At the Venice Film Festival this year, besides all the talent that is bound to be on show, virtual reality technology is all set to steal the thunder! ‘Jesus VR-The Story of Christ’ will be unveiled bringing Virtual Reality into mainstream cinema and indicating the biggest investment thus far. The film assures anyone interested in seeing the preview before its release this December of a life-time experience of ‘being a spectator’ in the scenes. It’s a fitting way of telling that Europe’s most fascinating film festival location is meeting the future ‘head-on’!
But what exactly is Virtual Reality?
To answer that in the most technical way possible, we can say that it is a computer technology that replicates software generated sounds, images and other sensations in a setting that simulates a physical presence in that environment for an individual or to say, the ‘user’. Which is to say the ‘user,’ or a person, with the aid of certain kinds of equipment is able to have a ‘virtual’ experience of everything around him or her in the artificially created 3-dimensional computer generated environment. While interacting in such an environment, the user can perform actions, manipulate objects and react to situations. Such an experience includes seeing, hearing and touching and on a lesser level, even smelling.
To actually define ‘Virtual Reality’ we have to put together the definitions for ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’ to arrive at ‘near’ and ‘real-time experience’ respectively. And so we get a term meaning near reality or close at hand reality emulation.
Besides the five senses and perceptions that humans have in our sense organs, there are other senses that we learn through sensory inputs that our brain activates by processing information from the environment around us. In other words, we experience reality through our brain’s sense-processing and making mechanism that creates sensory information for us. In the same manner, if our senses are presented with a version of reality that isn’t actually physically present we still perceive it as real because of the sensory information attached to it. This is what Virtual Reality is all about. In the modern age we live in, these virtual reality experiences are created with computers and technology generated environments.
Any notion of Virtual Reality being only fun and games must be quickly put to rest. While the notion of entertainment is abundantly clear and visible, it has many other important applications also.
Virtual Reality is used in a wide range of applications such as architecture, arts, defense, medicine, military equipment, sports and so on. It is also the answer to accomplishing a task that is extremely dangerous, expensive or impractical and can be done without human intervention, thereby allowing us to gain much needed knowledge without risks. The way we interface with digital technologies is rapidly changing.