You are on page 1of 44


2014 1

You pull a helmet over your head, and suddenly, you're inside a virtual world that seems
completely lifelike. You can run around, fight, race and fly, doing things gamers have never done
before. What was once the stuff of Hollywood fantasy is now becoming a reality? A startup
called Oculus VR is creating personal virtual-reality goggles called the Oculus Rift for everyone
to use. Virtual reality isn't new. There have been attempts to create virtual worlds since the '60s,
and the idea really took off in the '90s, spawning games that were clunky and heavy,
like Nintendo's 1995 disaster Virtual Boy. But it wasn't until the Oculus Rift that virtual reality
became something attainable and, perhaps more importantly, desirable for consumers.
The headset fits over the eyes, completely covering the wearer's field of vision. Unlike the
virtual reality headsets of the past, it's light, with a screen that's easy to look at (even for extended
gaming sessions), since it's set up to appear exactly as if the virtual world was being seen in real
life. And, happily, the Oculus Rift website insists it's designed to be affordable for the average
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, developed the idea of creating a new head-mounted
display that was both more effective than what is currently on the market, and inexpensive for
gamers. For developers, the Oculus Rift platform is a playground, allowing them to put
themselves into any virtual world they can imagine, whether it's a favorite game like Skyrim
(Warning: NSFW language up ahead) or simply a situation you'll likely never experience in real
Virtual Reality can be defined as an environment which is simulated by a computer
system. The environment can mimic the real world, or it can be a simulation of a completely
imaginary world. The term Virtual (or Artificial) Reality is attributed to Myron Krueger, an
American computer artist in the 1970s. It has been recorded as far back as 1938 however, by the
French artist Antonin Arnaud, who coined the phrase while discussing his theatre shows. The
first virtual reality equipment, which attempted to physically realize the concept, was developed
by Morton Heilig in the 1950s. He created the Sensorama machine, which contained a moving
seat, along with 3-D moving images, smell, sound, and even wind.


2014 2

MADISON, Wisconsin (January 21, 2014) Almost three decades before Building Information
Modeling (BIM) would go mainstream, the term Virtual Building was used in the earliest
implementation of BIM through Graphisofts Archi CAD debut in 1987.

Figure 2: inside view from oculus rift
Since then, the concept hasnt changed, but visualization technology has advanced to the point
where designers, engineers, contractors, and building owners can become so immersed in the
virtual building model that they feel as if theyre actually there. Technologies like the Unity3D
game engine and the new $300 Oculus Rift virtual reality headset are making it possible.

2014 3

Figure 3: view of a virtual reality
VR is an immersive medium. It creates the sensation of being entirely transported into a
virtual (or real, but digitally reproduced) three-dimensional world, and it can provide a far more
visceral experience than screen-based media. Enabling the minds continual suspension of
disbelief requires particular attention to detail. It can be compared to the difference between
looking through a framed window into a room, versus walking through the door into the room
and freely moving around.

The Oculus Rift is the first VR system of its kind: an affordable, high-quality device with a wide
field of view and minimal lag. Until now, access to VR has been limited primarily to research
labs, governments, and corporations with deep pockets. With the Oculus Rift, developers,
designers, and artists are now leading the way toward delivering imaginative realms to a global

If VR experiences ignore fundamental best practices, they can create simulator sicknessa
combination of eyestrain, disorientation, and nausea. Historically, many of these problems have
been attributed to sub-optimal VR hardware variables, such as system latency. The Oculus Rift
represents a new generation of VR devices, one that resolves many issues of earlier systems. But
even with a flawless hardware implementation, poorly designed content can still lead to an
uncomfortable experience.
Because VR has been a fairly esoteric and specialized discipline, there are still aspects of it that
havent been studied enough for us to make authoritative statements. In these cases, we put

2014 4

forward informed theories and observations and indicate them as such. User testing is absolutely
crucial for designing engaging, comfortable experiences; VR as a popular medium is still too
young to have established conventions on which we can rely. We count on you, the community
of Oculus Rift developers, to provide feedback and help us mature these evolving VR best
practices and principles.


Figure 4: oculus head mounted kit
Nowadays computer graphics is used in many domains of our life. The thought of virtual
reality has been around since 1965, when Ivan Sutherland expressed his ideas of creating virtual
or imaginary worlds. At MIT, he conducted experiments with three dimensional displays. In
1969, he developed the first system to surround people in three dimensional displays of
information. Between the '70's and late '80's, the concept of virtual reality was mainly used by the
United States. The military used it as flight simulators to train pilots. The other countries in the
world did not show any interest in this technology until the late 1980's. Since then, virtual reality
has developed in many ways to become an emerging technology of our time.


2014 5

Picture a set of ski goggles in which a large cell phone screen replaces the glass. The
screen displays two images side by side, one for each eye. A set of lenses is placed on top of the
screen, focusing and reshaping the picture for each eye, and creating a stereoscopic 3D image.
The goggles have embedded sensors that monitor the wearer's head motions and adjust the image
accordingly. The latest version of the Oculus Rift is bolstered by an external positional-tracking
accessory, which helps track head movements more accurately. The result is the sensation that
you are looking around a 3D world.

Figure 5: oculus view techniques
Motion parallax has to do with the apparent size of an object. If you put a soda can in
front of you and then move it closer, it will get bigger in your visual field. Your brain assumes
that the can didnt suddenly grow and concludes that its just got closer to you.

Shape-from-shading is a bit trickier. If you stare at a point on an object in front of you
and then move your head around, youll notice that the shading of that point changes ever so
slightly depending on the lighting around you. The funny thing is that your eyes actually flicker
constantly recalculating the tiny differences in shading and your brain uses that information to
judge how far away the object is.
In the real world, both these cues work together to give you a sense of depth. But in
virtual reality systems, theyre not treated equally.

2014 6

Figure 6: parts of oculus rift
For many of us born during the mind 1980s the first thing that strikes us when we hear the
term VR is Jonny Quest and Quest world. Quest world was the digital world that could be
accessed through a computer program and a special headset. It was a move on the part of Hanna-
Barbera productions to introduce the concept of VR to children. So how does VR really work?

