Types of Virtual Reality

Enter here and learn about the different types and how they work.

What is virtual reality?

The leaps and bounds of technological sciences today put at our disposal different types of virtual reality , which seek to facilitate our tasks, expand our experimentation of the environment, and greater participation in the global community. But, before taking advantage of all its possibilities, you need to learn to distinguish them.

Virtual reality is known as the entire set of technologies and experiences for learning, communication, and also entertainment. To put it simply, it is the experimentation of digital environments, real or combined, through recognition technologies, be it distances, elements, visualization or many more.

The elements used involve glasses (or viewers) that show before our eyes projections of aggregated data in the environment. Thus, depending on the type of technology, you will be able to see the real environment combined with the digital one, or only the digital one, to have interactions with its elements.

Technologies of virtual reality

In general rules, three types are recognized: virtual, augmented and combined reality:

  1. Virtual reality:
    (“Virtual Reality” or, for its acronym in English, “VR”). This is a technology that alters reality and the way we perceive it. To put it more easily, it is described as the use of a viewer to observe and interact with an artificial environment, using sensory stimuli that can include sight, hearing, and in advanced elements also false-touch, and in a short time it will be possible to include smell, if the appropriate artifacts are added to the viewer (for example, headphones, gloves and others) . This is the type of technology that you have surely seen in many movies: the characters wear visors or full helmets that allow them to be part of fantastic worlds for entertainment, or real environments that have been digitized, such as in military, medical and military training. others.

Currently, it is mostly used for entertainment (with mega-corporations like Apple, Samsung, Google and even Play Station leading the pack), although it also has applications in various scientific fields of research and education.

  1. Augmented reality:
    (“Augmented Reality” or, for its acronym in English, “AR”). Unlike the previous one, it uses the natural environment and adds data to enhance experimentation, to access information, and to facilitate various tasks. Also through the use of a visor (or full helmets, gloves and other technologies) and screens (such as mobile phones, tablets, even laptops and others), the user can observe the real environment, on which digital elements are “superimposed” corresponding to the activity. Thus, you can access your contact book, email, data in the cloud, videos, music and endless data, which is displayed in a virtual layer added between your eyes and the real world… so to speak.

The daily use of augmented reality includes the famous Google glasses, but perhaps the most notorious example is the interaction arising from the global Pokemon hunt that led millions of people to observe the streets of their cities through the screen of the smartphone, trying detect digital creatures added to space.

  1. Mixed Reality:
    Mixed reality, or combined, is a kind of augmented reality enhanced thanks to the advancement of new technologies. The difference, although subtle, can be significant: it allows data (elements) to be added to the real environment, this time not only overprinted or displayed, but also interacting and reacting to the environment.

Surely you have ever seen a scientific series and marveled at the technology that allowed showing the human organs in operation projected in a hologram on the operating room table, while the doctors rotated and modified the projection to identify the patient’s illness, or perhaps you saw to a certain detective creating the most wonderful hypotheses that allowed defining unsolved mysteries with projections that were modified in real time, using the data that forensic investigators loaded into databases. Those are two good examples of what mixed reality wants to offer us.

Currently, this type of technology is available to various fields of research and science, although corporations are working to make it one of the virtual realities adapted to our lives.

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