Virtual Reality Now

By: samantha peters - Published: • References: msnbc.msn
If your idea of virtual reality is some kind of fantastic technology that won’t be available until the distant future, such as the holographic simulator rooms featured in the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," you should be aware that virtual reality is already here.

As the price of technology decreases and more inventors experiment on virtual reality systems, virtual reality is becoming more and more affordable for ordinary consumers - often allowing gadgets to be purchased by simply looking for the best credit card offers. A few of the most top rated virtual reality gadgets include:

Head-Mounted Display

The head-mounted display is a piece of hardware that you put on to see a computer-generated world. As you move your head, the virtual world that you see adjusts accordingly. For example, if you are visiting a virtual desert, you could move your head to the left and see some palm trees, and then move your head to the right and see some sleeping camels.

A head-mounted display also enables you to see virtual images that come from the real world. Imagine accessing your email messages through a virtual reality simulator in which you can see your e-mails in 3-D, along with categories of merchandise you can buy with your credit line.

Data Gloves

Data gloves are special gloves with embedded sensors and wires for data and electricity. As you move your hand, the data glove can tell where your hand is, what type of gesture you are making, and how fast your fingers are moving. The data glove’s information is mapped to the image of your hand in the virtual reality environment. So, as you grasp at nothing in real life with the glove, your virtual glove in the computer-generated environment grasps an object you want to move, such as a flower vase as you simulate decorating your living room.

Body Suit

If your budget currently doesn’t allow you to wear anything but cheap clothing, you can still have fun with fashion in a virtual reality environment. In virtual reality, your computer-generated body can wear whatever clothes you want. A body suit is a more advanced invention that goes beyond data gloves to help you interact in the computerized world. At multiple points on your skin-tight body suit are sensors that transmit your location and posture to a computer to precisely map you into the virtual environment. You can dance around while wearing the suit, and appear in virtual reality as if you are a dancing cartoon animal, for example.

Virtual reality is poised to become the next great communications medium. People from around the world will be able to share time with one another in imaginative worlds that they construct together using computers, head-mounted displays, and body suits. And once the technology becomes more widespread and readily available, it will also be relatively affordable - requiring no more than the savings dip or credit card charge that an iPad would cause.

Implications - With the decreasing prices of technology and ever growing accessibility and acceptance in our society, there are many exciting new opportunities that businesses can take advantage.  One of the emerging trends that may inventors, entrepreneurs, and businesses are jumping upon are wearable devices that allow users to experience new and exciting realms of virtual and augmented reality.  As these devices become more functional, integrated, and fashionable a large new consumer market will develop. Stats for Virtual Reality Now Trending: Older & Chilly
Traction: 191 w
Interest: 0.5 minutes
Concept: Virtual Reality Now
Related: 52 examples / 40 photos
Segment: Males, 18-35
Comparison Set: 19 similar articles, including: 15 virtual reality eyewear finds, i-glasses 3d head mounted displays, and augmented reality lenses.