2014 7

Quest world captured its essence beautifully but there is much more to it. Today there is a lot of
argument on what exactly constitutes a VR experience with many people coming up with their
own points but the in general it includes-
Three dimensional images that appear life size from the perspective of the viewer
The ability to track a users movement especially his/her eyes and head movement and
adjust the image on the display to reflect the change in perspective
Now the question arises how does virtual reality work for this we have to trace its origin to the
person who opened the Pandoras Box- Ivan Sutherland. In the year 1968 Sutherland and his
student Bob Sprull created the first ever virtual reality head mounted display (HMD) system.
This piece of machinery was known as the Sword of Damocles given its formidable appearance.
Following closely on the heels of the first ever HMD came the worlds first ever data glove
which was invented by Dan Sandin, Richard Sayfre and Thomas Defanti which allowed
interaction through body movement in the year 1977. Finally in the year 1983 Myron Krueger
came up with the first ever virtual environment called the video space.

Figure7: The Sword of Damocles
The 1990s experienced a huge boom in VR technology development and those are the
research that has given us the three primary models of virtual reality systems used today-
Desktop Virtual Reality:
This is the simplest of the lot. It works on the principle of a viewer viewing a
virtual world through one or more computer screens. The user can interact with the
environment but is not completely immersed in it.

2014 8

Video Mapping Virtual Reality:
In this method cameras are used to project an image of the user into the computer
program creating a 2D computer character. The user is fully immersed in the environment
but finds it difficult to interact with its surroundings
Immersive Virtual Reality:
This model uses a HMD to project a video directly in front of the users eyes and
play audio directly into the users ear. The HMD can track the users movement and
compensate accordingly. It also uses a Data Glove or to track the users movement and
duplicate them in the virtual world. In this type of virtual reality the user experiences
complete immersion- the feeling that the user is inside and a part of the world. She/he is
also able to interact with the environment in meaningful ways. This sense of immersion
and interactivity is called telepresence. If the user is unable to distinguish between the
real and virtual environment then the immersion has succeeded.

The basic requirements of a virtual reality system:

One or more powerful computers:
Computers are the means through which a virtual environment can be stimulated.
Todays computers are so powerful that a PC can run the software required to create a
virtual environment. The graphics card created keeping in mind the video game industry
are today one of the primary tools from creating advanced and sophisticated virtual

Input or Sensory devices:

Input devices play a vital role in the virtual environment they are the device with
which the user interacts with its surroundings. Today sensory devices include data glove,
body suit, joysticks and voice recognition. Research is still going on to enable the input
devices to be as natural as possible to increase the experience of telepresence.


2014 9

FIGURE8: Data Glove FIGURE9: Body Suit
Output or Display devices: The most common of all display devices in the virtual
environment is the HMD. HMDs are headsets which consist of two monitors one for
each eye. The two monitors give a stereoscopic effect which gives the feeling of depth.
There are some virtual environment systems which projects images on the wall, floors
and ceiling of the room and are known as Cave Automatic Virtual Environments
(CAVE). Users can move around a CAVE display wearing special goggles which
complete the illusion of moving through a virtual environment. CAVE also gives a wider
view which helps in the feeling of immersion. Also many people can have the experience



2014 10

Tracking System: Tracking systems are closely related to the display techniques if
display techniques are the eyes then the tracking system is the mind in a virtual
environment. Tracking systems track the movement of the body and send the right image
to the display units so that the experience of telepresence is maximized. The development
of tracking system lags behind other virtual reality enabled technology as the tracking
system is only virtual reality focused.

Virtual Reality Software: The HMD, the tracking systems and the computers all need to
interact with each other to give the user the complete virtual environment. Also the
computer needs an interface to create a virtual world which can interact with the user.
This need can be fulfilled by various virtual realities enabling software. This software is
the connecting link between the hardware and also allows the user to interface with the
virtual reality system. Some of the popular virtual reality software available today are:
panaroma2 flash, tourweaver, panoweaver, world of warcraft etc.


2014 11

After a deep study of this emerging technology, we have classified Virtual Reality into
three types. They are as follows:
5.1 Virtual Reality using Hardware
There is a number of hardware developed for the usage by Virtual Reality. Among them
some are explained below.
5.1.1 Head Mounted Display
The Head mounted display consists of two miniature display screens that produce the
stereo scopic images and an optical position tracking system that tracks the orientation of the
humans head in the Virtual world and that produces the impulse to the image generating

Figure 12: head mounted

The image-generating computer produces the respective view corresponding to the
orientation of the user head in the Virtual world. This is the basic device used in the IVR. As a
result the user can see in the direction that he wants and he can walk through the Virtual world.
5.1.2 Boom and Cave
To overcome the intrusiveness with the HMD the Boom and Cave are used. These are
also extensively used in the IVR.
Screens and stereo scopic image generating apparatus are fixed in a box, which is
attached to a multi-link arm. The user peeps into the Virtual world through two holes, and
controls his motions with the arms.

2014 12

Figure 13: boom with controller
The Cave is an interesting topic in IVR. A cave consists of a cube shaped room. The
stereo scopic images are projected on to the walls and the floor of the room with the help of a
number of projectors. The head tracking system worn by the leading user controls the view of the
Virtual world. Several users may sit on the Virtual world at a time.

Figure 14: virtual cave figure15: technique of virtual cave
5.2Virtual Reality using software
The most commonly used tools for developing 3d worlds are VRML v1.0, VRML97,
VRML v2.0, 3d Studio max, Rhino3d, Amapi3d, ALICE99, BLENDER and other such software.
The VRMLv1.0 is the child language developed from the XML family. There arent many
differences between the later versions of VRML (VRML97 and VRML v2.0). The programming
paradigms are entirely different from VRMLv1.0 to VRMLv2.0. There are many companies
dedicated to develop the tools for creating virtual worlds, such as Parallel Graphics Co., and
Trapezium Co.,


2014 13

Also there are many concepts of developing the virtual worlds using the software.
They are:

5.2.1 Rendering
In this we are conscious about the rendering techniques. Here we use the technique of
wire framing. A sample output and its wire frame model are shown below. After developing the
wire frame model what we have to do is simply to apply the texture to it. This is called texturing.
The texture applied can be a photograph or any predefined textures such as metal, rock, wood
and cement flooring.

5.2.2 Programming
The other tool available for developing the virtual worlds is by programming. There are
many programming languages by which we can develop the virtual worlds. The best one we
prefer is by using VRML v2.0. Prior to this language, people used to develop the virtual worlds
using the traditional programming language, JAVA. As we have mentioned earlier VRML is a
language born from the family of XML. VRML is Virtual Reality Modeling Language. VRML
v2.0 is more advanced compared to the version 2.0.


