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Virtual Reality (VR) is a new and exciting technology that holds much promise for delivering innovative new ways for people to interact with computers.
What is Virtual Reality?
The goal of a VR system is to place the user in a synthetically generated three-dimensional environment that he or she can directly manipulate. Ideally, users cease to think of themselves as interacting with a computer; they think of themselves as interacting with the environment it has created. Special input and output devices allow a user to interact with a virtual environment. These capture the user's motion and gestures and produce the sensory feedback from the synthetic environment to the user's vision, hearing and touch.
Virtual Reality Technology
The popular conception of VR involves full immersion of the user. That is, he or she wears a head-mounted stereo display to provide full visual immersion, special gloves and a body-suit for movement detection and tactile feedback, and wears earphones - or uses loudspeakers - for audio immersion. The user position and movement are tracked in real time and animated perceptual feedback is provided. Accordingly, the user perceives him or herself → her as being inside a physical environment, and able to manipulate the virtual objects it contains by ordinary body movements. Small movements of a user can be amplified to obtain enhanced or unusual effects in these virtual worlds.
VR and Telecommunications
VR technology has the potential to be a means of delivering a flexible effective way for the customer to gain access to tele-education, tele-working, teleshoping, and other services necessary to support the activities of daily life in a community. The current pace of development is sufficiently great to start fulfilling this potential within several years.