react in uncertain situations. Almost all branches of them military, including the Air Force, Army, and Navy, now use virtual reality technologies to train pilots. By using virtual reality, soldiers are taught how to fly in battle, how to handle emergencies and recover fast, and how to coordinate air support with ground operations. Since simulators often have visual acuity over the entire 360-degree field of view, these simulators provide trainees with very deep levels of immersion. As mentioned above, the benefit to using a virtual reality flight simulator is that this all takes place in a controlled environment, which is forgiving to mistakes and poses virtually no risk.

Virtual Reality is only one pillar of reality technologies. Further explore the depth of these technologies by continuing with one of our other Ultimate Guide to Understanding web resources on Mixed Reality or AugmentedReality.

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What is Virtual Reality (VR)? Ultimate Guide to Virtual …

What is virtual reality? – Definition from WhatIs.com

Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound.

The simplest form of virtual reality is a 3-D image that can be explored interactively at a personal computer, usually by manipulating keys or the mouse so that the content of the image moves in some direction or zooms in or out. More sophisticated efforts involve such approaches as wrap-around display screens, actual rooms augmented with wearable computers, and haptics devices that let you feel the display images.

Virtual reality can be divided into:

The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) allows the creator to specify images and the rules for their display and interaction using textual language statements.

See also: augmented reality

See a video introduction to virtual reality:

Excerpt from:

What is virtual reality? – Definition from WhatIs.com

Virtual Reality – Latest Virtual Reality News Headset Reviews

Virtual Reality: what is it and why is it important to know about?

Virtual reality is essentially the use of technology to create the illusion of presence in an environment that isnt really there. It works by sending information to various senses, such as sight and hearing, that fool our brains into experiencing something virtual. The illusion is often completed by the presence of interactivity, in other words the virtual world responds in some way to your presence.

See the rest here:

Virtual Reality – Latest Virtual Reality News Headset Reviews

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both virtual and reality. The definition of virtual is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term virtual reality basically means near-reality. This could, of course, mean anything but it usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation.

We know the world through our senses and perception systems. In school we all learned that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. These are however only our most obvious sense organs. The truth is that humans have many more senses than this, such as a sense of balance for example. These other sensory inputs, plus some special processing of sensory information by our brains ensures that we have a rich flow of information from the environment to our minds.

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. In other words, our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of sensory information and our brains sense-making mechanisms for that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it. You would be presented with a version of reality that isnt really there, but from your perspective it would be perceived as real. Something we would refer to as a virtual reality.

So, in summary, virtual reality entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore in some fashion.

Answering what is virtual reality in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

Although we talk about a few historical early forms of virtual reality elsewhere on the site, today virtual reality is usually implemented using computer technology. There are a range of systems that are used for this purpose, such as headsets, omni-directional treadmills and special gloves. These are used to actually stimulate our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality.

This is more difficult than it sounds, since our senses and brains are evolved to provide us with a finely synchronised and mediated experience. If anything is even a little off we can usually tell. This is where youll hear terms such asimmersiveness and realism enter the conversation. These issues that divide convincing or enjoyable virtual reality experiences from jarring or unpleasant ones are partly technical and partly conceptual. Virtual reality technology needs to take our physiology into account. For example, the human visual field does not look like a video frame. We have (more or less) 180 degrees of vision and although you are not always consciously aware of your peripheral vision, if it were gone youd notice. Similarly when what your eyes and the vestibular system in your ears tell you are in conflict it can cause motion sickness. Which is what happens to some people on boats or when they read while in a car.

If an implementation of virtual reality manages to get the combination of hardware, software and sensory synchronicity just right it achieves something known as a sense of presence. Where the subject really feels like they are present in that environment.

This may seems like a lot of effort, and it is! What makes the development of virtual reality worthwhile? The potential entertainment value is clear. Immersive films and video games are good examples. The entertainment industry is after all a multi-billion dollar one and consumers are always keen on novelty. Virtual reality has many other, more serious, applications as well.

There are a wide variety of applications for virtual reality which include:

Virtual reality can lead to new and exciting discoveries in these areas which impact upon our day to day lives.