2014 14


Figure 16: architecture of VR system
Components of VR System:
(a) Input Processor,
(b) Simulation Processor,
(c) Rendering Processor and
(d) World Database

(a) Input Processor
-Control the devices used to input information to the computer. The object is to get the
coordinate data to the rest of the system with minimal lag time.
- Keyboards, mouse, 3D position trackers, a voice recognition system, etc.
(b) Simulation Processor
-Core of a VR system.
-Takes the user inputs along with any tasks programmed into the world and determine the actions
that will take place in the virtual world.


2014 15

(c) Rendering Processor

-Create the sensations that are output to the user.
-Separate rendering processes are used for visual, auditory, haptic and other sensory
systems. Each renderer takes a description of the world stat from the simulation process or
derives it directly from the World Database for each time step.
(d) World Database:
- Store the objects that inhabit the world, scripts that describe actions of those objects.


2014 16


In addition to the Oculus SDK, you will also need the hardware provided by the Oculus
Rift Development Kit (DK). The DK includes an Oculus Rift development headset (Rift), control
box, required cabling, and additional pairs of lenses for different vision characteristics.
7.1 Display Specifications

Figure 18: hardware of oculus rift
_ 7 inch diagonal viewing area
_ 1280 _ 800 resolution (720p). This is split between both eyes, yielding 640 _ 800 per eye.
_ 64mm fixed distance between lens centers
_ 60Hz LCD panel
_ DVI-D Single Link
_ HDMI 1.3+
_ USB 2.0 Full Speed+
7.2 Tracker Specifications
_ Up to 1000Hz sampling rate
_ Three-axis gyroscope, which senses angular velocity
_ Three-axis magnetometer, which senses magnetic fields
_ Three-axis accelerometer, which senses accelerations, including gravitational


2014 17

7.3 Additional Vision Lenses
The Rift comes installed with lenses for users with 20/20 or farsighted vision. If your
vision is 20/20 or farsighted, you wont need to change your lenses
For nearsighted users, two additional pairs of lenses are included with the kit. Although they may
not work perfectly for all nearsighted users, they should enable most people to use the headset
without glasses or contact lenses. The medium-depth lenses are for users who are moderately
nearsighted. The shortest-depth lenses are for users who are very nearsighted. We recommend
that users experiment with the different lenses to find the ones that work best for them. The
lenses are also marked with the letters A, B, and C to aid identification.
The recommended lenses are as follows:
Lenses Appropriate Vision
A> 20/20 or farsighted
B >moderately nearsighted
C >Very nearsighted
(Note: If your eyes have special characteristics such as astigmatism, the provided lenses
may not be sufficient to correct your vision. In this case, we recommend wearing contact lenses
or glasses. Note, however, that using glasses will cut down on your effective field of view.)

7.3.1 Changing vision lenses
Changing the lens may cause dust or debris to get inside the Rift. We strongly
recommend changing the lenses in the cleanest space possible! Do not store the Rift without
lenses installed. To change lenses, first turn the headset upside down (this is to minimize the
amount of dust and debris that can enter the headset) and gently unscrew the lenses currently
attached to the headset. Unscrewing the lenses doesnt require much pressure; a light touch is
most effective. The right lens unscrews clockwise. The left lens unscrews counterclockwise.
Place the old lenses in a safe place, then take the new lenses and install them the same way you
removed the original pair. Remember to keep your headset upside down during this process.
Once the new lenses are securely in place, youre all set! After changing the lenses, you may
need to adjust the distance of the assembly that holds the screen and lenses closer or farther away
from your face. This is covered next.


2014 18

7.4 Screen Distance Adjustment
The headset has an adjustment feature that allows you to change the distance of the fixture that
holds the screen and lenses from your eyes. This is provided to accommodate different facial
characteristics and vision lenses. For example, if the lenses are too close to your eyes, then you
should adjust the fixture outward, moving the lenses and the screen away from your face. You
can also use this to provide more room for eyeglasses.
(Note: Everyone should take some time to adjust the headset for maximum comfort. While doing
so, an important consideration is that the lenses should be situated as close to your eyes as
possible. Remember that the maximal field of view occurs when your eyes are as close to the
lenses as possible without actually touching them.)

7.4.1 Adjusting the screen distance
There are two screw mechanisms of either side of the headset that can be adjusted using a
coin. These screws control the location of the screen assembly. The setting for the two screw
mechanisms should always match unless youre in the process of adjusting them. Turn the screw
mechanism toward the lenses to bring the assembly closer to the user. Turn the screw mechanism
toward the display to move the assembly farther away from the user. After changing one side,
ensure that the other side is turned to the same setting!

7.5 Control Box Setup
The headset is connected to the control box by a 6ft cable. The control box takes in video,
USB, and power, and sends them out over a single cord to minimize the amount of cabling
running to the headset.
1. Connect one end of the video cable (DVI or HDMI) to your computer and the other end to the
control box.
(Note: There should only be one video-out cable running to the control box at a time (DVI or
HDMI, not both).)
2. Connect one end of the USB cable to your computer and the other to the control box.
3. Plug the power cord into an outlet and connect the other end to the control box.
You can power on the DK using the power button on the top of the control box. A blue LED
indicates whether the DK is powered on or off. The Rift screen will only stay on when all three
cables are connected.

2014 19

7.5.1 Adjusting brightness and contrast
The brightness and contrast of the headset can be adjusted using the buttons on the top of
the control box. Looking from the back side:
_ The leftmost buttons adjust the displays contrast.
_ The neighboring two adjust the displays brightness.
_ The rightmost button turns the power on and off.

7.6 Monitor Setup
Once the Oculus Rift is connected to your computer, it should be automatically
recognized as an additional monitor and Human Input Device (HID). The Rift can be set to
mirror or extend your current monitor setup using your computers display settings. We
recommend using the Rift as an extended monitor in most cases, but its up you to decide which
configuration works best for you. This is covered in more detail in Appendix A. Regardless of
the monitor configuration, is it currently not possible to see the desktop clearly inside the Rift.
This would require stereo rendering and distortion correction, which is only available while
rendering the game scene. Whether you decide to mirror or extend your desktop, the resolution of
the Rift should always be set to 1280 00 (720p).


