VR Environments: Head Mounted Display
The most commonly used hardware equipment in virtual reality technology is HMD which render the virtual environment in front of eyes. A HMD provides full color quality viewing with clear, vivid graphics and stunning imagery. The device can connect to any computer or video source via an SVGA or DVI connection. They have integrated headphones to deliver the full stereo surround sounds.
A typical Head Mounted Device incorporates two miniature display screens and an optical system that channels the images from screens to the eyes, presenting a stereo viewing of the virtual world.
A motion tracker continuously records the position and orientation of the user’s head and eyeballs, and allows the image generating computer to adjust the scene representation to the current view. Resultantly users are able to look around or walk through the surroundings of the virtual environment. The head orientation is generally tracked through a device, such as accelerometer which provides the feedback regarding the pitch, yaw and roll of the users head. To track the user’s movement in the physical space, optical or magnetic trackers are attached with the user to record the information about the X, Y and Z coordinates of the user’s position.
VR Environments: CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment)
CAVE, Cave Automatic virtual environment, is another immersive VE system projects images on the walls, floor and ceiling of a room. It generally uses multiple cameras and a projection screen in an enclosed room to make feel users that they are surrounded by a virtual environment. The more complex CAVEs uses hardware that creates a different sensory model that is beyond the physical stimuli, such as the auditory aspects of a virtual environment can be transmitted through headphones or speakers. The sound interacts with the brain three dimensionally enhancing the realism of the virtual environment experience. The sense of touch is also incorporated in the CAVEs by using sensory gloves and other haptic devices. Some haptic devices also allow users to exert a touch or grasp or replace a virtual object.
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