Virtual reality was supposed to be the technology of the future, but is still treated more as a curiosity than a technological breakthrough. There was no revolution, but this may change in the coming years thanks to the use of technology also in other industries than entertainment.
The origins of virtual reality begin in the 1960s in the United States, when the Sensorama, a TV-like device giving the illusion of being in a different reality, and the Ultimate Display, the first virtual reality generating equipment that is the prototype of today’s goggles. In the next decade, another epochal invention is being developed, Data Glove, the first glove-like controller to interact with virtual objects.
In the 1980s, EyePhone, the prototype of a camera that transfers movements into virtual reality without any controllers, appeared, and was the protoplast of today’s Kinecta.
Another epochal invention can be considered Data Suit. However, virtual reality only began to arouse more interest at the turn of the 80s and 90s, when the first arcade machines appeared in game rooms. At the beginning of the 90s Amiga 3000, the first fully-fledged set for virtual reality, was created, as well as game equipment called Virtuality 1000CS.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the VR industry was experiencing stagnation. The entire industry is even abandoning the idea of VR and over the years in the field of virtual reality nothing spectacular happens.
The real revolution was the appearance in 2012 of the first prototype of the VR Oculus Rift goggles, which again awakened widespread interest in virtual reality.
These were the first commercial VR goggles available to any willing user – cheaper, more comfortable to use and, above all, providing a better experience than its predecessors. The development of virtual reality can be accelerated by devices for controlling movements not by means of controllers, but only by means of thoughts, developed by Neurable. The use of the brain to control machines has been known before, but it is only now that devices capable of reading and interpreting brain signals and influencing virtual reality have been developed.
The potential inherent in virtual reality is also being exploited by the training industry. According to the organizers, they save time and money, because they do not require contact with the trainer or teacher, and the training can be used by many people simultaneously.
Moreover, according to research they are more effective than traditional courses and trainings.
One of the many industries that have taken an interest in virtual reality is education. According to research, people who are in virtual reality remember the content they receive much more effectively. VR technology can be used, for example, to support the teaching of biology (photos and films of nature, simulations of the structure of plants and animals), geography (e. g. through 360° photos and films), or physics and chemistry (simulation of physical and chemical phenomena and processes).
Thanks to VR simulations it’s possible to observe phenomena inaccessible on a daily basis (such as volcanic eruptions) or to explore inaccessible places (such as the depths of the oceans).
The potential of this technology has also been recognized by the industry, which has proven that virtual reality can be successfully used in machine design, significantly reducing production time and associated costs. VR technology allows for the creation of Simulation models that allow you to see exactly what the finished project will look like before production and commissioning. Designing in virtual reality also allows for immediate changes to be made to the machine model without the need to physically rebuild it.
One of the most interesting areas of using virtual reality is the healthcare market. VR goggles can facilitate the work of even neurosurgeons, because with their help they can precisely locate the tumor, view a three-dimensional image of the brain, learn its structure and better plan the operation. Virtual reality also works in psychotherapy, allowing to Confront fears in strictly controlled conditions, which gives the patient a sense of security.