Figure 19: Front back control box

8.1 System Requirements

8.1.1 Operating systems
The Oculus SDK currently supports MacOS, Windows (Vista, 7, 8) and Linux.
8.1.2 Minimum system requirements

2014 20

There are no specific computer hardware requirements for the Oculus SDK; however, we
recommend that developers use a computer with a modern graphics card. A good benchmark is to
try running Unreal Engine 3 and Unity at 60 frames per second (FPS) with vertical sync and
stereo 3D enabled. If this is possible without dropping frames, then your configuration should be
sufficient for Oculus Rift development!
The following components are provided as a guideline:
_ Windows: Vista, 7, or 8
_ MacOS: 10.6+
_ Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
_ 2.0+ GHz processor
_ 2 GB system RAM
_ Direct3D 10 or OpenGL 3 compatible video card.
Although many lower end and mobile video cards, such as the Intel HD 4000, have the
shader and graphics capabilities to run minimal Rift demos, their rendering throughput may be
inadequate for full-scene 60 FPS VR rendering with stereo and distortion. Developers targeting
this hardware will need to be very conscious of scene geometry because low-latency rendering at
60 FPS is critical for a usable VR experience.
If you are looking for a portable VR workstation, weve found that the Nvidia 650M
inside of a MacBook Pro Retina provides enough graphics power for our demo development.

Real-world and virtual FOV (abbreviated cFOV and dFOV here) need to match. In
general, dont mess with the default FOV.
For the sake of precision, we must first disambiguate different uses of the term field of
view. We will use the term display field of view (dFOV) to refer to the part of the users visual
field occupied by VR content. It is a physical characteristic of the hardware and optics. The other
type of type of FOV is camera field of view (cFOV), which refers to the range of the virtual
world that is seen by the rendering camera at any given moment. All FOVs are defined by an
angular measurement of vertical, horizontal, and/or diagonal dimensions. In ordinary screen-
based computer graphics, you usually have the freedom to set the cameras cFOV to anything
you want: from fisheye (wide angle) all the way to telephoto (narrow angle). This works because

2014 21

the image on the monitor is simply a two-dimensional object that is seen within the observers
total view of the environment. While the image may be compelling, it does not occupy the users
entire visual world, and differences between cFOV and dFOV do not cause problems for most
In virtual reality, there is no view of the external room; the virtual world fills a large
section of your field of view and provides the only visual feedback to your head movements. It is
therefore very important that the cFOV and the dFOV match exactly. The ratio between these
two values is referred to as the scale, and in virtual reality the scale should always be exactly
1.0.Deviations between dFOV and cFOV can be extremely discomforting.1 The scale of the
scene will no longer appear to correspond to real-world dimensions, the motion of the head and
the motion of the eyes will no longer match, and the default distortion correction values will
cause the rendered scene to warp. Manipulating the camera FOV can induce simulator sickness
and can lead to a maladaptation in the vestibulo-ocular reflex, which allows the eyes to maintain
stable fixation on an object during head movements. You should not change any of the default
settings related to FOV or scale under any circumstances, and care must be taken to get the view
scaling exactly the same way the SDK specifies. As noted elsewhere, it is quite easy to get a view
that looks almostbut not exactlyright, causing disorientation and discomfort in users

Figure20: A complete VR system with limited movement facility
Since the days of Sutherland till today all the development that have occurred have been
limited to the realm of sight and sound as under the present technology they are only two senses
which can be best used to stimulate reality. In the nearby future development will reach such a

2014 22

level that visual realism in HMDs will be achieved and in the realm of audio three dimensional
sounds will be the next big thing as this will add to the virtual reality experience. Currently
research is going on to stimulate smell and use it in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder by exposing combat veterans to stimulated combat environment complete with smell.
With virtual reality technology reaching smell the other two senses that are left over are taste and
touch. In order to stimulate them also the brain must be manipulated directly, if and when it is
achieved it will the entire concept of virtual reality will give way to simulated reality in many a
way similar to the brain interface port shown in The Matrix. But even before stimulated reality
can be achieved there is a lot of work to be done in the arena of virtual reality like development
of better tracking systems, more powerful processing systems to minimize the total lag time etc.
Thus in the present day scenario virtual reality is not only a socio-economic tool of immense
importance but it is a technology that will be instrumental in changing the future.

Real Time Applications of Virtual Reality:

Figure 21: unboxed oculus rift kit
The applications being developed for Virtual Reality run over a wide spectrum from 3d
games to architectural planning of buildings. The applications may be scientific and technical
that cannot be viewed in actual life. The flexibility of the Virtual Reality makes it use in the
scientific applications like architectural planning, rocket launching, war strategies, cockpit
simulation, robotics and medical related applications.


2014 23

10.1Virtual Reality in war strategies
SIMNET is the first war related Virtual Reality application. This project is
standardization being pushed by the USA Defense Department to enable diverse simulators to be
interconnected into a vast network. The soldiers can be trained to the war by developing a Virtual
world that looks exactly the war field. This helps them in knowing how to deal in war fields.
Distributed Interactive System (DIS) protocol has been developed by the Orlando Institute of
Training and Simulation, which is the future of Virtual Reality in war strategies.

10.2Virtual Reality in medical
Figure22: controller glove and staring wheel for gaming
Virtual Reality is now being used to train physicians to carry out intricate surgical
procedures such as laparoscopies, arthroscopies, endoscopies and other minimally invasive
Nano surgery is another medical application, where the doctors located at a distinct place
guide the robots. They guide the robots with the help of multi-link arms that we have already
seen in the case of booms.

1. Virtual Reality in designing aspects
Virtual Reality helps in designing the virtual models of the certain objects. By building
the virtual models we can see how the model works, what the defects may be and how we can
overcome the previous defects. These all cannot be seen by actually developing the model as it
includes a lot of cost and laborious time. This concept of Virtual Reality is being is mostly used
in the designing of conceptual cars. Concept cars are being designed to study new ideas. Most of

2014 24

these designs are never built. Virtual reality provides a tool for evaluating such designs in full
scale without building time consuming and costly physical prototypes.

2. Virtual Reality in amusement parks
Virtual Reality is also playing a vital role in the amusement parks. The conceptual cars
that we have discussed above and the racing games are being developed to attract people. With
the help of electronic gloves, head-mounted displays and stereo scopic vision racing games
attract the people.

