What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality, you may or may not have heard of it. The immersive computer-simulated experience has taken the technology world and turned it upside down. Software Designers create three-dimensional environments for users to play games, interact, complete tasks, work out, and so much more.


Now for those of you that think Virtual Reality headsets were just created in the last few years, unfortunately, you are incorrect. The history of VR dates back to 1939 when the “View-Master”, a stereoscopic virtual simulator, was created. With the many advancements in technology since then, many have continued to try and create the immersive experience with applications and experiences being released throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

The popularity of VR grew slowly but surely in the 90s as in the beginning it was mainly used for military and medical training. Flight and training simulations were groundbreaking for the piece of equipment as they showed its true potential in immersing someone in a completely different environment.

Virtual Reality has since widened to a consumer demographic, becoming more sophisticated and affordable for the average person. Companies such as Facebook, Google, and Samsung have all created their own headset, looking to reap the rewards of the fast-growing frenzy for VR. The possibilities for VR users now are infinite. You can play many different games, learn a new language, interact with friends and colleagues, or travel the world all from your own home.


It has also huge possibilities for training and learning purposes as well. Oculus recently partnered with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to build immersive high-risk pediatric training scenarios for medical students and staff. VR is also used in law enforcement and military training to create different scenarios and simulations where authorities need to make split-second decisions. Also in the automotive industry for manufacturers to experiment with new designs. Even here at the BCIT Campus, our library is equipped with multiple VR Headsets to help students fully immerse themselves into many different learning experiences.

So while games are the main attraction to getting yourself a VR headset, the uses, and purposes for it will only expand as the technology world grows larger and it has the potential to transform how we play, work, learn, communicate, and experience the world around us.


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