A simulated environment in which you can immerse yourself. A virtual reality environment provides a convincing replacement for the visual and auditory senses, and the tactile sense. In later decades, the olfactory sense will be included as well. The key to a realistic visual experience in virtual reality is that when you move your head, the scene instantly repositions itself so that you are now looking at a different region of a three-dimensional scene. The intention is to simulate what happens when you turn your real head in the real world: The images captured by your retinas rapidly change. Your brain nonetheless understands that the world has remained stationary and that the image is sliding across your retinas only because your head is rotating. Initially, virtual reality (including crude contemporary systems) requires the use of special helmets to provide the visual and auditory environments. Although stories differ, the term "Virtual Reality" has been attributed to Jaron Lanier, the dreadlocked technologist, who coined it in 1990. The concept, as it is popularly understood, appeared in William Gibson"s 1984 novel Neuromancer, as a reality substrate to which users neurally "jack in," otherwise known as Cyberspace. Virtual Reality can be understood as having evolved synergistically from two seemingly opposed origins: the government/military complex of the 1950s, from which computer aided design, in terms of graphically represented vectors ultimately forming landscapes that shift to create a depiction of trajectory and flight simulation, and the world of art, which although slow to accept technology as a means of traditional creation, certainly spurred innovation in the form of graphic design and animation that ultimately has lead to computer generated images used seamlessly in film and television oftentimes paired with "real" images. Where these two poles meet are worlds in which the artistic innovation, paired with impossibly complex math and physics, become digital landscapes in which we are coming closer and closer to fully immersing ourselves as part of everyday experience. It is not surprising that the most poignant examples of Virtual Reality can be found in highly realistic interactive games.
Articles on KurzweilAI.net that refer to Virtual RealityThe Human Machine Merger: Why We Will Spend Most of Our Time in Virtual Reality in the Twenty-first Century By Ray Kurzweil
The Age of Spiritual Machines: Glossary By Ray Kurzweil
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Chapter 1: The Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-First Century By Ray Kurzweil
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Interactive Imaging Systems
Interactive Imaging systems is the worlds leading manufacturer of immersive head mounted display devices. Our award winning product has been utilized for years in applications such as entertainment, industry, training and education.
Electronic Visualization Laboratory
EVL is a graduate research laboratory specializing in virtual reality and real-time interactive computer graphics; it is a joint effort of UIC's College of Engineering and School of Art and Design, and represents the oldest formal collaboration between engineering and art in the country offering graduate degrees to those specializing in visualization. Over the past several years, EVL has teamed with computer scientists, computational scientists and engineers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory to collect, maintain, develop, distribute, and evaluate virtual reality (VR) tools and techniques for scientific computing.
Human Interface Technology Lab - University of Washington
The Human Interface Technology Laboratory is a research and development lab in virtual interface technology. HITL was established in 1989 by the Washington Technology Center (WTC) to transform virtual environment concepts and early research into practical, market-driven products and processes.
Computer generation of virtual environments, primarily for training applications, basic research on haptics, i.e., on manual sensing and manipulation, and development of improved haptic interfaces that enable users to touch and manipulate computer generated virtual objects
NPSNET Research Group
The focus of the NPSNET Research Group is on the complete breadth of human-computer interaction and software technology for implementing large scale virtual environments (LSVEs) for defense and entertainment industry application.