Wherever it is too dangerous, expensive or impractical to do something in reality, virtual reality is the answer. From trainee fighter pilots to medical applications trainee surgeons, virtual reality allows us to take virtual risks in order to gain real world experience. As the cost of virtual reality goes down and it becomes more mainstream you can expect more serious uses, such as education or productivity applications, to come to the fore. Virtual reality and its cousin augmented reality could substantively change the way we interface with our digital technologies. Continuing the trend of humanising our technology.

There are many different types of virtual reality systems but they all share the same characteristics such as the ability to allow the person to view three-dimensional images. These images appear life-sized to the person.

Plus they change as the person moves around their environment which corresponds with the change in their field of vision. The aim is for a seamless join between the persons head and eye movements and the appropriate response, e.g. change in perception. This ensures that the virtual environment is both realistic and enjoyable.

A virtual environment should provide the appropriate responses in real time- as the person explores their surroundings. The problems arise when there is a delay between the persons actions and system response or latency which then disrupts their experience. The person becomes aware that they are in an artificial environment and adjusts their behaviour accordingly which results in a stilted, mechanical form of interaction.

The aim is for a natural, free-flowing form of interaction which will result in a memorable experience.

Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there. It uses a host of technologies to achieve this goal and is a technically complex feat that has to account for our perception and cognition. It has both entertainment and serious uses. The technology is becoming cheaper and more widespread. We can expect to see many more innovative uses for the technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality.

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What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

Virtual Reality – YouTube

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Virtual Reality – YouTube

This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

Jak Wilmot, co-founder of Disrupt VR, an Atlanta-based VR content studio, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset, locked up in his apartment.

The Dumbest Thing

Jak Wilmot, the co-founder of Atlanta-based VR content studioDisrupt VR, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset — that’s a full week — pent up in his apartment.

“This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but welcome to a week in the future,” he said in a video about the experiment.

To make the experience even more futuristic, Wilmot livestreamed the entire week on Twitch late last month, later uploading a wrapup video on his entire week on YouTube.

The rules were simple: he could switch from a computer-based Oculus headset to a different, untethered headset for thirty seconds while his eyes were closed. His windows were blacked out, he said, so that his physical body didn’t have to rely on the daylight-dependent circadian rhythm.

His more mobile VR headset had a built in camera in the front, so that he was able to “see” his physical surroundings — but not directly with his own eyes.

“Everything is in the Headset”

Wilmot worked, ate and exercised inside virtual reality. Sleeping in the headset turned out to be “more comfortable” than Wilmot anticipated, though his eyes burned a bit.

“If one is feeling stressed, they can load into a natural environment for ten minutes and relax,” he said in the video. “If one is feeling energetic, they can dispel energy in a fitness game — these are like the new rules of the reality I’ve thrown myself in. Everything is in the headset.”

VR Connection

Wilmot believes that virtual reality is what you make it. If you want to be alone, you can spend time by yourself in a gaming session, slaying dragons in Skyrim VR. Or you can chose to join the cacophony of VRChat — a communal free-for-all multiplayer online platform that allows you to interact with avatars controlled by complete strangers.

“VR is stepping into the shoes of someone else, or stepping into a spaceship and talking to friends,” said Wilmot. “It’s very easy to find your tribe, to make friends, to communicate with others through a virtual landscape, where its no longer through digital window [like a monitor], but actually being there with them. To me that’s what VR is — connection.”

Escaping Virtual Reality

After seven days of living inside the headset, Wilmot took off the goggles and relearned what it’s like to live in the real world.

Experiment_01… ????????

Subject Status… ????? pic.twitter.com/HC0Jqb3aZq

— jak (@JakWilmot) February 27, 2019

Apart from slight dizziness and some disorientation, he came back to normal almost instantly.

One major advantage to not living inside a VR headset: “oh my gosh,” he said, “the graphics are so good.”

READ MORE: This Guy Is Spending A Full Week In VR, For Science [VR Scout]

More on virtual reality: Sex Researchers: For Many, Virtual Lovers Will Replace Humans

The post This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset appeared first on Futurism.

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This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset

12 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality – Entrepreneur

From medicine to architecture, VR has proved to be a breakthrough technology for a variety of industries.

June 2, 2017 6 min read

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.

Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.

In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.

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12 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality – Entrepreneur

Virtual Reality (VR) – Statistics & Facts | Statista

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Virtual Reality (VR) – Statistics & Facts | Statista

12 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality – Entrepreneur

From medicine to architecture, VR has proved to be a breakthrough technology for a variety of industries.