Figure23: a horror ride in Disneyland
3. Virtual Reality in web development.
4. Virtual Reality in cockpit simulation.

Figure24: cockpit simulator
5. Virtual Reality and Cryptography.

2014 25

Virtual Reality is not without its own challenges and concerns. It is true that there has
been giant leap forward in terms of technological advancement in both hardware and software
but sadly they have been limited to specific fields of virtual reality. Today the biggest challenges
that are faced in the field of virtual reality are:

Development of Tracking Systems:
Tracking systems as a tool are unique to the field of virtual reality. That is the
primary reason why it always lags behind other hardware developments. There are few
companies that have been developing these systems since the earliest days of virtual
reality but they are both small in size and number. Thus the uniqueness of the product and
the strength of the companies who develop it are the biggest hindrance to the faster
development of Tracking systems which in turn is a major concern in the world of virtual
reality as tracking system is like the brain of the system without this the entire concept of
virtual being real goes to pieces.
Natural Ways of Interaction:
Like the development of tracking systems there arent many companies which are
working on developing input devices uniquely for virtual reality. The virtual reality
developers have to rely on products and technology discipline. Thus the natural feel that
the user should have got by now while interacting with its surrounding is still not there.

Figure24: difference between 2D and 3 D displays

2014 26

Time taken to create Virtual Worlds:
Virtual worlds take a long time to create. The more realistic the world is the more
time it will take for its development. It will take a team of programmers more than twelve
months to recreate a room in all its details in the virtual world

Cyber sickness:
It is a huge challenge on the part of a virtual environment developer to create a
system that avoids bad ergonomics. Many systems are limited in the virtual environment
due to the hardware involved. Without proper hardware in place an user could have
trouble with his sense of balance with decrease in the sense of telepresence or he could be
affiliated with cyber sickness which results in disorientation and nausea.

Psychological Effects:
Theres a fear amongst Psychiatrists that children who are perpetuator of violence
in a virtual environment will turn out to be sociopaths in the future. Another concern
which has been raised is that virtual environment will lead to cyber addiction. Yet another
point of concern is virtual crime. At what point do authorities charge a person engaging in
virtual crimes in the real world?
Virtual reality today is in a Catch 22 phase when it comes to over-coming the challenges
faced by the developers. Take for instance the challenge of lowering the time taken to create a
virtual world with the help of the powerful computers being developed today but with these
computers developer tend to create richer and more realistic worlds which in turn leads to their
development taking more time. Also when it comes to development of better tracking and input
systems companies are wary that by going for their large scale development and production now
when virtual reality as a business concept hasnt taken hold in that big a way will have them
making a loss. But what they dont realize that if these systems arent developed fast then virtual
reality will never reach the stage where they will be able to make a profit out of it.


2014 27

Virtual Reality gives us a new reality to inhabit, it gives us the power to do in there things
which we wouldnt even have dreamt of in our real life. It is a technological marvel that with the
passing of days slowly but steadily becoming a reality for people all around the globe. From the
time when Sutherland came out with his Sword of Damocles there has been a huge debate on the
effect that virtual reality will have on human kind. Whether it will be have a wide spread positive
impact or a negative impact is still open to debate and the answer is hidden away in the elusive
fist of time. But one thing is certain Virtual Reality has arrived and it is here to stay and with the
future becoming the present it will have an increasingly important role in our private as well as
public life. Some of the biggest advantages of using virtual reality are:
It more personal than instant messaging and email gives a feeling of belonging.
It can be considered as a great social leveler as it finds a common ground across age,
gender, cultural and linguistic orientation.
It will enable people with common interests to come together irrespective of
geographical barriers.
It will enable communication to be more effective and productive.
It will open up new markets as geography wont be a barrier any longer.
With every positive these is a negative it is the case with virtual reality also, it offers a great deal
in terms of social networking, economy, political mileage, health care but it is not without its
own brand of evil which arises due to the nature of the technology offered. Some of the major
cons to overall acceptance of this technology are:

Theres a fear that people will slowly be cut off from reality as they start living more
and more in a virtual world.
There is a chance by undertaking various violent deeds in the virtual world theres the
chance that people will develop aggressive impulses which will affect their real lives.
A distinction will be drawn between countries with the technology to implement virtual
reality and countries which do not.
Virtual reality might end up remaking the world into one which is run by technocrats
and sociopaths and driven by commercialism.

2014 28

Community will at one point of time or another will be substituted for interaction which
in turn will lead to low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and self-destructive acts
With the physical exercise reduced to a bare minimum as people start spending more
and more time in the virtual world their real life health will be affected.

Keeping in mind the pros and cons arising out of the wide spread use of virtual reality, it
has been aptly described by Kelly Kershner as It could be a lifesaving godsend, a ground
breaking educational tool a means of becoming our best selves. Or it could be a mindless energy
sapping diversion an off ramp to electronically isolation, a playground of immorality. Chances
are it will be all of these things.


2014 29


Virtual Reality is currently in use in a wide variety of different forms. This report will look at
some of these forms.

Medical Training
Historically, medical training and specifically surgery training has been accomplished
by students learning by watching more experienced surgeons perform. This approach is a
satisfactory one, but does have its own inherent problems; the sporadic nature of having a patient
to operate on, the quality of the surgeons teaching skills. One of the main ways that virtual reality
is used in this context is that of training for laparoscopy surgery, also known as keyhole surgery.
This technique employs a camera on the end of a rod, which is used to view the surgery on a
magnified view screen. This makes the incision smaller, which has obvious benefits for the
patient. This process lends itself wellto simulated training, as the operation already uses a display
screen for the surgeon to view the magnified procedure they are carrying out. The simulation
involves the trainee surgeon using surgical instruments as normal, and the operation being
simulated onscreen. According to Sophie Leisby, a trainee surgeon, the simulation is very real,
the instruments act as they would in a real life situation, and when a vessel is accidentally cut in
the simulation, it bleeds, and in the example shown, the surgeon failed the situation. This
illustrates the benefits of virtual training; if the trainee surgeon had made this mistake in a real
operation it is likely the patient would have experienced severe problems as a result. In the
example given from Denmark, each trainee has to attain a certain score in the simulation before
they will be considered for real life surgery.

