Imagine sleeping on the beach, in a rainforest, or in the mountains. How was it? Did you enjoy that feeling? The newest technology can provide you your own virtual reality world.
Sleeping in a virtual reality world
Imagine sleeping on the beach, in a rainforest, or in the mountains. How was it? Did you enjoy that feeling?
The newest technology can provide you your own virtual reality world. If you put VR goggles on, just before you start sleeping, and start looking in a virtual reality world.
The scenarios in that virtual reality world can be like mentioned a beach, a rainforest, and more.
This article provides information about what VR actually is, how it is used, how it can help people sleep, and more!
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that makes use of software generated images, sounds, and other sensations to replicate an environment. This stimulates the user’s physical presence in the environment, which enables the user to interact with the environment. Basically, someone who is using the VR equipment is able to look around, move around, and interact with the virtual reality world.
Most virtual realities are displayed either on the monitor of a computer, a projector screen, or with a VR headset (a head-mounted display, HMD). These HMDs are shaped like goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Some HMDs are also capable of providing sounds through speakers or headphones.
The history of virtual reality
The panoramic paintings
The panoramic paintings from the nineteenth century, are the first attempt at virtual reality. The idea behind the 360-degree painting, was to create an illusion to make people feel present at a historical event or scene. To do this, the painting had to fill the viewer’s entire field of vision.
The Link Trainer
The Link Trainer was created in 1929 by Edward Link. This is the first example of a commercial flight simulator and was entirely electromechanical. During World War II more than 500,000 pilots were trained by these Link Trainers.
The first HDM
In 1960 the Telesphere mask was invented by Morton Heilig. This was the first example of a head-mounted display (HDM). However it was not able to track motion, but it was provided with stereoscopic 3D and wide vision with stereo sound.
The 21st century
In the first fifteen years of the 21st century, the development of VR has been developing exponentially. Computer technology has exploded while the prices went down significantly. Many companies are developing the HDMs in their own way, and competition is becoming very fierce.
How is virtual reality used?
Education and training
Research has not been a big part of the history of virtual reality, however this is quickly changing. We are now able to provide learners with a virtual environment where they can develop their skills without consequences of the real-world.
VR has a significant role in the combat training for the military. It allows the soldiers to train under a controlled environment, where they are responding to different types of combat situations.
It is also used in the pilot training, in the form of a flight simulation. The simulation would be placed on a hydraulic lift system that reacts to the inputs and events of the user.
Medical personnel can train through VR to take care of a variety of injuries. VR is proven to help students familiarize themselves with skills unspecific to any particular method.
The technology from video games can be incorporated into VR. Several HMD were released for gaming in the 1990s. Some of the modern examples of VR in gaming include the Wii Remote, and the PlayStation Move. These devices track and send motion input of the players to the game console accurately. Virtual reality gaming is quickly becoming the standard in the gaming industry.
Heritage and archaeology
VR was first used in heritage in 1994, when a "walkthrough" of a 3D reconstruction of Dudley Castle, as it was in 1550, was provided. It consisted a computer controlled laserdisc system. VR is able to recreate heritage sites very precisely. Original sites are often in a poor state, which could be resurrected by VR. The technology can develop replicas of real-life locations.
In the 1980s VR was first used for architecture. The University of North Carolina modeled its computer science department in a virtual environment. Some companies provide services that allow the making of virtual models of buildings.
These softwares are very beneficial to architects and their clients. Architects can use VR to have a better view of the designs, since it is more accurate and easy than drawing.
3D virtual reality is used for urban regeneration, planning, and transportation projects. In 2010 a prototype software was developed to automate the process leading from design to virtualization. The software is now improved to implement 3D models from other software to create a more realistic virtual reality.
How is virtual reality related to sleeping?
