What is "virtual reality?"

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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"Virtual reality" is a "reality" that is created within the constructs of a computer. It has no basis in actual physical constructs.

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated three-dimensional environment that generally provides real-time interactivity for the user.


Virtual reality (VR) is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate [mimic, replicate] physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds.

In virtual reality, simulations are created. Some are very basic, whereas others may be extremely sophisticated and complex. Virtual reality has been in place since the mid-1990s, but still has quite a distance to go before it is utilized to its greatest potential. The gaming world has moved into using virtual reality. The business and manufacturing arenas have also experienced some success using virtual reality in employee training, product design and areas of management development.

For business uses, some successful applications of VR have been in such areas as product design and modeling, employee training, data visualization, and management decision-making aids.

"Transportation equipment design" has also benefitted from using virtual reality in providing design input that will ultimately be of benefit to the driver, especially in the area of safety; changes can be made in the virtual world without great expense, saving automotive manufacturers a great deal of money.

For example, automotive designers can use a simulation of proposed car design to pretest usability concerns like the driver's range of view through the windshield, the impact of glare on the windshield, how well the headlight design functions in different driving conditions, and a host of other design factors. If the simulation shows unfavorable results, the design can be changed at a relatively low cost compared to finding these problems only after a physical prototype is made.

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