What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality (VR), also referred to as immersive technology, simulates a three dimensional physical reality through digital technology. Users can interact with elements of this simulated reality or be immersed within entire virtual environments as if the digital simulations were physically present.

Virtual Reality provides an umbrella term for a wide variety of immersive experiences, which can be created using purely real-world content, purely computer generated content or a hybrid of both. Virtual Reality has created a lot of buzz over the last few years as hardware, software, and computing power are finally coming together to provide a sense of immersion sufficiently sophisticated to trick the human brain into sensing a genuine reality.

Content-viewing hardware, of which Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) are getting the most press, range from Google Cardboard (using a mobile phone) to HTC Vive (creating room sized interactable simulations) are currently taking center stage. They offer much more immersive experiences than what we have come to expect from the “window into a 3D world” we get from games or CAD on standard monitors. They also offer a more convincing immersive experience at much more economical price than a CAVE style system and they are exponentially more versatile than mission specific VR experiences like professional Flight Simulators.