Essay about Virtual Reality

Submitted By geminigal71
Words: 1577
Pages: 7

Virtual Reality Technology is forever changing. We have gone from having massive machines that occupied entire rooms to having devices that fit in the palm of our hands. Now, imagine tasting, smelling, touching, hearing and seeing other people, places, and things from anywhere in the world or imaging being a part of a simulated world that someone created. This can all be achieved through a technology referred to as virtual reality. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, virtual reality is defined as an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment; also : the technology used to create or access a virtual reality (Merriam-Webster). The way that I understand it is that virtual means near and reality is what we as humans experience in our daily lives. So to me virtual reality, or VR as it has come to be known as, literally means “near reality”. It is like being part of a world that is non- existent but yet to someone, somewhere that world is as real as if they were breathing the air they breathe in reality. Many people think that virtual reality is something that has just been developed in the last 20 years or so when in fact VR was actually developed back in 1956 by Moron Heilig. He created a multisensory machine that was called the Sensorama.

This machine was designed to make the user feel they were part of an experience rather than just watching it. The Sensorama was patented in 1961 (Carlson, 2003). Heilig also had an idea to include a smelling component into the experience but this idea was not developed until years later. Another scientist named Ivan Sutherland developed a unit where a person could look into a virtual world that appeared as real as the physical world. Because this technology was linked to a computer, the user could manipulate things within this virtual world with the use of a Head-mounted device. Virtual reality has been used for years by the military for training purposes. Soldiers can train for combat and learn to how to react to dangerous situations without risking limb or life. On the other end of the spectrum, virtual reality can be used in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) by exposing the solider to the causes for their condition which enables them to gradually adjust and learn to cope with specific situations. An advantage of using virtual reality in the military is that it costs far less for our soldiers to be shooting, blowing up, and destroying things virtually than it does in real world. Another area that virtual reality can be found is in the healthcare field. A surgeon can practice new surgical skills or improve on existing ones in a VR environment. As the medical field, like technology changes every day, it allows the physician to perform an entire procedure complete with medical equipment, a full staff, and a patient without risking anyone’s life. Virtual reality also prevented a lot of unnecessary invasive procedures with the use of diagnostic modalities such as MRI. How cool would it be to be a medical student where you can stand inside the human body, move around organs and blood vessels or potentially discover the cure for one of life’s many incurable diseases? Student K-12 have also benefited from the use of virtual reality. It has given them a learning environment in which it is both fun and easy. They can interact with other students who live on the other side of the world. With the use of virtual reality, the possibilities are endless not only in the above situations but in literally anything in life. As with any kind of technology, there are pros and cons to the use of virtual reality. As noted above, VR can be used for training without putting others in harm’s way, it can help those that are incapacitated live a fuller life,