Virtual of [email protected] arch.pw.edu.pl,Abstract.This work presents what has

Virtual RealityThe Past, the Present and the Future of Virtual RealityMarta Skorupko11 Architecture for Society of Knowledge, Faculty of Architecture Warsaw University of [email protected] arch.pw.edu.pl,Abstract.This work presents what has done in the past, what is done right now and what wemight see in a short future, by researching about past innovations of the VirtualReality and observing the news for usage of Virtual Reality devices or plans.Virtual Reality (VR), sometimes called Virtual Environments (VE) has drawn much attention in the last few years. Extensive media coverage causes this interest to grow rapidly. Very few people, however, really know what VR is, what its basic principles and its open problems are. In this paper a historical overview of virtual reality is presented, basic terminology followed by applications of this technology in science, work, and entertainment areas. An insightful study of typical VR systems is done. All components of VR application and interrelations between them are thoroughly examined: input devices, output devices and software. Additionally human factors and their implication on the design issues of VE are discussed. Finally, the future of VR is considered in few aspects: architectural, technological and social. New research directions, technological frontiers and potential applications are pointed out. The possible positive and negative influence of VR on life of average people is speculated.Keywords. Virtual Reality; graphics; Virtual Environment; simulation; architecture.I. IntroductionToday computer graphics is used in many aspects of our life. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine an architect, engineer, or interior designer working without a graphics workstation. In the last years the stormy development of technology brings more faster computers equipped with better and faster graphics boards and other components. It is possible for an average user, to move into the world of computer graphics.What is Virtual Reality (VR)?Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound.What can Virtual Reality do for us in our normal life?Virtual Reality gives us a lot of possibilities. Not only for explore a complete different worlds as for example in games where we can feel even more like we are part of this artificial world, but also helps us optimizing and planning for operations, and gives people possibility for training new skills for example air force use virtual reality for training new pilots.There are so many things which we can do with Virtual Reality, so in next years we can expect a significant growth in popularity of virtual reality, as well as rapid development of this technology. The prognose says that Virtual Reality will bring up to 2.300 Million US Dollar with even the doubled sales in the years 2017 (“Virtual Reality – Prognose zum Umsatz weltweit bis 2018 | Statistik,” n.d.). Oculus Rift selled 60.000 DevKid1s (Vrland, n.d.) and 45.000 DevKids2 until July 1st 2014 (cybereality, 2014), which indicates that the market is growing and people are aware of the technology.II. HistoryMost of the inventions that are concerning computers, are made in the military or at least sponsored by it. The military was also the driving force for most of the simulators and for the beginning of the virtual reality.Technology of Virtual Environment which becomes popular and fashionable in current decade was launched about 50 years ago.The first one to realize that there hast be more than displaying content on paper was Douglas Engelbar. His concept was to combine video screens and computers, which, as we can see today, worked. His lab, the Augmentation Research Center is also responsible for most of the interfaces developments we use nowadays. In 1966 he gave the first demonstration of his system where he simply opened a document, copy and pasted a part and then closed it. His usage of the mouse and the screen was the beginning of the Virtual Reality we know nowadays (Pimentel).Let us have a short glimpse at the last five decades of research in Virtual Reality:Sensorama – in years 1960-1962 Morton Heilig created a multi-sensory simulator. Film in color and stereo, was augmented by binaural sound, scent, wind and vibration experiences. This was the first approach to create a virtual reality system.The Ultimate Display – in 1965 Ivan Sutherland proposed the ultimate solution of virtual reality: an artificial world construction concept that included interactive graphics, force-feedback, sound, smell and taste.UNC Walkthrough project – at the University of North Carolina an architectural walkthrough application was developed in the second half of 1980s. Several VR devices were constructed to improve the quality of this system.Augmented Reality (AR) – this project dating 1990s, a technology that “presents a virtual world that enriches, rather than replaces the real world” (S. Bryson). This is achieved by means of see-through HMD that superimposes virtual three-dimensional objects on real ones. This technology was previously used to enrich fighter pilot’s view with additional flight information.Virtual Reality used in architectureThe first attempts to apply VR as a visualization tool were architectural walkthrough systems. The pioneering works in this field were done at the University of North Carolina beginning after year 1986, with the new system generations developed constantly. Many other research groups created impressive applications as well – just to mention the visualization of St. Peter Basilica at the Vatican presented at the Virtual Reality World’95 congress in Stuttgart or commercial Virtual Kitchen design tool.III. Virtual reality technologyArchitecture- modeling,

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