Today fantastic stories about the virtual reality turn into reality objective. What expects us in the future? Perhaps all of us will live in a matrix soon?
The virtual revolution
The term “the virtual reality” exists not one decade. The first person who created a helmet added (according to other data – the virtual) realities, the American information scientist Ivan Sutherland is considered. The device, rather primitive to the modern measures, allowed the person to be transferred to system of three-dimensional wire rooms. The virtual and augmented reality – concepts different. The first creates the integral simulated world, and the second only brings simulated elements in our perception of the actual world.
Already today we see technologies which will form the basis of the virtual reality tomorrow. For example, the well-known gadget of Oculus Rift – the helmet of the virtual reality developed by the Oculus VR company which was created by Americans John D. Carmack of II (John D. Carmack II) and Palmer Freeman Luckey.
The prototype of the device was presented in 2012 at an exhibition of the industry of computer games Electronic Entertainment Expo. The campaign helped to raise funds for Kickstarter – in one month developers received about 2,5 million dollars. The first developer (intended for developers) the version of a helmet was called DK1. These sets began to enter to customers in March, 2013, and their price made 300 dollars. The device included one 6-7-inch TFT screen with Full HD resolution and two lenses.
Soon there was a version for DK2 developers, and later the public saw the third version of a helmet – Crescent Bay. All three developer versions were released by restricted circulations and without guarantee. But now in a closing stage of development there is the first consumer Oculus Rift Consumer Version (CV1) version. Apparently, a helmet will have a 7-inch display and 24-bit depth of color. Also the display resolution – to 1080p will be increased. Devices plan to market at the beginning of this year, and its estimated price has to make 300 dollars (though the cost of the first copies can be higher and reach 1000 dollars).
But how the necessary effect and why Oculus Rift can make a revolution is reached? Palmer Lucky pays an attention that development of this technology is constrained by restrictions of a human body. To many users of stereo glasses it became badly more narrow in the tenth minute of their use. That to avoid it, it was necessary to reduce delays between turn of the head and reaction of the image to several milliseconds. This result was achieved by the price of great efforts of developers – in Oculus VR intimately cooperated with software developers from the different countries. Oculus Rift reminds a mask for scuba diving, but at the same time it is convenient and easy to carry it. Lenses in an Oculus Rift helmet allow the person to see as if he from distance of a half a meter peered at the 27-inch monitor. A helmet covers a field of vision completely, blocking all external irritants and allowing to plunge into a game completely. At the expense of lenses the game world looks curved – curved outside and around us. Permission of the image leaves much to be desired, but in the future this defect will probably be eliminated.
In March, 2014 Facebook bought Oculus rift for 2 billion dollars. The founder of social network Mark Zuckerberg placed emphasis that it was long-term investment. That the platform became attractive to developers, the number of the sold devices has to make 50-100 million units. The Facebook company intends to wait for it the whole decade.
How was революционен an Oculus Rift helmet, it has apparent restrictions, the body of the person remains out of the computer world. The engineer Oliver Kreylos who “transferred” the body to the virtual world tried to overcome these restrictions. For this purpose in a makeweight to an Oculus Rift helmet of Kreylos used three sensors of Kinect. They were placed in the small room and programmed on creation of a 3D model of a body of the user online. Then it placed the embodiment in model of the office. And though the idea looked curious, movement in space in this case was limited by room walls.
The contribution was brought also by the Virtuix company which created the Virtuix Omni device. The omnidirectional cap allows the player to steep to the fictional worlds – Virtuix Omni gives the chance to run, jump, squat and move sideways. In horizontal position of the player the express zone frame will support. The platform is small and does not take a lot of place. At the same time the cost of the device makes only 500 dollars.
The Razer Hydra controller became one more decision designed to add Oculus Rift. It gives the chance to operate the character in a game by means of driving of hands in the actual world. Razer Hydra is extremely prime, convenient and compact. Sales of a device started in 2011, and its price makes 140 dollars.
Reality and virtuality
The described gadgets – only the first step on the way of the complete immersion to the virtual world. However until recently all similar talk concerned generally game industry. But whether immersion in the virtual reality can solve pressing problems of mankind?
Analysts believe that soon the virtual reality will pass from the game industry into other fields of activity of the person. According to the estimates of the research companies Business Insider and TechSci Research, by 2018 the simulated reality will be used by more than 25 million people, and this number will include not only gamers.
Now the Californian company Control VR develops express gloves which will move apart limits of the virtual reality. With their help it will be possible to see position of the hands and other parts of a body in the computer world, and also to manipulate the animated objects.
The effect is reached at the expense of accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes which are placed on all surface of hands. Sensors are also present at shoulders and the user’s forearms. The CEO of Control VR Alex Sarnoff says that gloves will find the application in the most different spheres. So, the device is capable to help to be restored to the people who endured a stroke or other serious illnesses. The person will be able to take a therapy course in the virtual world, being at the same time not in hospital, and in the apartment.
Sarnoff is sure that he to us will have the luck to observe technological revolution with own eyes. We will see emergence of applications of the virtual reality which will change rest radically, communication and self-development, – in general all human life will become other.
The virtual reality can render invaluable service for searching of the necessary information in precipitant informational streams. Necessary data can be obtained even quicker, than now, besides they will become more evident.
The important direction – training of specialists in military and civil spheres. To take, for example, surgery. The simulated reality will allow to train the expert much quicker, than earlier, he will be able to train in the conditions as close as possible to “workers”. We more narrow saw something similar on the example of training of pilots and astronauts. And for professional trainings any more unwieldy exercise machine will not be necessary – for this purpose will be rather compact device.
