Virtual reality works around 5 main components.
. The Head Mounted Display headset: It is the component at the heart of the visual immersion sensation, thanks to a system based on two screens, one for each eye, allowing the depth of the field of vision to be streamed.
. The joysticks: In the virtual world, the controllers are like your hands, allowing you to interact with the environment. They thus actively contribute to the feeling of touch.
. Motion sensors: These are the sensors that make it possible to follow the exact position of the helmet and controllers, and thus to offer the sensation of movement and life-size immersion.
. The audio system: It has a dual characteristic. First of all, it allows sensory immersion by transcribing the sounds from the VR experience. On the other hand, it allows communication with other players, which is essential for a collaborative adventure.
. The computer: Its role is preponderant because it must be correctly dimensioned to meet the needs of the RV, in particular, to ensure a refresh rate of at least 90 frames per second.
Virtual reality is a relatively old concept, even if its name is somewhat recent. The terms “immersive multimedia” and “simulated computer reality” can be considered synonyms. A definition that has been popularized would read: “A set of computer techniques used to simulate the physical presence of a user in a virtual universe artificially created by various devices and software.
Virtual reality will thus make its user live a visual experience of immersion in a world and a universe created digitally. These universes can be entirely imaginary and drawn from the minds of their creators, but they can also be partial or complete representations of real places, drawn from real life.
A little history
The first traces of the evocation of virtual reality in its present sense date back to the mid-1930s, with Stanley G. Weinbaum. The latter published a short story in which he speaks explicitly of a pair of glasses allowing the wearer to have the impression of being transported into a virtual universe in which he can interact, touch and feel things.
In the real world, the first research on virtual reality dates back to the 1950s′. At that time, Morton Heilig, creator, and inventor was working on an entertainment concept that would stimulate the spectator’s senses to deceive his mind and make him believe that he was evolving in a different universe from the real world. In the early 60’s, after a decade of research and testing, Morton introduced the Sensorama. At that time, digital did not exist. The Sensorama is, therefore, a mechanical device that transports its user into an artificially created universe. Morton offered 5 short films compatible with his system, which marked the beginning of the RV concept.
During the same period, the U.S. military became interested in the RV concept to adapt it to a flight simulator.
HTC Vive, best VR handset hands up!
David Johnson chose the VIVE technology developed by the Taiwanese company HTC.
The HTC Vive headset, equipped with 32 sensors for 360° motion tracking, delivers stunning image quality with a resolution of 2160 x 1200 pixels. It offers total visual immersion thanks to a 110° field of view. It is also very comfortable to wear thanks to foam cushions and nose pads that offer personalized comfort. It is particularly suitable for most pairs of glasses.
Thanks to its 2 controllers, each with 24 detectors, the HTC Vive offers accurate motion tracking for perfect interaction with the environment.
As for its exclusive integrated audio system, it allows sound and image to be perfectly synchronized for an enhanced immersive effect.