Definition of the concept
Examples and illustrations
Jaron Lanier, "father" of Virtual Reality, and Lead
Scientist, Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist,
composer, visual artist and author.
He is best known for his work in Virtual Reality.
He coined the term "Virtual Reality", and was a
principal pioneer in the scientific, engineering, and
commercial aspects of the field.
Currently, Lanier serves as the Lead Scientist of the
National Tele-immersion Initiative, a coalition of
research universities studying advanced applications
for Internet 2.
Lanier has proposed and implemented a variety of
technologies that have since spawned industries in
their own right.
Among his lineup of "firsts" are the first "avatar" for
network communications , the first moving camera
virtual set for television production, and the first
performance animation for 3D computer graphics.
He was the first to propose web-based network
He was one of the originators of real-time surgical
simulation and telesurgery.
As a computer scientist, Lanier is also known as a
pioneer in the field of visual programming.
DEFINITION OF THE CONCEPT
Virtual Reality is a simulation in which computer
graphics is used to create a realistic-looking world.
Moreover, the synthetic world is not static, but
responds to the user's input (gesture, verbal command,
It is an artificial environment that is created with
software and presented to the user in such a way that
the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real
The hardware components receive input from user-
controlled devices and convey multi-sensory output to
create the illusion of a virtual world.
The software component of a VR system manages the
hardware that makes up VR system. This software is
not necessarily responsible for actually creating the
virtual world. Instead, a separate piece of software (the
VR application) creates the virtual world by making
use of the VR software system.
The basis for the VR idea is that a computer can
synthesize a three-dimensional (3D) graphical
environment from numerical data.
Using visual, aural or haptic devices, the human
operator can experience the environment as if it were a
part of the world.
This computer generated world may be either a model
of a real-world object, such as a house; or an abstract
world that does not exist in a real sense but is
understood by humans.
Typically, a VR system is composed by:
the output tools (visual, aural and haptic), that immerse the user
in the virtual environment;
the input tools (trackers, gloves or mice) that continually reports
the position and movements of the users;
the graphic rendering system that generates, at 20-30 frames per
second, the virtual environment;
the database construction and virtual object modeling software
for building and maintaining detailed and realistic models of the
virtual world. In particular, the software handles the geometry,
texture, intelligent behavior, and physical modeling of hardness,
inertia, surface plasticity, of any object included in the virtual
EXAMPLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Types of Virtual Reality
Fully Immersive VR
Fully Immersive VR
Fully Immersive VR: With this type of solution the
user appears to be fully inserted in the computer
This illusion is produced by providing immersive
output devices (head mounted display, force feedback
robotic arms, etc.) and a system of head/body tracking
to guarantee the exact correspondence and co-
ordination of user's movements with the feedback of
Desktop VR: Uses subjective immersion. The feeling of
immersion can be improved through stereoscopic
Interaction with the virtual world can be made via
mouse, joystick or typical VR peripherals such as
CAVE. Cave is a small room where a computer-
generated world is projected on the walls.
The projection is made on both front and side walls.
This solution is particularly suitable for collective VR
experience because it allows different people to share
the same experience at the same time.
Telepresence. Users can influence and operate in a
world that is real but in a different location. The users
can observe the current situation with remote cameras
and achieve actions via robotic and electronic arms.
Augmented. The user's view of the world is
supplemented with virtual objects, usually to provide
information about the real environment. For instance,
in military applications vision performance is
enhanced by pictograms that anticipate the presence
of other entities out of sight.
Engineering and Design
• An area in which virtual reality has tremendous
potential is in architectural design.
• Already being created are architectural "walk-
throughs" that allow designers and clients to examine
homes and office buildings, inside and out, before
• With virtual reality, designers can interactively test a
building before construction begins.
United States: The military used it as flight
simulators to train pilots.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) use VR technology to construct a model of
the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) .in September,
1993, approximately 100 members of the NASA
HST flight team received over 200 hours of
training using the VR...
researchers are using virtual reality technology to
create 3-D ultrasound images to help doctors
diagnose and treat congenital heart defects in
The medical application of VR was stimulated
initially by the need of medical staff to visualise
complex medical data, particularly during surgery
and for surgery planning, and for medical
education and training.
Engineering and design
Engineers of all descriptions are already using virtual
reality simulations to create and test prototypes.
In the aerospace industry, the new Boeing 777 was the
first aircraft to be designed and tested using virtual-
Physical prototypes take a great deal of time to
produce and are very costly. Changes to electronic or
simulated prototypes can be done rapidly and
inexpensively, shortening development time. Hoping
to save money in prototyping and avoid cost overruns.
Given advances in electronic networks, virtual work
benches will be created with engineers in distant
locations around the globe working in teams to design
The virtual reality for e-commerce that we’re talking
about is much more economical than such
complicated programming. It uses special
photographic techniques to truly show ‘real’
Virtual house walk-throughs and examination of
rental properties or model homes for as-yet-unbuilt
neighborhoods are examples of this. The consumer
can see what a site looks like, tour a home or other
facility or go places that are otherwise inaccessible.
An other major use of Virtual Reality environments is
found in the entertainment market. This is in fact the
biggest application in terms of financial profitability.
Many companies are producing games that uses
Virtual Reality principles. The audience for such
games is enormous and explains why this application
is so important.
In manufacturing applications, we see all levels of 3D
computer assisted design systems (CAD) up to the full
blown Virtual Reality system, using high-end head
mounted displays and VR gloves.
Nowadays, the use of virtual reality in the
manufacturing area includes simulating airflow and
aerodynamic performances of a car frame.
Other uses of VR includes ergonomic studies such as
shown in the figure in the following slide.
The designers are able to test the placement of various
components inside the car so that the seated driver can
easily access and manipulate all the controls around
This kind of virtual prototyping is a very efficient and
cost effective method to perform early tests and fine
tune manufacturing details before any physical
prototype is actually required.
For educational purposes in general, VR has been
widely proposed as a significant technological
breakthrough that possesses an immense potential to
Reasons for this are that VR allows students to
visualize abstract concepts, to take part in and interact
with events that for reasons of distance, time, scale,
safety or money would not otherwise be conceivable.
Some people paint a rosy picture of what life would be
like if virtual reality were everywhere. In an article in
the journal of the Association for Computing
Machinery, multimedia expert Ramesh Jain wrote:
"You might experience your friend's wedding in India,
seeing what is happening, feeling the warm, humid air
of the wedding hall, listening to conversations and the
wedding music, and enjoying the taste and aroma of
the food being served. You might experience all that
and more while sitting at home in Montana on a frigid
Others think VR may have much less helpful effects.
They point to physical and mental problems that some
people who use the technology have already
Such problems go far beyond the annoying nausea of
simulator sickness. Makers of flight simulators, for
instance, found out decades ago that pilots who had
used such simulators sometimes made mistakes
during actual flying because of differences between
the simulated environment and reality.
According to Moore’s Law we should have a computer
powerful enough to run immersive VR programs in our
own homes by the year 2037.
Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is
created with software and presented to the user in
such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it
as a real environment.
The uses of virtual realty are infinite. It can be used for
Architecture, Training. Medicine, Engineering and
Design, Ecommerce, Entertainment, Manufacturing
Virtual reality will greatly enhance education, science,
industry, art, and entertainment, as it has already
begun to do.
It will simplify many tasks and let people express their
creativity in new ways.
On the other hand VR may have much less helpful
effects such as physical and mental problems for
people who use the technology
Jaron Lanier-unfinished revolution
What is virtual reality : An Intro
What is virtual reality
Virtual in education: on-line survey
Virtual reality resources