Figure25: Sophie Leisby using a Virtual Reality Simulator

2014 30

This is obviously a very useful tool in training surgeons. Previous methods, such as practicing on
cadavers offer valuable experience of interacting with a real human body. Interacting with a live
patient is obviously a different matter however. Virtual Reality training offers trainees the
opportunity to interact with material very close to what they would experience in a real operation.
The use of such technologies as haptic feedback can only enhance their training further. Care
needs to be taken though, to guard against complacency, and detachment from the dangers
present in the operations that are being performed. This is an issue with Virtual Reality as a
whole, not just with surgical training. There is a danger that the user will become desensitized to
the consequences of mistakes. After all, if you die while playing a computer game, you simply
respawn at your last save point. Using Virtual Reality to train people in anything runs the risk of
this becoming a natural reaction. Another use of Virtual Reality in the medical world is that of
treating phobias. This article lists the types of phobia which can be treated using Virtual Reality.
These include fear of spiders, flight, driving, and claustrophobia among others. This kind of
treatment, known as exposure therapy, refers to the practice of exposing a patient to the very thing
that they have a phobia of. Obviously Virtual Reality has the potential to play a significant role in this
kind of treatment, as the patient can be exposed to the stimuli in a virtual manner, which means they are
more likely to participate in the treatment. A lot depends on the individual patient however. The first
article states that the study carried out was inconclusive; that certain patients responded well to the virtual
treatment, but others did not. Another factor is how severe the phobia is, and how relevant the virtual
nature of the treatment is to the patient. A lot would depend on the patient being able to suspend their
knowledge of the virtual environment, simulated flight very different to the real thing, especially if one
has a related phobia. The research carried out for this report could not locate many recent references to
this practice, most dated from the 1990s. It can be assumed from this that this was not followed up on as
being a viable treatment for phobias. Possibly as the technology improves and becomes more
sophisticated it will be revisited in the future.

Virtual reality can be used in many other disciplines as a safe alternative to in-the-field
training. One such example is that of coal mine. The example shown offers a variety of simulated
coal mine environments, and users can take part in courses that will train them in the different
situations that could arise in an environment such as this. Again this allows trainees to experience
the real life dangers to both themselves and expensive equipment without placing themselves in
physical danger. A very relevant point made by this company is that this is a High impact

2014 31

experience for maximum learning and retention. Learning is always most successful when the
student has a memorable experience to look back on, and will learn and retain far more from
actually doing the tasks they are learning than from reading about them. Virtual Reality offers
students such as these the opportunity to experience firsthand the realities of the job they are
training for, something that may not have been possible before the advent of this technology.

Another environment in which virtual reality is currently employed is in conferencing.
There are areas where this approach has many benefits over its real life equivalent. The primary
factor is that of attendance and travel, if great distances have to be travelled to attend a
conference, this obviously costs time and money to achieve. Using Virtual conferencing,
attendees can view and interact in proceedings without leaving their office or home. One of the
main proponents of this facility is the virtual world Second Life, which offers businesses the
facility to hold meetings, conferences. The idea is that each participant has an avatar, who sits at
the virtual table (or similar), and contributes with the meeting through text using audio
technology to chat in real time with their colleagues. One interesting innovation mentioned is the
Frustration Orb. This allows attendees to click it anonymously if they are unhappy with the
direction of the meeting. The more clicks it receives, the orb turns red, intimating that the group
are unhappy. This illustrates features of Virtual Conferencing that would enhance the experience.
The ideas used behind this can be expanded to cover a wide range of scenarios. Education is an
example; distance learning, or programs such as the Open University would benefit hugely from
having virtual lectures. Such facilities already exist in various forms;

2014 32

The example referenced here is from the Twenty University in The Netherlands. This example
has a lecturer giving his lecture in one University, and it is viewed in real time, with interactivity
possible, at two further universities. It can be argued that this is not truly Virtual Reality, but it is
certainly a step in that direction. It is certainly moving towards virtual classrooms, where each
student will have a computer linked to the other students and the teacher. Distance becomes an
irrelevance, and it will allow for specialized study, with likeminded students and teachers able to
work together while studying, which really helps to give the student an idea of the placement of
their work in the larger scheme.

Virtual Reality has been around for a long time in military training, before the term was
coined. In the 1920s and 30s, primitive flight simulators were employed to train pilots. Sawed off
coffins were placed on a pedestal, with realistic instruments placed inside. The darkness inside,
the movement and the instruments made this an effective method of training pilots to fly at night.
Later on, more sophisticated flight simulators were used, not just for military training. Cockpits
surrounded by projected images to simulate flight can train all pilots, not just military. For
military purposes though, this approach offers a way to train for and develop tactical situations,
without risking expensive equipment and personnel in the field. These techniques are used in
military training apart from that of flight training. Increasingly, soldiers can be trained using
laptops connected through a network to others, which allows large numbers of personnel to
interact in a simulated face-to-face environment with other distant military units through the
Internet (or through the classified network known as SIPRNET), and with first-responder units,
civilians, and even medical personnel units, providing a training experience that is increasingly
effective, but at a much lower cost than would be required for assembling these personnel for a
real-life face-to-facet raining exercise. This technique also allows virtually any scenario or
environment to be played out for the purposes of training. The influence of this kind of
technology can be seen in the current gaming world, the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is
clearly inspired by these kinds of training simulations. The blending of these worlds is apparent
as the US army have used XBOX controllers to control remote devices, including robots (some
with guns), and spy planes.

2014 33

Figure 27: US Army uses XBOX Controllers
As stated, the rise in the use of Virtual Reality in training situations like this is down to the fact
that it is very cost effective; the cost of setting up simulations is a lot more affordable now than it
has been previously. The benefits in a military setting are obvious. Safety of equipment and
personnel are paramount, and the process of developing new tools and weapons is rendered
simpler, through the use of prototyping in a virtual environment, many design issues can be
caught and eliminated without the need for in the field testing. It can all be done in a virtual field


2014 34

Recently Samsung announce the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, a new mobile
virtual reality headset using the Galaxy Note 4, created by Samsung and powered by Oculus.