June 2, 2017 6 min read

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.

Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.

In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.

Read more here:

12 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality – Entrepreneur

Virtual Reality – YouTube

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Immerse yourself in a few of today’s most beloved games.

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Instead of merely listening to music: live it.

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Vast landscapes, iconic cities, and other mind-blowing natural places will leave you in awe at the beauty of planet Earth.

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Watch as these stories unfold all around you.

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The places, people, and events that are shaping our world.

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Link:

Virtual Reality – YouTube

VRAC | Virtual Reality Applications Center

Our researches are working on the tools for future precision agriculture. Read more here. Continue reading

Check out why Iowa State has been ranked the best college in Iowa by Time MONEY here. Continue reading

Dr. Jonathan Claussens research group has discovered a way to use inkjet-printed graphene to create wearable/washable electronics. Continue reading

Read more:

VRAC | Virtual Reality Applications Center

How Virtual Reality (VR) can Enrich the Hospitality Industry

Virtual reality, or VR for short, is one of the biggest emerging technology trends and the business world is gradually coming to terms with the various opportunities it provides. For those in the hospitality industry, virtual reality has particular appeal, because it can digitally transport potential customers to a hotel or travel destination.

In this article, you learn various ways hotels can leverage virtual reality to boost business results.

Virtual reality is a computer technology, which utilises images, sounds and physical sensations to make users feel as though they are physically present in a virtual world. Virtual reality technology typically makes use of VR headsets and this equipment enables users to look around and immerse themselves in a digital environment.

The concept of virtual reality has actually existed, in some form, since the 1930s, but high-quality virtual reality headsets have only become a mainstream consumer product in more recent times, due in large part to increased investment from the likes of Google, Facebook and Samsung.

While many of the applications of modern virtual reality are entertainment-based, businesses are increasingly getting to grips with VRs potential as a marketing tool, delivering important information to potential customers in a way they can actually experience, and stimulating multiple senses in the process.

Within the hospitality industry, VR has become particularly important, because of the amount of information the average customer needs before they will actually book a hotel room. Rather than reading through descriptions, which may or may not be trustworthy, it offers customers the chance to experience things for themselves.

For example, this potentially allows customers to experience a virtual recreation of a room within a hotel, or take a look at one of the nearby attractions. Essentially, this allows the hotel industry to benefit from the type of try before you buy marketing that has been commonplace within the food industry for decades.

Of course, the practical uses for virtual reality technology do not stop when the customer has booked a hotel room. Indeed, those within the hospitality industry can continue to use VR to deliver information and allow customers to experience nearby attractions once they have arrived, adding to the hotel experience itself.

The full potential of virtual reality within the hotel industry is only recently being recognised. Nevertheless, three of the best current uses of the technology are outlined below:

One of the most common uses of virtual reality in the hospitality industry so far has been the creation of virtual travel experiences, using 360 degree video technology. Through this, users can experience a virtual recreation of different aspects of travel, from the flight, to arrival, to some of the key sights.

Three examples of this can be seen below. The first is a video showing how the basic process works, and showing people who are wearing VR headsets and experiencing a virtual tour. Meanwhile, the second and third examples are 360 degree videos, which can be viewed with VR glasses or a Google Cardboard for a more immersive experience.

Example #1: A Virtual Honeymoon to London and Hawaii

Example #2: Visit Hamilton Island in 360 Virtual Reality with QantasBest viewed with VR glasses or a Google Cardboard

Example #3: Maldives VR 360 4K VideoBest viewed with VR glasses or a Google Cardboard

Another common use of virtual reality technology within the hotel industry is for virtual hotel tours. These tours can be made available on hotel websites, allowing guests or potential guests to take a look at their hotel room, or other parts of the hotel, before they book or before they arrive.

While these tours are best experienced with a VR headset, they can also potentially be made available to those without access to a headset on social media sites like Facebook, using its 360 degree video technology.

Example: Atlantis Dubai Virtual Tour VR 360Best viewed with VR glasses or a Google Cardboard

Finally, one of the more interesting uses of VR technology in recent times has been the creation of virtual reality booking processes. This has recently been put into action by companies like Amadeus, allowing customers to look for flights, compare hotel prices and book rooms through a virtual reality headset.

