When I was a student studying hard in the 80's and 90's, I used to find myself readying a lot of sci-fi books, at the time I especially liked the
authors William Gibson / Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke.
Virtual reality and the Matrix were common terms in the William’s books.
The film the matrix sparked in the imaginations of people that watched it for several reasons.
Least of these reasons were the foretold coming of Virtual Reality, which was considered to be right at the brink of commercialisation in the early
90’s and expected to take over as the main form of computer intractability.
The first really well known public revealing of Virtual Reality was the Atari SU2000 virtual-reality arcade system.
Though this system was not as exciting as many had hoped as the graphics were really terrible the slow refresh rate causing flicker and the radio
positioning slow to respond etc etc...
Most people that tried VR at that time found it to be uncomfortable and even created feelings of nauseous.
However the system was a glimpse into what may one day become the future of intractability,
I know of only one attempt to bring a VR system into the home and that was Nintendo's Virtual Boy, released in 1995 soon to disappear again.
The graphics on this system were so bad that it ensured the device would never succeed.
Though we all thought that time would rectify this issue as computers became more powerful.... yet time has passed and still no real news on VR???
There were more serious applications of VR such as Medical / scientific and research applications that meant the system could not be ignored and so it
went under development in the background
Nutshell, Augmented reality or AR essentially takes the real world and renders computer graphics overlaying the original image.
This is a major leap forward and solves quite a few problems that VR created. Issues such as virtual objects in VR cannot be touched, Movement
in VR is difficult, Tracking of objects slow and unrealistic.
Thanks very much for all the info to digest on VR vs. AR. Before now I
had made the mistake of lumping them together. Granted your last example
does indeed show a mash-up of both of them as one. I've always had much
interest in this area of technology and I am glad that you've made this thread
so that at least people who frequent ATS can read and learn more about it.
Can't wait to read what else you have to say about the subject.
There is no AR vs. VR. They will both have their places and VR really won't take off until we have graphics cards cheap enough to render
photo-realistic graphics. This will appear in Flight Simulators first and will gradually seep it's way into the other genres of video games. As the
techniques for graphics rendering and modeling standardize, expect VR to become an emergent phenomenon.
BTW, at the current rate Photo-realstic skylines and distance viewing in Aircraft Simulation should be out in the near future(1-2 years). Other genres
like FPS/RTS might take a bit longer especially the latter. I'd say by the end of the decade First person shooters should have photorealistic
graphics in confined spaces with extensive loading screens. VR will hinge on FPS graphics development IMHO.
I expect systems that encompass the aspects of both VR and AR to become standard by the end of the next decade. AR is for tomarrow, VR is just over
the horizon. The Holodeck may be next for all we know. The way imaging technology has been progressing lately we could see something resembling a
Holodeck using claytronics and AR emmersion techniques.
I personally believe that THIS is the reason Google was buying up all that Dark Fiber a couple of years back and is currently building HUGE data
centers just about everywhere in N. America, Europe and Asia.
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