The culmination of that work is Gear VR Innovator Edition, an add-on to the new
Samsung Galaxy Note 4, using the phones GPU/CPU to power the device and the Quad HD
low-persistence 5.7 inch 1440p AMOLED screen as the display. One of the best aspects of
mobile VR is the completely untethered, easy-to-use experience: you connect the Note 4 to the
headset, you put it on, and youre in. That level of accessibility, combined with Oculus software
to easily launch and transition between VR applications without taking the headset off, really
makes the experience magical.
The Gear VR is powered by the new Oculus Mobile SDK, and also uses variations of the
Oculus Tracker and firmware built into the headset for extremely accurate, ultra low-latency
3DOF tracking. Its impossible to deliver a high quality mobile experience without this kind of
deep end-to-end hardware, software, and firmware optimization. As a result, weve been able to
achieve sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency, roughly equivalent to the most highly
optimized experiences on DK2.
The Innovator Edition is also launching with four new experiences built by Oculus: Oculus
Home, Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos.


2014 35

Optical Lens
-96 Field of View
-Accelerator, Gyrometer, Magnetic, Proximity
Motion to Photon Latency
-< 20ms
Focal Adjustment
-Covers Nearsighted / Farsighted Eyes
I nterpupillary Distance Coverage
-55 ~ 71 mm
Physical User I nterface
-Touch Pad, Back Button, Volume Key
-micro USB 1.1 connection to the Galaxy Note 4
Dimension (Headset)
-198(W) x 116(L) x 90(H)mm
-Available through Oculus Store
* micro SD Card(16GB) in-box

What samsung working on for their Samsung Gear VR?
There are two games in development that they are publishing. The first one is an arcade
shooter based around World War 2 bomber gunners called Bandit Six.
The second title is still under wraps and its developing in collaboration with Oculus.


2014 36

As can be seen from the preceding report, the technology behind Virtual Reality
continues to be developed, and, impressive as some of it is at this time, we are still some way off
from having systems that will provide fully immersive virtual reality. It can be mimicked

Figure28: Homemade Virtual Reality Goggles
As this video shows, easily accessible technology can be used and modified to create a
form on immersive virtual reality. In this example, an HTC Android phone is attached to a
homemade headset, which blocks out all other vision for the user. The phone has a digital
compass application installed on it, which allows in this case the user to turn his head and body,
and the viewpoint on the phone will dynamically react to this movement. It is not difficult to see
how this concept could be improved on, to offer users fully immersive views of any location on
the planet (and possibly off it) that is desired.


2014 37

Figure 29: Googles street view
Googles Street View project is a form of Virtual Reality that makes this sort of
immersion possible. Google have taken panoramic photographs of large portions of the planet. It
is not comprehensive in its locations yet, but over time this will increase, and users will be able to
virtually visit anywhere they desire. As discussed earlier, the hardware underpinning Virtual
Reality is steadily moving forwards, with the military and medical professions two of the
industries that are taking advantage of the ever more sophisticated equipment. In the home,
progress has been slower, largely down to the cost of equipment, but this may change in the next
few years, as Microsoft push their Project Natal, and their competitors will undoubtedly attempt
to develop rival technologies. One recent innovation has come from the use of Nintendos DSi
gaming console. The remit of this report was specific in its not gaming direction, but this
technology has wider implications for user interaction with 3D environments, and has been
included. The technology uses the front facing camera present on the new model of Nintendos
DS console, the DSi. It employs face tracking software, which will analyze the position of the
viewers face and eyes, and the images displayed on screen react in accordance to this. A 3D
image is then given depth, and if the DSi is tilted, or the viewer moves his head back, the depth
of the image changes, mimicking the real life perspective of the objects. It is difficult to explain
this properly, as it is a very visual effect.

2014 38

Figure30: Nintendos DSi gaming cell phone

These kinds of technologies, which are available to buy at relatively inexpensive prices,
seem to be the future of Virtual Reality, for the average consumer anyway. Obviously large
businesses will continue to make strides in fully immersive systems, such as CAVE, for training
purposes. The portable nature of technology such as the DSi, and mobile phones, is a lot more
accessible and exciting for the average user. If the homemade Virtual Reality headset discussed
earlier can be expanded upon, this could be as close to truly immersive Virtual Reality as anyone
is likely to get, without spending vast amounts of money. Even combining this with proper
HMDs (Head Mounted devices) would seem to offer a relatively inexpensive way of immersing
oneself in a Virtual World, albeit in the case of Street View, a virtual simulation of the real
world. The DSi technology too, offers tantalizing glimpse of what the future could hold. If this
can be successfully transferred to large screen televisions, or similar devices, and utilize head
tracking technology, real life depth and perspective can be used in a variety of applications. The
real advances will come when these techniques are successfully combined with the various haptic
technologies. As humans have five senses, for Virtual
Reality to succeed, at least three of these should be stimulated (sight, hearing and touch). The
other two are more difficult, and possibly less relevant, although it has been attempted, using
smell at least, in Heiligs Sensorama machine .Virtual Reality has then progressed since the term
was first coined in the1970s. While it was a buzz word of the 1980s, with fantastical promises of
truly immersive systems that would be freely available to all, the reality is that this has been far
more difficult to achieve than it was thought twenty or thirty years ago. Cost has been a hugely
prohibitive factor; it is only fairly recently that technology capable of producing anything
approximating the vision of immersive Virtual Reality has been available at prices near what the
average consumer can afford. The basic pieces of equipment, such as Head Mounted Displays are
a lot more affordable now than they have ever been. The fact remains that they are regarded as
luxury items. The day may come when such items are commonplace in the average home, but

2014 39

this is still a long way off. The large scale virtual environments, like CAVE which were
discussed earlier, are prohibitively expensive for the average company to use, let alone purchase
for repeated use. Another pitfall or possible danger inherent in the use of Virtual Reality in
various scenarios is the effect it can have on the user. This report mentioned earlier the problem
that medical students, among others can have with user detachment; becoming desensitized to the
fact that their actions will have real life consequences, something that is not always readily
reinforced in a virtual environment. A similar issue is that of the social problems that using a
virtual world can cause. Anonymity is a factor, not just in virtual worlds, but in the use of the
internet as a Communication tool as a whole. A current issue in the news is that of social
networking site Facebook installing a panic button for its users. The issues this story raises are
similar to those found in virtual worlds; how can the user know who they are dealing with? It is
very easy to create a virtual character or avatar, which can bear little or no Resemblance to the
person who uses it. This leads to obvious safety concerns in the case of the news story
referenced, but also to less sinister, but relevant issues of trust within a virtual world. The world
of Star Trek, with the Holodeck offering real life worlds of the users choosing still seem a long
way off. This is possibly for the best however. It has been postulated that such an invention
would mark the end of human civilization. If everyone could live in a virtual world, who would
be left to go to work, producing food and power to sustain the human races new virtual


