Imagination is to Technology as Fuel is to Fire. Imagination and purpose together drive technology. It is due to these that technology today is evolving at an exponential rate. Virtual Reality on one hand places the viewer inside a moment or a place, made possible by visual and sound technology that manoeuvres the brain into believing it is somewhere else. It is an experience of a world that does not exist. Sounds cool, right?!
Virtual Reality tricks one’s mind using computers that allow one to experience and more interestingly, interact with a 3D world. This is made possible by putting on a head-mounted display which sends a form of input tracking. The display is split between the eyes and thus creates a stereoscopic 3D effect with stereo sound to give you a graphic experience. The technology feeds in the images of the objects taken at slightly different angles which creates an impression of depth and solidity. The LCD or OLED panels inside are refracted by lenses completely fills the field of vision with what is to be displayed and experienced. Together with the technology and the input tracking, it creates an immersive and exciting believable world that the computer generates.
What we know today as VR, has been existing for decades now. Taking you back to when 360° paintings took the world by surprise, giving a virtual element. VR merely is ‘The Wise Guy’ of the digital world. It creates a world which neither functions according to you, nor does it respond to your actions. It gives you a first-hand experience with even the after-effects of an event along with the ability to interact and interrelate with the world created.
This technology holds vast potential insights into the workings of the Human Brain. According to researchers and medical specialists, VRs have the ability to diagnose medical conditions from social anxiety to chronic pain. Though the use of VR to tweak the brain is still at a budding stage. While most people were too engrossed in its advancements and leap in the gaming and exploring the industry, many are unaware of its achievements in the health sector. VRs have been successfully treating post-traumatic stress disorder since the 1990s, the new programs thus address a much broader range of conditions. The VR content exposes the patients to a virtual, safe and controlled environment where they can explore and eventually learn that the threats they are worried about can be tackled patiently with time, thinking and analyzing.
VR displays are available in various forms. Ranging from the ones that already contain the display, splitting the feed for each eye using a cable to transfer the feed to the console, to the more affordable ones which depend upon the VR mode and applications on Smartphones. The HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR are a few of the head-mounts that use this setup. One can create one’s own Virtual Reality Box at home, along with a smartphone-compatible with the VR mode. Irrespective of the use, Virtual Reality produces a set of data that can be used to develop models, communication, training methods and interaction. In simple words, the possibilities are endless.