Have you ever wanted to enter a new world, leaving the real world behind? Virtual reality allows you to do just that. Virtual reality has been a buzzword in technology for a while now.
Virtual reality is more than just a single technology. It is a broad concept encompassing different experiences that can be delivered through various devices.
Each type of virtual reality offers an extra level of immersion and interactivity, making it suitable for other applications.
If you’re curious about virtual reality and its different types, this post will briefly overview the three types: fully immersive, non-immersive, and semi-immersive.
By understanding these types, you can better understand what virtual reality offers and how it can be used in different fields.
So, let’s jump into the three types of virtual reality and explore their unique features and applications.
By the conclusion of this post, you will have a basic understanding of virtual reality and how technology can alter how we study, work, and have fun.
Here Are the 3 Types of Virtual Reality:
Virtual reality (VR) replicates and immerses the user in a virtual world.
There are three types of VR, each providing a different level of immersion and interaction.
Virtual reality can be classified into the following types:
1. Non-Immerse Virtual Reality
First, let’s talk about non-immersive Virtual Reality. As the name suggests, this type of VR only partially immerses the user in the simulated environment.
Non-immersive VR is usually displayed on a computer screen or a mobile device and may include 360-degree videos, images, or interactive games.
Users can still interact with the virtual environment but are unaware of their physical surroundings.
Examples of Non-Immerse Virtual Reality:
1. Google Street View: Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps that provides a 360-degree view of streets and locations worldwide. It allows users to virtually explore locations from their computer or mobile device without physically being there.
2. Flight Simulators: Flight simulators simulate real-life flight conditions and allow pilots to practice in a safe environment. They can train pilots on emergency procedures, navigation, and instrument flying. Airlines and flight schools often use flight simulators to train pilots before they fly real planes. They can also be used to evaluate the performance of pilots and identify areas where they need improvement.
3. Minecraft: Popular video game Minecraft lets users create and explore virtual worlds. Players can gather resources, build structures, and interact with other players. Minecraft is often used in educational settings to teach coding and other skills. It has also been used in architecture and design to create virtual models of buildings and spaces.
4. Virtual Museum Tours: Virtual museum tours are another example of non-immersive VR. They allow users to explore museums and view artworks from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual museum tours can be used for entertainment and educational purposes, and they can provide access to museums for people who cannot visit them in person.
5. Virtual Training Simulations: Non-immersive VR can be used in various training simulations, such as driving simulators for new drivers or heavy machinery operators. These simulations allow users to practice and improve their skills in a controlled environment without harming themselves or others.
6. Online Shopping: E-commerce websites can use non-immersive VR to provide virtual shopping experiences to customers. For example, some clothing stores offer 360-degree views of their products, allowing customers to see the clothes look from different angles before purchasing.
7. Virtual Reality Therapy: Non-immersive VR can be used in therapy to treat conditions such as phobias, anxiety, and PTSD. Patients can be exposed to virtual scenarios that trigger their symptoms in a controlled environment, allowing them to confront and overcome their fears gradually.
8. Virtual Fitness: Non-immersive VR can be used in fitness to provide virtual workout classes or immersive training experiences. For example, some fitness apps offer virtual reality cycling classes, allowing users to feel as if they are cycling through different locations and terrains.
2. Semi-Immerse Virtual Reality
Next up is semi-immersive virtual reality. Semi-immersive virtual reality (VR) is a type of VR that provides users with a more immersive experience than non-immersive VR but not to the same extent as fully immersive VR.
Users using semi-immersive virtual reality (VR) are often exposed to a sizable display or projection screen, which offers a more immersive experience than non-immersive VR but does not surround the user.
Semi-immersive VR balances immersion and practicality, offering a more immersive experience than non-immersive VR while still being practical and accessible for various applications. As VR technology advances, we expect to see more innovative uses of semi-immersive VR in multiple fields and industries.
