Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality is an artificial world created by means of computer programs. A user is mobile in this world. The respective section of the artificially created, digital world adapts to the movements and viewpoints of the user. When entering virtual reality, all body movements can be used for navigation and perception. “VR glasses” are usually used as the interface in virtual reality. Virtual reality has become more and more important for virtual commerce.

Background[edit]

The history of virtual reality goes back to ancient times. At that time, virtual reality was not created with computers of course. Instead, the idea of ​​an artificial world was created in literature. The actual term “virtual reality” was mentioned in a 19th century novel.

The technical implementation of virtual reality followed rudimentarily in 1932. At that time, an American physicist named Edwin Herbert Land experimented with polarization filters. These filters created a 3D effect in image reproduction. The first modern computing machine was created around a decade later. Thus, the technical foundation for today’s artificial reality was created.

Ultimately, virtual reality is based today on computing operations of computers and special image reproduction technology. In the meantime, film technology has continued to develop. Computers were also able to perform bigger and bigger tasks.

The pioneer for the further development of the virtual reality was NASA. The US space agency created a computer-intensive system in the 1980s that simulated and visualized the landing on Mars. The term “virtual reality” was first recorded in a dictionary in the 1980s as well.

Another decisive step was the development of the first data glasses in 2008. Data gloves were already introduced before then. In 2012, Oculus presented a first version of data glasses for the broad market. Today, various manufacturers offer glasses that give users access to virtual reality.

A very broad public was reached with the Google Cardboard. This is a version of VR glasses from Google. It consists of a carton that is folded into a pair of glasses. A smartphone gets inserted into it. The user then has the option to watch videos or web pages in 3D and to change the image details through head movements. According to various statements, Google is already working on data glasses that do not require a smartphone.

Technical requirements[edit]

A VR engine is required in order for virtual reality to be generated. It converts the data of a database into a special image format which a user can visually capture with an appropriate device. At the same time, the interface must enable the user to use virtual reality with body movements.

Depending on the complexity of the program, the virtual reality can be controlled with head movements only or if you have data gloves and VR cameras, with the entire body.

In order for the motions to be transferred to virtual reality, a data connection must exist between the input device and the VR engine. Currently the use of virtual reality requires a fast Internet connection.

Application of virtual reality[edit]

Virtual reality can now be used in a variety of ways.

  • Gaming: There are already many computer games based on virtual reality.
  • YouTube: This video platform has been experimenting with VR video formats since 2016. These videos are also called 360-degree videos. There is also a separate channel, in which the network collects such videos for users. A smartphone with VR glasses is required to view such videos.
  • Media: News stations and TV stations have launched their own programs in 2016, which can be viewed with VR glasses.
  • Virtual commerce: In e-commerce, online merchants have begun to implement ideas for VR.
  • Science: With the help of virtual reality, many scenarios can be simulated to be life-like.

Benefits for online marketing[edit]

As of 2016, the use of virtual reality is still very weak in online marketing. However, the development of new online shop concepts is not far-fetched. Likewise, online advertising can use the extensive possibilities of virtual reality. A new form of storytelling or a special kind of content marketing is conceivable.

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