The potential for this has not yet been fully explored, but it is easy to see how this VR booking process can allow customers to explore virtual hotel rooms, experience local sights and book a room seamlessly.

Virtual Reality travel search and booking experience

Would you like to learn more about other digital technologies which can benefit your business? Have also a look at the articles How Augmented Reality is Transforming the Hospitality Industry and Using Artificial Intelligence in the Hospitality Industry.

With digital technology continuously evolving, it should come as little surprise that its applications within the travel and hospitality industry evolve too. In the following articles you find the most innovating digital trends in the hospitality industry.

Link:

How Virtual Reality (VR) can Enrich the Hospitality Industry

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both virtual and reality. The definition of virtual is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term virtual reality basically means near-reality. This could, of course, mean anything but it usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation.

We know the world through our senses and perception systems. In school we all learned that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. These are however only our most obvious sense organs. The truth is that humans have many more senses than this, such as a sense of balance for example. These other sensory inputs, plus some special processing of sensory information by our brains ensures that we have a rich flow of information from the environment to our minds.

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. In other words, our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of sensory information and our brains sense-making mechanisms for that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it. You would be presented with a version of reality that isnt really there, but from your perspective it would be perceived as real. Something we would refer to as a virtual reality.

So, in summary, virtual reality entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore in some fashion.

Answering what is virtual reality in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

Although we talk about a few historical early forms of virtual reality elsewhere on the site, today virtual reality is usually implemented using computer technology. There are a range of systems that are used for this purpose, such as headsets, omni-directional treadmills and special gloves. These are used to actually stimulate our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality.

This is more difficult than it sounds, since our senses and brains are evolved to provide us with a finely synchronised and mediated experience. If anything is even a little off we can usually tell. This is where youll hear terms such asimmersiveness and realism enter the conversation. These issues that divide convincing or enjoyable virtual reality experiences from jarring or unpleasant ones are partly technical and partly conceptual. Virtual reality technology needs to take our physiology into account. For example, the human visual field does not look like a video frame. We have (more or less) 180 degrees of vision and although you are not always consciously aware of your peripheral vision, if it were gone youd notice. Similarly when what your eyes and the vestibular system in your ears tell you are in conflict it can cause motion sickness. Which is what happens to some people on boats or when they read while in a car.

If an implementation of virtual reality manages to get the combination of hardware, software and sensory synchronicity just right it achieves something known as a sense of presence. Where the subject really feels like they are present in that environment.

This may seems like a lot of effort, and it is! What makes the development of virtual reality worthwhile? The potential entertainment value is clear. Immersive films and video games are good examples. The entertainment industry is after all a multi-billion dollar one and consumers are always keen on novelty. Virtual reality has many other, more serious, applications as well.

There are a wide variety of applications for virtual reality which include:

Virtual reality can lead to new and exciting discoveries in these areas which impact upon our day to day lives.

Wherever it is too dangerous, expensive or impractical to do something in reality, virtual reality is the answer. From trainee fighter pilots to medical applications trainee surgeons, virtual reality allows us to take virtual risks in order to gain real world experience. As the cost of virtual reality goes down and it becomes more mainstream you can expect more serious uses, such as education or productivity applications, to come to the fore. Virtual reality and its cousin augmented reality could substantively change the way we interface with our digital technologies. Continuing the trend of humanising our technology.

There are many different types of virtual reality systems but they all share the same characteristics such as the ability to allow the person to view three-dimensional images. These images appear life-sized to the person.

Plus they change as the person moves around their environment which corresponds with the change in their field of vision. The aim is for a seamless join between the persons head and eye movements and the appropriate response, e.g. change in perception. This ensures that the virtual environment is both realistic and enjoyable.

A virtual environment should provide the appropriate responses in real time- as the person explores their surroundings. The problems arise when there is a delay between the persons actions and system response or latency which then disrupts their experience. The person becomes aware that they are in an artificial environment and adjusts their behaviour accordingly which results in a stilted, mechanical form of interaction.

The aim is for a natural, free-flowing form of interaction which will result in a memorable experience.

Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there. It uses a host of technologies to achieve this goal and is a technically complex feat that has to account for our perception and cognition. It has both entertainment and serious uses. The technology is becoming cheaper and more widespread. We can expect to see many more innovative uses for the technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality.