Examples of Semi-Immerse Virtual Reality:
1. Virtual Meetings: With the rise of remote work, virtual meetings have become essential to business communication. Semi-immersive VR can provide a more engaging and immersive experience for virtual meetings by allowing users to see and interact with others in a virtual environment. For example, using HMDs such as the Oculus Quest 2, users can attend virtual meetings and conferences and interact with others in a 3D virtual environment.
2. Entertainment: Semi-immersive VR can also be used for entertainment, providing users with a more immersive experience than traditional video games or movies. For example, the VOID is a virtual reality theme park that uses HMDs and other technologies to create immersive and interactive experiences, such as virtual reality escape rooms and immersive gaming experiences.
3. Product Design and Prototyping: Semi-immersive VR can be used in product design and prototyping to create 3D models of products that can be viewed and interacted with in a virtual environment. For example, automotive designers can use HMDs to view and make changes to 3D car models, allowing them to see the design from different angles and under other lighting conditions.
4. Therapy and Mental Health: Semi-immersive VR can be used in treating mental health to treat anxiety, phobias, and PTSD. For example, using HMDs, patients can be exposed to virtual environments that simulate real-world situations that trigger their symptoms, allowing them to learn coping skills in a safe and controlled environment.
3. Fully-Immerse Virtual Reality
Finally, we have fully immersive virtual reality. This type of VR provides the most immersive experience, as the user is fully immersed in the virtual environment and can no longer see or hear their physical surroundings.
Fully immersive VR usually involves high-end HMDs that provide a wide field of view, high-resolution displays, and spatial audio. Users can also use input devices such as controllers, gloves, or body sensors to interact with the virtual world.
One of the defining features of fully immersive VR is the sense of presence that it creates. Reality refers to the feeling of actually being present in the virtual environment as if it were real. Fully immersive Virtual reality technology often includes advanced features such as 3D audio, haptic feedback, and room-scale tracking to provide this sense of presence.
Examples of Fully-Immerse Virtual Reality:
1. Flight Simulators: Flight simulators are one of the most popular fully immersive VR technology applications. They simulate real-life flight conditions and allow pilots to practice in a safe environment. The simulators can recreate the experience of flying in a cockpit, complete with realistic controls and instrument panels.
2. Theme Parks and Attractions: Fully immersive VR is increasingly used to create theme park attractions that provide visitors with a truly immersive experience. For example, The VOID is a VR attraction that allows visitors to explore fully immersive virtual environments that feature popular movie franchises like Star Wars and Ghostbusters.
3. Medical Simulation: Fully immersive VR is also used in medical simulation and training. For example, surgical simulations can give medical students practical training in a secure setting that allows them to practice challenging procedures without endangering actual patients. Fully immersive VR can simulate different medical conditions and help doctors diagnose and treat patients.
4. Gaming: Gaming is one of the most popular applications of fully immersive VR. With HMDs and specialized controllers, players can be fully immersed in the game world and experience it as if they were actually there. Games like Layers of Fear VR, which is fully playable in VR, provide an immersive and terrifying gaming experience.
5. Architectural Visualization: Architects and designers increasingly use fully immersive VR to create virtual models of buildings and structures. This allows them to thoroughly explore their designs, test out different materials and finishes, and make changes before construction begins. This can save time and money and help prevent costly mistakes during the construction process.
In a nutshell, virtual reality (VR) is a technology that can revolutionize how we experience the world around us. It is a game-changing technology that has the power to transform how we learn, work, and play.
With its ability to provide immersive and interactive experiences, it has the potential to change the way we think about the world around us.
As VR technology continues to improve, we can expect to see even more applications emerge, making it an increasingly important tool in fields such as medicine, education, and entertainment.
With its ability to provide realistic and interactive experiences, virtual reality can change how we learn, work, and play.
Virtual reality has something to offer everyone, whether professionals, students, or gamers.
We can only imagine the future’s possibilities for this exciting technology.