"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
This is an informative speech about Virtual Reality.
Imagine yourself being able to jump off of the Empire State Building and fly over New York City on your own personal tour. You catch a glimpse of Madison Square, you see a breathtaking view of Broadway, and then you quickly pass over Monk\'s Coffee Shop, where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer have spent many a memorable time.
Now step back a few hundred years. How would you like to go back to medieval times and joust with a Celtic Knight. Envision slaying a fire-breathing dragon or being part of the royal family and presiding over a middle-English court.
One last visualization. You\'re playing baseball in Busch Stadium on the same team as Mark McGwire. The crowd is wild. You bask in the glory as you realize that they are cheering for you!
Now stop fantasizing. Probably none of these things are ever going to happen to you in real life. However, there is a way that you can experience the feeling that something like this is happening. If you\'re open to new ideas, and you have a good imagination, virtual reality may be a toy for you.
What is VR?
Virtual Reality grew out of flight simulation research during World War II and early computer graphics research in the 1960\'s. In 1965, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland published a paper describing "The Ultimate Display" and set the stage for research on the technology of Virtual Reality. Here\'s an excerpt from his paper:
"The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining, and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal. With appropriate programming, such a display could literally be the Wonderland into which Alice walked."
Virtual reality can actually be defined as any medium where one feels a sense of "immersion" and "presence" in the environment generated or described. This means that if your imagination is wild enough, watching any television show or reading a book can be virtual reality. What the term has come to mean over the years is wearing hardware, along with very sophisticated software, to give the user a sense of immersion and presence in a computer-generated, virtual environment.
For the purposes of my speech, I will define Virtual reality (VR) as a highly interactive, computer-generated environment. With this definition, there are two main types of Virtual Reality, graphics-based, and text-based.
In graphics-based VR, the user interacts and participates in a "virtually real" world. This world is a three-dimensional, computer-generated simulation. The user may become so immersed in the virtual world that the world appears to be nearly as real as reality. Graphics-based VR allows one to break the two-dimensional constraints of today\'s familiar equipment. The keyboard, mouse, and monitor force us to adapt to tight, unnatural situations. VR devices let you interact with real-time 3D graphics in a more natural manner. This should enhance one\'s ability to understand, analyze, create, and communicate. It also lets you experience things directly. For example, Instead of reading a newspaper article about a recent Cougar basketball game, you can actually go back to the basketball game and watch it yourself. If you want, you could even play with the team. Today\'s interfaces let you look and move around inside a virtual model or environment, drive through it, lift things, hear thing, feel things, and experience things just as you would in the real world.
In text-based VR the user participates in a MOO (multiuser domain, object-oriented) or other Internet-based, text-described environment, such as a chat room, or a bulletin board. The participants in a MOO build a simulated world with words entered via their computer\'s keyboards.
While text-based VR can really only be used for online entertainment purposes, Graphics-based virtual reality has many practical applications.
Five of these applications are Medical, Space Exploration, Physical, Chemical, and, of course, Entertainment.
Medical researchers have been using VR techniques to synthesize diagnostic images of a patient\'s body to do predictive modeling of radiation treatment using images created by ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and X-ray. A radiation therapist in a virtual would could viewand expose
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Virtual reality, Immersion, Head-mounted display, Virtual world, Simulation, Methods of virtual reality, Virtual reality in telerehabilitation
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