What is Virtual Reality? You’ve probably heard about virtual reality and its development over the past 20 years. A mainstay of science fiction films and television shows, the technology of this particular media has grown considerably over the past decade and is now becoming even more practical in more applications than ever before.But what is virtual reality and what is the best virtual reality form that exists today? Is it something that will have practical, everyday value in the near future?


    Essentially, virtual reality is the creation of an artificial environment that within its boundaries mimics the real world. The environment is created by computer using three-dimensional (3D) imagery which can be interacted with by the user. The term itself means near-reality which may imply either the limitations of the technology or the fact that the world created is one that is suppose to contain elements that are not real.


    To interact with this world, a person wears head-mounted glasses or a full display that allows them to see the 3D images that are created inside this world. The addition of sound helps to ground the virtual reality more with the senses. In addition to the glasses or headgear, many of the best virtual reality simulators includes what is known as a haptic device or data glove that allows the person to touch the virtual objects in the environment.



    For many, the practical applications of virtual reality may seem limited given the current technology. But the effort to create more realistic environments is increasing and the results are such that more industries are starting to see the value in having this type of technology available.

    While there are obvious applications to the arts and entertainment fields, virtual reality has also touched other industries such as architecture, medicines and even sports. One of the most interesting applications is its use in surgery where it is used to simulate surgeries to help train a new generation of surgeons.




    While there are different features, they generally share the same basic idea of allowing a person to view a virtual world made up of 3D images that are interactive. The images themselves also appear to be life-size and will change in perspective as the person moves about the environment. So, when someone is wearing the haptic headgear, if they should turn or tilt their head, the images will respond accordingly.

    Although the images themselves have advanced considerably over the years, the real advancements have been in the reaction time from when the person changes their point of view in this world. The effect in the best virtual reality simulations is seamless which manufacturers are still trying to perfect. However, when it comes to what is virtual reality this is the key element that helps bring the person fully into this environment.

    Overall, the perfection of the virtual reality technology is an ongoing process that will no doubt enjoy some incredible advances in the foreseeable future. However, even today there are virtual reality devices that offer considerable advantages for a number of different industries.