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Virtual Reality Today and Beyond Virtual reality VR is the creation of a highly interactive computer based multimedia environment in which the user becomes a participant with the computer in what is known as a synthetic environment Virtual reality uses computers to immerse one inside a three-dimensional program rather than simulate it in two-dimensions on a monitor Lewis 14 Utilizing the concept of virtual reality the computer engineer integrates video technology high resolution image-processing and sensor technology into the data processor so that a person can enter into and react with three-dimensional spaces generated by computer graphics The goal computer engineers have is to create an artificial world that feels genuine and will respond to every movement one makes just as the real world does Virtual reality has two fundamental qualities One is the idea of immersion of a human into a computer generated scene and the other is the concept of navigation through this virtual world There are basic ways of entering a virtual world by way of computer and monitor with input device However the most complex uses a Datasuit along with the Eyephone device to fully engulf one into cyberspace with simultaneous six-degrees of freedom Robst 2 The Datasuit is an instrumented full-body garment that enables full-body interaction with a computer constructed world The Eyephone is a head mounted stereo display that shows a computer made virtual world in full color with three dimensions This display can be computer generated or real via video cameras which with sound delivered through the headset brings a dramatically authentic experience During this century responsive technologies are moving even closer to us becoming the standard interface through which we gain much of our experience One of the most exciting prospects of this technology is the creation of an artificial global city Virtual reality provides the vehicle to conceive this global city The intention being that the city contains enough people for groups to form affiliations
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