Virtual Reality as Jaron Lanier Envisioned It. Essay

Words: 2053
Pages: 9

VR Essay

2. Virtual Reality as Lanier envisioned it has not eventuated, yet the desires he articulated live on. Discuss.

To discuss Lanier’s keen views and anticipations regarding Virtual Reality back in the mid 1980s, it would be useful to first cover exactly how far Virtual Reality has progressed up until today. This essay will begin by discussing the history of Virtual Reality and the usage trends. That discussion will then be used to preface a discussion about Lanier’s views that were expressed in A Vintage Virtual Reality Interview. The essay will then finish off by looking at particularly interesting views held by some of today’s futurists and these views will be related back to Lanier’s original exuberant view of Virtual
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In medicine, VR environments have been used for exposure therapy and even for the treatment of phantom limb pain. There are even many uses for VR technology in the sex industry.

So as of today, we do have quite a few practical uses for VR technology in training programs, however VR usage (the way Sutherland and Lanier envisioned it) within the entertainment industry hasn’t entirely been capitalized on just yet. The reasons why VR technology has not become the norm in personal gaming vary, however many people attribute it to the often jerky, imperfect nature of most HMDs that display computer generated environments. There is also the issue of comfort. Many gamers are not interested in having a heavy HMD strapped to their head for hours while they play games.

Virtual Reality in the form of HMDs and tactile sensors is often seen as more of a fad than a useful form of technology. However, there is still some tremendous advancement in these old ideas that continue to be re-imagined and re-created. These are ideas that are striving for that immersion that Lanier originally imagined. Two quite recent advancements include the Oculus Rift HMD and the Virtuix Omni controller. The Oculus Rift strives to be the HMD that will solve all the problems that previous HMDs had before it, while the Virtuix Omni is advertised as the solution to natural movement inputs that will immerse the user physically as much as