Virtual reality is also capable of providing a better sleep. It can help you relax, while being stressed. Watching a 360 video of a river or a beach on YouTube with VR goggles, could losen up your body. It will feel like you are actually in the environment shown on the screen, and maybe you will even feel the sand, or smell the sea, in your mind. Basically, these goggles might take you on a relaxing holiday for a few minutes.
Relaxation is not only great for a better sleep, it has other benefits as well.
- You will have more control over your stress levels;
- You will have a better mood overall, because it will help getting stress and anxiety under control;
- You will have an improved memory, and you will enjoy finding it easier to concentrate; and
- You will have a reduced chance of physical illnesses in the future.
Don't forget that relaxing before bed with the virtual reality goggles is not enough for a great night's sleep. The latex pillows and latex mattresses of Vita Talalay are a great help for this. They really make your body and mind feel rested when waking up, instead of the tiredness and headaches that you usually have in the mornings.
Virtual reality videos of Vita Talalay
Vita Talalay has been very active with the preperation of videos for the VR goggles. The company created a few different videos for people to relax on. These videos are all on the YouTube channel of Vita Talalay.
Three of the videos on the YouTube channel of Vita Talalay are 360 videos filmed in Bali, Indonesia. They contain a timelapse of the sunrise on a beach. There is a 1 minute, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes.
There are also two videos filmed in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Maastricht is the hometown of Vita Talalay, which is why there are also great 360 films from there. They both include the nature around Maastricht. One is a boat ride on the Maas river, and the other one is the view from a bridge in a forested area.
Fun facts about the virtual reality world
A good number of science fiction books and films have created characters being trapped in virtual reality, or entering into VR. Other science fiction books used VR as a partial substitution for the cruel reality.
“Pygmalion’s Spectacles” by Stanley G. Weinbaum, published in 1935, is an example of a comprehensive and specific fictional model for VR. Another example of this, is the more modern novel Simulacron-3, written by Daniel F. Galouye. Simulacron-3 was made into a German film titled “Welt am Draht” (“World on a Wire) in 1973.
Films containing virtual reality
- Welt am Draht (1973), shows a VR simulation inside a VR simulation;
- Brainstorm (1983), based on the production, use, and misuse of a VR device;
- Until the End of the World (1991), a VR system is used to record and play back dreams;
- The Lawnmower Man (1992), a story about a scientist who uses a VR system to jumpstart the mental and physical development of his gardener, who is mentally handicapped;
- Arcade (1993), a movie focused around a new VR game that traps those who play it;
- Johnny Mnemonic (1995), the main character uses VR goggles to extract information into his own brain;
- Virtuosity (1995), a VR serial killer is used as a simulation to train police officers, but manages to enter the real world;
- The Thirteenth Floor (1999), based on Simulacron-3, and tells a story about two VR simulations with one inside another;
- The Matrix (1999), a movie based on the exploration of our world is actually a vast VR created by intelligent machines; and
- Avatar (2009), some people have to experience what their avatars perform remotely in a VR.
Facts about the virtual reality world
The idea behind a virtual reality world has been executed first in the nineteenth century as a panoramic painting.
Virtual reality is also called 'immersive multimedia,' as well as 'virtual environment (VE)' or 'computer-simulated life'.
44% of the Americans conducted in a survey stated that they were very interested in the virtual reality world.
Virtual reality gaming is becoming a new standard for the gaming industry. The VR industry is because of that booming. The revenue of VR products is expected to increase from 90 million U.S. dollars in 2014 to 5,2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
Lastly, the active users of VR is forecasted to reach 171 million people in 2018.
Concerns and challenges of virtual reality
There are a few health and safety considerations of virtual reality. A number of undesired symptoms have been caused by the use of VR. Most VR systems come with consumer warnings. There are also social, conceptual, and philosophical considerations with VR.
VR will lead to a few important changes in human life and activity. It will be integrated into daily life, and will be used in various ways. Techniques will be developed to influence human behaviour, cognition, and communication. Spending more time in the VR, will result in economic changes, as well as worldview and cultural changes.