The entertainment industry is one of the most enthusiastic advocates of virtual reality, most noticeably in games and virtual worlds. But other equally popular areas include:
- Virtual Museums, e.g. interactive exhibitions
- Theatre, e.g. interactive performances
- Virtual theme parks
- Discovery centres
Many of these areas fall into the category ‘edutainment’ in which the aim is to educate as well as entertain.
These environments enable members of the public to engage with the exhibits in ways which were previously forbidden or unknown. They wear virtual reality glasses with stereoscopic lenses which allow them to see 3D objects and at different angles. And in some cases they can interact with the exhibits by means of an input device such as a data glove.
An example of this is a historical building which the member of the public can view at different angles. Plus they are able to walk through this building, visiting different rooms to find out more about how people lived at that particular time in history.
They are able to do this by means of a tracking system (built into the glasses) which tracks their movements and feeds this information back to a computer. The computer responds by changing the images in front of the person to match their change in perception and maintain a sense of realism.
There are a range of virtual reality systems available for audience entertainment which includes CAVE systems, augmented reality systems, simulators and 3D display platforms.
Virtual reality gaming is a very popular form of entertainment which is discussed in more detail in a separate section. Visit the virtual reality games section which contains a set of individual articles discussing VR games for Xbox, PC and PS3 as well as virtual worlds.