Here it is pertinent to remember the 3D VIRTSIM exercise machine created by the American weapon giant Raytheon. He allows to transfer weapon and is fighting to the virtual world – it can be the wood, the city street, the room with hostages etc. The concept is built around the express program, points of the virtual reality, and also infrared radiators fixed on a body and weapon of fighters. Besides, simulators can be useful if it is about overcoming fear or a phobia. It is important to notice that in the future simulations will become still realistichny – up to the complete immersion of the person to the virtual world when it is not able to define any more, is where exactly now – in reality or the virtual.
The simulated reality will play a huge role in the industry. For example, in automotive industry. Such important aspects as creation of a model/prototype, a car model purge in a wind tunnel and expensive crash tests, will forever sink Into oblivion. Their place will be taken by the computer model operation allowing to recreate all this in details.
Further – it is more. The staff of the companies should not sweat at stuffy office any more. Sooner or later technologies will allow to create a 3D model of a human body and to transfer it to the virtual world. Of course, the Internet gives also today the chance to correspond or create videoconferences, but it simply is not always convenient.
The hybrid of the virtual and augmented reality is created by the Magic Leap company. The concept was called “kinematic reality”. By means of express gadgets creators want to introduce the virtual elements (for example, figures or sculptures) to the actual world. Thus, it is about certain holograms. Experts very much highly appreciate the project, and Google already invested 542 million dollars in a startup.
In virtuality with the head
But how to be with fantastic plots about mankind which became the hostage of the virtual world? Of course, there are enough captives of Network and today, however we speak about the complete imitation of life – about the virtual world in which we will be able to catch tastes, smells and all that is characteristic of our everyday life.
And though informational technologies surely go forward, the complete immersion in virtuality, seemingly, does not threaten us, in any case, in the near future.
Not the last role in it is played also by technologies, the modern people will be surprised with nothing. For example, the technology 4D did not make a revolution in perception of cinema. The combination 3D – technologies and physical effects synchronized with the movie does not do the person by a part of the events on the screen, and only allows to spend time more cheerfully.
It will be very heavy to deceive reason. But fantasts do not despond: they made the virtual reality one of the most popular directions of the activity for a long time. The most perfect of all perspective methods of creation of the virtual reality can consider direct stimulation of nervous system. The concept offers integration of the virtual reality into nervous system of the person, the employee for perception of reality. The user will receive simulated nervous impulses, and actual impulses will be blocked and will not be able to reach the central nervous system.
Famous computer expert Ernst Adams (Ernest W. Adams) divides the virtual immersion into six categories: tactical, strategic, narrative, emotional, touch, space and psychological. In the latter case consciousness of the player is as if transferred to a body of the character operated by it, but at the same time the person can feel the actual, physical body.
One of plots of development of the situation such: in the 2020th years there will be nanorobots which, having got into a human brain, will be responsible for the virtual olfaction, vision and acoustical effects. Such devices will be no more blood cells – they will be able constantly to be in an organism and to become more active at the right time. Tiny devices will find the tentative application, for example, in medicine, and then (when their safety is confirmed) will extend also to other spheres of life.
But whether the person will agree to exchange the habitual world for the virtual reality voluntarily? It is possible to answer without hesitation “yes”. Environmental problems, social tension, at last, the material difficulties push people in embraces of the virtual world. To be convinced of it, it is enough to look at statistics of online games where millions of new players in recent years appeared, and they quite often spend more than a half of the time for a game. It is necessary only to guess, what is the time the person will carry out in the virtual world if it is like two peas in the pod similar to actual.
The virtual life – yet not norm
– The modern person already partly lives in the virtual reality, – the psychoanalyst, the specialist of the European confederation of a psychoanalytic psychotherapy Lyubov Zayeva says. – Shutdown of the Internet, lack of some significant object in Network are endured as the severe stress. And surfing on Internet open spaces – the beginning of day, lunch rest and evening pastime of the most part of adult population. Children became hostages of the virtual reality (a game and a social network) partly because of adults. Being born, the person comes to the world which was created to it by adults. And adults acquaint it with this world, teach rules of conduct in it, transmit them through fears. For example, on the street it is terrible, adults are dangerous, you helpless and silly, it is easy for you to do the harm, everything is unpredictable around, parents are helpless too, they do not know how to save you, – sit better near them. And children sit. Where it is safe, that is – houses. In this sense for them the virtual reality – controllable and safe.
The Internet changed also the object relations. More and more people build the relations at a distance, sometimes even without meeting. Illusion of a proximity and the complete control over a situation is created. From the fact that some people completely switched the libido from actual people to the virtual objects there is also plus. For example, exhibitionists can receive a discharge much more simply and quicker. As well as those who in reality badly control the aggressive sexual impulses. The pornography as a part of the virtual leisure reduces fear of the actual woman, helps to find an object in compliance with the imaginations and bents – without prejudice to people around. However, if the virtual reality becomes single “place” of receiving pleasure, then further in reality biotic, outside the computer, the person can begin to experience difficulties. The complete leaving in the virtual reality – a serious symptom, similar to psychotic desire to leave this world. Readiness to live only in the virtual reality presently – not norm. But who knows, perhaps, through some time also it will change, and long-lived virtual “holidays” will become the ordinary and a part of the modern life.
The concept of the virtual reality is presented in such cult movies as the fantastic trilogy “Matrix”. The simulated world also formed the basis of the psychodelic thriller “Existence” which came out in 1999. The inquisitive glance on the virtual reality is presented in the movie “Thirteenth Floor” of Josef Rusnak. In philosophical sense of very interesting the picture of 1999 “The dark city” in which alien race lodged people in the simulated megalopolis can be shown round, periodically changing it memoirs and living conditions to understand what is a human soul.