Virtual Reality is an Alternate World

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Virtual Reality is an Alternate World Computers are a very important part of everyday life. They are used in homes, workplaces, schools, and many other institutions. Today computers aid in research, calculation, organization, and provide numerous additional applications. Computers can literally even take us to other worlds and different realms of reality by a concept referred to as virtual reality. Virtual reality, or simply VR, is a system that allows one or various users to engage in a computer created world that is sensitive to the user’s sight, hearing, and touch. It can also be referred to as an interaction between one or more users and the computer accompanied by the use of special VR interface devices. Users are allowed to move and react in a created reality just as they would in real life. Since this interaction is similar to real life, users often become immersed in the interface and feel as if they are actually experiencing reality. The history of virtual reality stems back into the 1950s. At this time computers were huge machines that occupied entire rooms. These computers were only used by experts and printed out calculated data. Douglas Engelbart, a young electrical engineer and naval radar technician, believed that these computers should and could also be used for digital display. He proposed that a screen, which presented the data in a visual form, be connected to the computer. His ideas were dismissed until the 1960s, when new and advanced transistor-based computers were introduced. These new computers were user-friendlier and made possible the use of a screen and basic graphics. These technological advances sparked many important events during the 1960s. The U.S. Military commissioned a new radar system th... ... middle of paper ... ...t, one day, each home and office will have a Cave system installed and that the system, which coats thousands of dollars now, will be affordable to all people. Some sociologists ask where the barrier between human and computer interaction should be drawn. They fear that virtual reality and simulated interaction will totally wipe out the need for real human interaction. The future impacts of virtual reality are unknown and are only limited by the human intelligence and imagination. Bibliography Capron, H. L., Jonhson, J. A.. Computers: Tools for an Information Age. Prentice Hall. New Jersey: 2000. Encarta Encyclopedia. October 26 2001: http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=761579472. Facit Homepage. October 26 2001: http://www.facit.co.uk Science for the Millennium. October 26 2001: http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Expo/main.html

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