Structure of the text:
This text is a basic introduction to Virtual Reality for absolute beginners. In addition, it provides things you could work on if you find the topic interesting.
Here’s how we’ll go about it – We shall first define Virtual Reality in a broad sense to get an idea of all the stuff it could refer to. We will then identify the major technical components of this technology and discuss how these components work individually. Eventually, we will integrate these components to form what we can call a Virtual Reality System.
Introduction to Virtual Reality:
Above is a beautiful image by dgator77 of the setting sun… Or is it? Is the sun really about to set?
Did you know the light of the sun takes 8 minutes (approx) to reach the earth? So the sun is no longer there where you see it. It is now displaced, maybe it has already set. When you look at the image or in the sky, you “see” the sun. Your eyes see it. But it is just a virtual image created of, in this case, a previous reality. Since reality is determined by our senses, we can generate a virtual impression of something that is not a reality which is what we can call – a Virtual Reality.
“What is real? How do you define real?
If you’re talking about what you can hear, what you can smell, taste & feel, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” – Morpheus (The Matrix)
So essentially, it turns out that our definition of reality depends largely on our senses and how we perceive things around us. Virtual Reality aims at stimulating the senses to create a virtual world which is indistinguishable from the “real” world.
We can then go one step further and provide a greater ranges of the various senses than what humans usually have. This could be to allow them to see with bird’s UV vision or hear with whale’s ultra-low frequencies. But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s first look at how a virtual reality system works – Virtual Reality > Basic Principle