Some people misunderstand virtual reality with other notions like virtual worlds and VRML. This article is an introduction to virtual reality and what it is.
This means that virtual reality are the hardware and software that allows the interaction of the humans with the virtual world. For example, a wired glove, 3d glasses, or the software associated with it.
Here we are two new notions: virtual world, and avatar.
A virtual world is a simulated space, ambient or environment that is created inside a computer. Not necessarily it has to be a 3d world. It can be 2d, text-based, or whatever.
In fact, a fantasy book in which the writer describes deeply the environment of a magic universe can be considered a virtual world depiction. And some board role playing games could be considered virtual worlds too.
Some 3d games, 3d chats, social 3d worlds, role playing games... all them can be considered virtual worlds.
Avatar is what represents the user (you) in a virtual world. Not always avatars take the shape of 3d figures that move in a 3d world. Sometimes they are 2d images, or text descriptions. And a 3d avatar doesn't need to be humanoid, it can be just a floating weapon or hand, or whatever.
Augmented reality mix what is virtual with what is real. For example, you put on some 3d glasses, and walk through the street. The computer generates some monsters or people that cross your way, and you see them like if they were in the real street with you, but only you see them. This may sound a bit scary, but techniques like this are used very often in military or medical training, for example.
Have you had the opportunity to test some good virtual reality hardware? If you did, it would be great that you could share your experience with us all in the comments.
© 2008 by Jordi R. Cardona. Link to this post without copying the text.If you liked this post, get updates of Hiperia3D News for FREE