Virtual reality is a technology that many people still only associate with video games and science fiction movies about the future. And while it's not something that is yet used in everyday life, it is a technology that is continuing to be developed and is already being used in many capacities. It is certainly something that has come much further than just being a concept that you might see on an episode of Star Trek.
Most of the virtual reality experiences that are available today really only apply to your visual sense. While the concept implies that it stimulates the feeling that you're fully in a place that your not, like an imaginary world or on a beach in paradise, the truth is that the technology has not yet advanced that far. Some work with other equipment to help stimulate the feeling that you're actually there through your other senses - mainly your sense of touch.
One of the main places where you will see virtual reality equipment being used today is in the military. During training at a Navy facility in the United States, for instance, you might find that people are learning how to do everything from fly planes to land successfully with a parachute with the help of virtual reality systems. Page sponsor - Donna Babbs at Babbsfamilylaw.com
Another real world application that one can already see is in the graphics and art world. Many artists are working with this technology to create scenes where people can feel like their speeding down the highway in a fast car or are just in an apartment in Paris. You will also find that it's being used often when it comes to the creation of new products. Instead of first building a live prototype, people are starting their ideas with examples using virtual reality imaging. This allows them to make changes more quickly and easily as the product evolves through the early stages.
While we can't let go home and put on a pair of glasses that allows us to feel like we're relaxing at some exotic location or that we're swimming in the ocean, some believe that this element of the technology is still on the way and has a place in everyday lives. But, there is also the danger that as people are allowed to spend more time in a virtual world that is meant to be "perfect" they will want to spend less of their time in the real world with all of its flaws.
Virtual reality began to be discussed seriously in the 1970s and has certainly come a long way since then. Jaron Lanier popularized the term in the 1980s and created the company VPL Research. Ready to give virtual reality a whiz? Visit PC Magazine for the article reviews on the best gadgets to do so!