Virtual Reality Equipment
Virtual reality equipment lets users experience a fictional environment. It requires a headset with a display, sensors and compatible controllers.
PC-based VR headsets plug into powerful gaming computers to enable the high-resolution images and head tracking technology. They support new 3D games and existing ones with a first-person perspective.
VR is a useful training tool virtual reality equipment that can help firefighters, pilots and astronauts practice for dangerous situations without risking life and limb. It also reduces costs and shortens timeframes for conferences and meetings.
A headset is a type of head-mounted device that features a display screen and state-of-the-art sound, eye or head motion-tracking sensors or cameras. Headsets range from standalone units like the Google Cardboard headset to tethered systems such as the HTC Vive Pro 2, which is priced at about $1,550 and requires two base stations to track controller movement.
Most headsets use lenses to shape a flat screen into stereoscopic 3D images that mimic the way our eyes see real objects in the world. This is what makes VR feel so immersive.
There are a few types of standalone VR headsets, including the $800 Nintendo Labo VR for the Switch and the $299 Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus Q2). The latter has color passthrough cameras that make it feel more like augmented reality. Expect Apple’s upcoming headset to have similar functionality at a much lower price. Headsets with a physical IPD adjustment can help address the varying distance between people’s pupils, which can cause issues with how well headsets sit on their heads and how comfortable they are to wear for long periods.
Computers are the brains behind virtual reality, processing information to create the virtual environment. They can be as large as a room-sized rig or as small as a handheld device. Computers are used in many fields, including art, photography and dance. They are also a key component of the digital transformation happening across the business world.
A growing number of businesses are using VR as a training tool or to offer new ways to do things. In the auto industry, for instance, Ford uses VR to allow engineers to examine every nook and cranny of a car’s design before it’s built.
In the healthcare field, VR can be used for skills training and surgery simulation. It can also be used to help treat phobias. In the entertainment realm, VR offers a immersive experience that can’t be replicated with traditional movie screens. For example, users can walk around in a virtual theater or even step into a football stadium. At this year’s CES, NASA used VR to give the public the experience of what it is like to climb aboard its spacecrafts.
Motion tracking is the technology that captures a user’s movement within a VR environment and translates it into data to be used by an application. This allows for a wide variety virtual reality equipment of applications including performance analysis and training, VR entertainment and validation of computer vision and robotics.
Commercial VR sets currently include passive optical tracking systems that monitor the position of the headset and controllers to provide head and bimanual tracking. However, more advanced systems use inertial sensors to track rotational movement (roll, pitch and yaw) as well as translational movement. This is referred to as Six Degrees of Freedom and provides the high level of motion accuracy required by many applications.
For example, VR allows firefighters, pilots and astronauts to practice for dangerous missions in a safe virtual environment, saving lives and time. Also, virtual conferences help save time and money and allow employees to stay connected with colleagues from remote locations. VR can also be used to test-drive cars or try on wedding bands without leaving the house. Other uses include medical training and data visualization for engineering and scientific purposes.
Sensors are a key component of VR hardware. They convert energy into electronic data and then transmit this information to a computer processor. This data can then be used to manipulate a virtual world and create an immersive experience for users.
For example, in a headset with head tracking, sensors will measure the position of your head on an XY plane and plot this data to a VR screen, creating a view of your surroundings that is similar to your actual environment. This type of sensor is often called six degrees of freedom, or 6DOF, and it uses gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers, and other components.
Other types of VR sensors include eye tracking and heart rate monitoring. These can be useful in research on things like human performance, attention and cognitive load. They can also be used for applications such as surgical training or gaming.
Sensors can also be used to monitor respiration and arousal, such as GSR. This can help researchers get a more accurate picture of the impact of VR on participants and can provide valuable insights into the potential for human-machine interaction in real life.
VR software is the backbone of the system, managing its inputs and outputs. It also provides a variety of tools for enhancing the experience. For instance, it can create and display images with depth. It can also change the scale of objects in the image and reconstruct the distances between them. It can also incorporate audio, a key component of the immersive experience. It can even use treadmills or stationary bikes to give users the sensation of moving around in a virtual environment. There have also been experiments with incorporating olfactory devices into VR.
The health care industry has been one of the earliest adopters of VR. Companies like Surgical Theater and Conquer Mobile can use real diagnostic images from CAT scans and ultrasounds to construct 3D models of patients’ anatomy. This helps new and experienced surgeons locate tumors and make incisions safely.
It can also be used to train emergency response personnel in dangerous situations. For example, firefighters, pilots, astronauts and police can practice their skills in a safe environment before going out into the field.