Continue reading here:

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both virtual and reality. The definition of virtual is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term virtual reality basically means near-reality. This could, of course, mean anything but it usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation.

We know the world through our senses and perception systems. In school we all learned that we have five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. These are however only our most obvious sense organs. The truth is that humans have many more senses than this, such as a sense of balance for example. These other sensory inputs, plus some special processing of sensory information by our brains ensures that we have a rich flow of information from the environment to our minds.

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. In other words, our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of sensory information and our brains sense-making mechanisms for that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it. You would be presented with a version of reality that isnt really there, but from your perspective it would be perceived as real. Something we would refer to as a virtual reality.

So, in summary, virtual reality entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore in some fashion.

Answering what is virtual reality in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

Although we talk about a few historical early forms of virtual reality elsewhere on the site, today virtual reality is usually implemented using computer technology. There are a range of systems that are used for this purpose, such as headsets, omni-directional treadmills and special gloves. These are used to actually stimulate our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality.

This is more difficult than it sounds, since our senses and brains are evolved to provide us with a finely synchronised and mediated experience. If anything is even a little off we can usually tell. This is where youll hear terms such asimmersiveness and realism enter the conversation. These issues that divide convincing or enjoyable virtual reality experiences from jarring or unpleasant ones are partly technical and partly conceptual. Virtual reality technology needs to take our physiology into account. For example, the human visual field does not look like a video frame. We have (more or less) 180 degrees of vision and although you are not always consciously aware of your peripheral vision, if it were gone youd notice. Similarly when what your eyes and the vestibular system in your ears tell you are in conflict it can cause motion sickness. Which is what happens to some people on boats or when they read while in a car.

If an implementation of virtual reality manages to get the combination of hardware, software and sensory synchronicity just right it achieves something known as a sense of presence. Where the subject really feels like they are present in that environment.

This may seems like a lot of effort, and it is! What makes the development of virtual reality worthwhile? The potential entertainment value is clear. Immersive films and video games are good examples. The entertainment industry is after all a multi-billion dollar one and consumers are always keen on novelty. Virtual reality has many other, more serious, applications as well.

There are a wide variety of applications for virtual reality which include:

Virtual reality can lead to new and exciting discoveries in these areas which impact upon our day to day lives.

Wherever it is too dangerous, expensive or impractical to do something in reality, virtual reality is the answer. From trainee fighter pilots to medical applications trainee surgeons, virtual reality allows us to take virtual risks in order to gain real world experience. As the cost of virtual reality goes down and it becomes more mainstream you can expect more serious uses, such as education or productivity applications, to come to the fore. Virtual reality and its cousin augmented reality could substantively change the way we interface with our digital technologies. Continuing the trend of humanising our technology.

There are many different types of virtual reality systems but they all share the same characteristics such as the ability to allow the person to view three-dimensional images. These images appear life-sized to the person.

Plus they change as the person moves around their environment which corresponds with the change in their field of vision. The aim is for a seamless join between the persons head and eye movements and the appropriate response, e.g. change in perception. This ensures that the virtual environment is both realistic and enjoyable.

A virtual environment should provide the appropriate responses in real time- as the person explores their surroundings. The problems arise when there is a delay between the persons actions and system response or latency which then disrupts their experience. The person becomes aware that they are in an artificial environment and adjusts their behaviour accordingly which results in a stilted, mechanical form of interaction.

The aim is for a natural, free-flowing form of interaction which will result in a memorable experience.

Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there. It uses a host of technologies to achieve this goal and is a technically complex feat that has to account for our perception and cognition. It has both entertainment and serious uses. The technology is becoming cheaper and more widespread. We can expect to see many more innovative uses for the technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality.

Link:

What is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality Society

Virtual Reality – YouTube

This item has been hidden

This item has been hidden

Witness those who have conquered the impossible.

This item has been hidden

Immerse yourself in a few of today’s most beloved games.

This item has been hidden

Instead of merely listening to music: live it.

This item has been hidden

Vast landscapes, iconic cities, and other mind-blowing natural places will leave you in awe at the beauty of planet Earth.

This item has been hidden

Watch as these stories unfold all around you.

This item has been hidden

The places, people, and events that are shaping our world.

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Climb A Towering Summit in VR

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More:

Virtual Reality – YouTube


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