Virtual Reality… Still A Waste Of Time?

vrAccording to novelist and multimedia developer Douglas Adams, there is no such thing as virtual reality. Or, to put it another way, everything we perceive is virtual reality.

The world is composed of an infinite number of spectra, frequencies and textures. The human body perceives some of these and simply ignores the others.

Computer-generated sensation is no different from sensations created by night binoculars, a hearing aid or even a pair of glasses. Each is a virtual reality.

However, computer-generated sensation lets users create entirely new worlds, rather than simply providing different ways to perceive the real one.

Types of virtual reality

According to the new book “Virtual Reality — Through the New Looking Glass,” by Ken Pimentel and Kevin Teixeira, there are three types of computer-generated reality: total immersion, augmented reality and projected reality.

Total immersion, which attempts to bring the user completely into a computer-generated world by using the computer to stimulate the visual, aural and tactile senses, is what most people think of as virtual reality.

Total immersion today is usually accomplished with head-mounted displays, three-dimensional sound systems and pressure-sensitive gloves or body suits.

For example, total immersion would allow users to walk through and interact with a computer-generated architectural …