VR (Virtual Reality), as well as AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality), are changing many different industries. It has many different applications, from entertainment, education, design and more. Virtual Reality is the use of a headset and headphones to immerse yourself within a computer-generated environment. VR headsets consist of two individual screens separated to display to a single eye each, and different hardware allowing for head tracking. In addition to headsets, there are normally VR controllers for each hand that work with an external sensor. Most standard VR headsets connect to a PC and run through a real time engine, but there are some standalone VR headsets. In 1968 Ivan Sutherland invented the VR headset, but the technology only recently advanced enough to sell the commercially available ones we know today.
VR does not necessarily solve a problem, but opens new paths. Now, medical students can see virtual diagrams of different organs and systems, architects can walk within buildings they are designing, and more. The main risks of VR are eye strain from staring at the screens for extended periods of time, and motion sickness from the simulated movement. VR will affect the world in many ways. It could be used for socially distanced meetings and conferences in the future, it could allow students to learn in a more immersive way. Eventually, there will be more adaptation of VR with MR to implement virtual aspects into our reality. VR will become a leading tool for learning and entertainment in the near future, when they begin to make the headsets more affordable.
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Thompson, Sophie. “VR Applications: 21 Industries Already Using Virtual Reality.” VirtualSpeech, VirtualSpeech, 12 Mar. 2019, virtualspeech.com/blog/vr-applications.
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