Virtual reality is a technically created world, in which a person feels very close to the real world. The degree of how much a person feels himself in virtual reality is the degree of immersion.
Virtual reality technology is constantly developing. A silent movie can be regarded as one of the forerunners of such technology, and some of the latest developments in the area are video capture, stereo video and virtual reality headsets. Today the abundance of different virtual reality devices is simply amazing. However, for the successful development of VR technology sufficient demand for them must exist.
Virtual Reality Headsets
The other name for VR headsets is VR glasses. Once a person puts on these glasses, everything he sees, is a virtual world. This is the main difference of the virtual reality glasses from augmented reality glasses. VR glasses can be compared with headphones, but only for the eyes.
Leading developers of virtual reality headsets today are Oculus Rift, Sony HMZ-T1 and Silico MicroDisplay ST1080. The most advanced device is without doubt Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift surpasses all existing analogues and surely can start a new revolution in virtual reality.
Head tracking systems
These are systems that track the movement of a person’s head in space. The most famous of these systems is TrackIR, RUCAP UM-5, HeadJoy and ART.
Eyetracking system tracks the movement of pupils and can calculate exactly in which direction the person is looking. Today, these systems are absent at the consumer market, but they are widely used in science and medicine for the study of human behavior.
Motion tracking systems
These are systems for tracking the movements of the human body. A VR character is usually repeating the motions. There are two basic approaches.
The first approach is securing a large number of sensors on the gamer. Computer tracks the movement of these sensors in space. This expensive technology is used mainly in 3D movies.
Another approach represents cheaper technology, which doesn’t use sensors and is based on image recognition. To put it simply, the man is filmed by a special videocamera which recognizes what he is doing: for example, jumps or stays still. Representatives of this technology are Kinect from Microsoft and Leap 3D.
The main means of interaction with the outside world for a man is his hands. So the idea of creating a “virtual hand” exists for a very long time. It is suggested that special gloves can be used to track the movement of the hands and fingers. So far, unfortunately, virtual reality gloves are not comfortable enough, and in the near future they are likely to be substituted by devices like Leap 3D.
The most famous gloves are the PEREGRINE Wearable Interface – Medium Glove, Essential Reality P5 Gaming Glove, Kinect from Microsoft and Leap 3D.
3D controllers / 3D mouse
Conventional 2D controllers, such as a mouse, allow to specify a dot. When it comes to using the mouse in 3D games, an additional device such as a keyboard must be also used.
Today there are more advanced devices that allow you to work directly in 3D. The most famous 3D controllers used in games are Wii Remote and PlayStation Move. Unlike gamers, architects, engineers and designers use special 3D mouse. A leader in 3D mouse and 3D controller market is 3Dconnexion.
Feedback devices are widely known since the 1990s. These are vibrating joysticks, steering wheels and swivelling chairs that you can find in entertainment centers.