With the introduction of VR to society there is a need of finding ethical norms for it.
People also should know about the potential dangers of the new technology: which negative or
even destructive influence it can bring along. One may notexaggerate because humans have a
great ability of adaptation to new conditions: finally they will always find their place in new
(even virtual) realities. Nevertheless it is better to prevent than to correct. Virtual reality systems
of the future can be divided into four groups according to two criteria: social vs. non-social and
creative vs. non-creative. Non-social virtual realities allow a single user to interact with the
environment. This can be an interaction either: with a prefabricated (i.e. reprogrammed)
environment (they are then called: non-creative systems) or with an environment that can be
modified according to the users needs and wishes (they are then called: creative systems).

2014 40

Social virtual realities on the other hand allow multiple users to interact with each other and with
the environment itself. Again, as with non-social systems, the environment can be
Preprogrammed or it be created and altered by the user or a group of cooperating users.

Figure 31: four type of VR
Different types of VR systems can have different influences on peoples mentality. Non-social
virtual realities for example may lead to closing of people in their own worlds. This has
already partially happened some of the most fanatic computer-game players can hardly be
forced to come back to reality! And with more convincing and realistic systems, it can only
become worse...
Non-creative applications (like games) may have an additional negative effect:

Closing the user in the world that cannot be modified is against human nature and can
lead to degradation of our imagination. Non-social and creative virtual worlds that potentially can
be great tool for designers are at the same time even bigger temptation for complete escape from
reality. They offer to the user the possibility of modifying the surrounding according to ones
wishes (which is very often not possible in real world). Thanks to it, creating an artificial
wonderland of dreams will be as easy as building a house using a Lego-set. With these
considerations several existential questions arise: Is our everyday life so bad that so many people
escape from it? Will VR make people at least happier? Which influence will it have on the ability
of coexistence with other humans?
This last question becomes even more important when considering social virtual worlds,
allowing people to communicate and collaborate. They can certainly be a great help in work and
in everyday life, but are they going to replace physical contacts totally? Even today a lot of
people spend hours on the telephone because they are too lazy to pay a visit to their friends. In

2014 41

virtual reality, the user will be able to create an image of himself/herself often very idealized
and far from reality. Hidden behind our masks we will meet only equally perfect but cold
Creatures. How long can one continue living without feelings and how destructive can it be?
How easy will it be to come back to reality and make contacts with real people? How easy will it
be to switch between real and virtual images, and can it eventually cause a virtual schizophrenia?

Beside the dangers of VR discussed previously, there are other more general hazards. TV
has in the 1960s increased the homicide rate in American society. VR can potentially have the
same influence on our society a few years from now. People playing brutal games may identify
themselves with the virtual heroes and adopt their violent behavior. With the improvement of the
simulation and visual quality of virtual worlds the differences between reality and VR will be
constantly disappearing and consequently people may become confused what is real and what is
virtual. In fact this process has already begun: military simulations are becoming so close to
reality that soldiers do not know any more whether they are remotely steering a real death-
machine or just making training. This may eventually lead to the lack of responsibility for our
actions: one can kill cold-blooded thousands of innocent people not knowing (or rather
pretending not to know) if taking part in a simulation or a real mission. All these questions are
intentionally left open. The overwhelming evolution of virtual reality technology indicates that
there may be an all too real danger for society. VR may become the ultimate drug for the masses.
It is our responsibility to choose the right dose.


2014 42

Following the demonstration of the Oculus Rift prototype at E3 in June 2012, on August
1, 2012, the company announced a Kickstarter campaign to further develop the product. Oculus
announced that the "dev kit" version of the Oculus Rift would be given as a reward to backers
who pledged $300 or more on Kickstarter, with an expected shipping date set of December 2012
(though they did not actually ship until March 2013).There was also a limited run of 100
unassembled Rift prototype kits for pledges over $275 that would ship a month earlier. Both
versions were intended to include Doom 3 BFG Edition, but Rift support in the game was not
ready, so to make up for it they included a choice of discount vouchers for either Steam or the
Oculus store. Within four hours of the announcement, Oculus secured its intended amount
ofUS$250,000, and in less than 36 hours, the campaign had surpassed $1 million in
funding, eventually ending with $2,437,429.
On December 12, 2013, Marc Andreessen joined the company's board when his firm, Andreessen
Horowitz, led the $75 million Series B venture funding.
In total, Oculus VR has raised $91 million with $2.4 million raised via crowd funding.

Though Oculus VR had only released a development prototype of its headset, on March
25, 2014, Mark Zuckerberg announced via his Facebook profile that Facebook would be
acquiring Oculus VR for US$2 billion, pending regulatory approval. The deal includes $400
million in cash and 23.1 million common shares of Facebook, valued at $1.6 billion, as well as
additional $300 million assuming Facebook reaches certain milestones. Some Kickstarter backers
and game industry figures, such as Minecraft developer Notch, criticized the sale of Oculus VR
to Facebook.


2014 43

The most impressive thing about the Rift isnt even the hardware, but the great platform
for virtual reality Oculus VR has created. The SDK allows any developer to easily integrate
Oculus Rift into their projects, with no or little knowledge about VR. And its even easier for
developers using Unity or UDK, where it's as easy as drag and drop. Of course there is more to a
good integration than this, but it shows that Oculus VR has the attention of developers already
and this may very well be the key to succeeding.
Oculus VR also managed to hire some of the most skilled people in the business and combined
with support from developers like Valve, id Software, Dice and Epic, great things is bound to
happen. Thats why I think there is every reason to believe in a bright future for Oculus Rift and
VR in general. All technologies go through the various stages of development and if we look at
virtual technology then it is just about to hit its growth phase. The world today stands on the
brink of a tidal wave which will not only wash away many of our conventionally held norms but
will usher in an era that will make all the technological innovations that have occurred in the so
called age of information technology as those made in the stone ages. All this depends on how
fast and how effectively virtual reality is integrated into our lives.


2014 44

Web reference
4. Multimedia Technology 2 Virtual Reality (PDF)
Image reference
7. (video)