Welcome to Virtual Reality Society (VRS). A one-stop information and news resource for virtual reality and its related technologies. Here you will find a wide range of information on the exciting world of virtual reality, from comprehensive material for beginners to interesting and deep discussions of virtual reality’s problems, implications and applications.
Our mission is to become the definitive source of virtual reality information and we constantly strive to achieve this goal. Be sure to bookmark us and check back regularly for new features and new sections on our site.
Virtual Reality: what is it and why is it important to know about?
Virtual reality is essentially the use of technology to create the illusion of presence in an environment that isn’t really there. It works by sending information to various senses, such as sight and hearing, that fool our brains into experiencing something virtual. The illusion is often completed by the presence of interactivity, in other words the virtual world responds in some way to your presence.
Of course, generating such virtual worlds by technological means is quite a complex process and requires advanced computer hardware and software to accomplish, not to mention the complexity of peripheral devices that perform virtual reality specific functions themselves.
It’s this historical cost of virtual reality that has confined its application to areas where it is either infeasible to simulate something in another way or the danger of doing so would be too great. Aviation and medicine, for example, have made use of virtual reality to allow pilots and surgeons to train in their respective professions in a highly realistic manner without risking life, limb or infrastructure.
There have been attempts to translate these high-end virtual reality technologies to the consumer space before, but the technological limitations of the day meant that not only were these products not particularly good, but many were actively unpleasant to use. Issues such as motion sickness brought on by slow and laggy visuals, for example, would be enough to put anyone off from trying the technology a second time.
Today however, thanks to the march of technological innovation, virtual reality is set to undergo a renaissance in the consumer world. Virtual Reality (VR) and its close cousin Augmented Reality (AR) are going to become ever more common features in daily life, just like smartphones and the internet. You’ll likely find that no matter the area you work in, virtual reality will have some impact on it in the near to medium term. So, don’t get caught out by the next big consumer technology revolution! Join us in exploring the state of the art as well as the past and future of virtual reality.
Where to go from here?
If you are new to virtual reality (or just want a refresher) we suggest you start with our What is virtual reality? section for a more in-depth discussion of the topic. We look at practical examples and discuss the core technologies in a clear and simple way. Providing a solid foundation for further reading.
We also feature a series of in-depth virtual reality guides if you are particularly interested in a certain area of VR and its applications:
If you’re curious about where modern virtual reality comes from then be sure to have a look at The history of virtual reality.You might be surprised at some of the early attempts at virtual reality systems.
The many different purposes to which virtual reality is put is explored in detail under the Applications of virtual reality section. We look at industries such as aviation, medicine,
If you are keen to get a taste of the technology yourself you’ll want to have a look at Virtual reality gear. We look at different set ups for different budgets and requirements. From cheap DIY solutions to high-end consumer systems for the home user.
Pros and cons of virtual reality
We have series of articles about the various applications of this technology and the equipment used, for example, VR glasses (or goggles as they are sometimes called). This is where you can find out more about the two types of virtual environments:
Both of these result in very different types of experiences.
A virtual environment needs to place the user at its centre and ensure that he or she has a productive experience which they are likely to repeat. But a common problem with virtual reality systems is motion sickness which is caused by poor ergonomics and a lack of awareness of the physical needs of the user. This, as one of the disadvantages of virtual reality, is something which needs to be addressed.
There are many other sections to discover here at VRS, so feel free to explore every part of the site. If you have any questions or comments you can find us on the contact page.