Virtual reality, also referred to as VR, has taken the gaming industry by storm, and continues to expand itself into other fields. VR is the simulation of a 3D environment through computer technology. These artificial settings can be interacted with using various equipment, such as a head-mounted display. The two types of VR that are most acknowledged are non-immersive and immersive. Non-immersive VR relies on a series of screens that displays virtual information to encompass the user. The screens generate the sense of being in a virtual environment but won’t enable the user to be fully engrossed in the simulation. However, what most individuals envision of virtual reality, is immersive VR. Immersive VR occurs when the user relies on a wearable device that creates VR content or data in response to their motions.
Where Is Virtual Reality Being Exercised?
Though virtual reality has been mainly applied in the gaming world, the advancements noted in VR enable other fields to benefit from computerized simulations. For instance, driving simulations can recreate hazardous driving scenarios without authentic danger. Users can interact virtually with an autonomous vehicle, generating crucial data on the user’s behavioral instincts within the environment. VR also permits individuals to visualize 3D models thoroughly by illustrating how products respond to certain conditions and determining which sections of the prototype need to be modified.
Although educational applications of VR have not been widely used, virtual reality's future in education is probable. A more comprehensive VR application entitled mixed reality can be used in real-world learning situations. Mixed reality allows pupils to maintain full awareness of their surroundings while having a better visual understanding and representation of their work. This results in fewer errors and promotes engagement. Due to the rise in virtual and asynchronous learning, virtual reality possesses the ability to enhance schooling by fabricating an environment where the queries of students are answered by computerized teachers.
Furthermore, the medical world has also employed VR through practice procedures. Patient-specific virtual reality simulations (PSVR) train doctors to familiarize themselves with procedures where they are open to making faults on an artificial patient and thus decreasing the likelihood of harming an actual patient.
What Are Virtual Reality’s Limitations?
One hindrance of VR is cybersickness. Cybersickness is motion sickness caused by virtual reality. Though the cause is unknown, many approve of the sensory conflict theory. It states cybersickness occurs due to the contrast between what the user sees in virtual reality and their body's motion. Cybersickness can be aggravated by the position of the user (whether they are sitting or standing), the lagging of the VR, the speed of the game, and how acclimated one is to VR.
Consequential discoveries in technology have been found and celebrated. However, more technological advancements are needed to fully embrace VR's abilities. The standardized use of VR technology and presentation is still developing. The functionality and interface requirements specific to each developer's technology make it difficult to move applications between devices. Currently, the only consistency that can be observed occurs in well-known games that are made for use with different VR platforms.
To conclude, VR possesses the potential to benefit the world through driving simulations, mixed reality, and patient-specific virtual reality simulations. Unfortunately, VR can’t be fully employed due to its constraints: cybersickness and unadvanced technology. Though limitations to VR exist, professionals are certain of the augmentation of VR. As technology becomes more advanced, problems that range from healthcare to communication will, hopefully, diminish.
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Hamad, Ayah, and Bochen Jia. “How Virtual Reality Technology Has Changed Our Lives: An Overview of the Current and Potential Applications and Limitations.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 18, MDPI, Sept. 2022, p. 11278, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9517547/.
Lupascu, Max. Cheerful Girl with Hands up Wearing the Virtual Reality Goggles.
Sakuma, Paul. The Virtual Reality System Is Helping Train Residents, Assist Surgeons in Planning Upcoming Operations and Educate Patients. It Also Helps Surgeons in the Operating Room, Guiding Them in a Three-Dimensional Space.