Virtual companies in the technology and design department

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Virtual Reality


Overview about Virtual Reality especially in Architecture field



Marta Skorupko

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for Society of Knowledge,

Faculty of
Architecture Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

[email protected]



Virtual reality is present for a long time and it had
its beginnings in Science Fiction. Virtual reality is really nowadays topic in
human live. Today Virtual reality is developing really fast and it is
interesting future of architecture, design, games, and education. In this paper
i am going to describe the past, present and conceivable future of creating
realistic environment like images, sounds and other factors that are supposed
to look natural. In last few years, there have been notices of rapid develop of
the interest of virtual reality filed. World’s dominant companies in the
technology and design department develop this VR technology with incredible
speed and with invest of huge sums of money. Virtual reality gives to the user
many possibilities of using it starting from science, work or entertainment but
also considered in architectural, desing, technological and social aspects. And
there is every year new directions of research about this technology and
potential applications. Those applications may be useful in the future to
present architecture in entirely new and innovative way or could even replace
traditional drawings altogether. It gives designer possibilty to go into his
project and walk arond, nowadays there are even tested softwares which allows
for design and change desing in reall time when we are inside project using UR
glasses and special controllers. Virtual reality is relatively new compare to
many other technologies so for now it is nearly impossible to predict the
positive and negative influences on the life of average people. This can be the
key to a new world, more exciting and enabling more opportunities. However,
also virtual reality maybe can be dangerous and it can replace the real


Keywords: Virtual Reality; Virtual Environment; simulation; architecture; graphics







Computer graphics has been in used in
people’s lives already for decades. In the present, it is almost impossible to
imagine an architect, engineer, or interior designer who could work without a
graphics workstation. During the last few years, there has been a rapid and momentous
development of technology that requires faster and better computer equipment. Virtual
reality gives possible for every user to move into the artificial world.


Virtual Reality


Virtual reality can be named as an
artificial environment. VR is typically related to computer technologies that
use software to generate the realistic images, sounds and other sensations that
replicate a real environment. There is possibility for use virtual reality with
computer or for example with smartphone and basically experienced through two
of the five senses – sight and sound. But if we will use special moving
platforms, some additional windmill, smell and similar, then we can experience
virtual reality with our five senses.




      How we can use Virtual Reality in our normal life?


Virtual Reality
gives us a lot of possibilities. It not only to helps us to explore completely
different worlds from which we currently live, as for example in games where we
can feel even more like we are part of this artificial world.


Virtual Reality
is also use for training new skills and also can helps us enhance and plan for
operations. The good example for using virtual reality is Air Force training
for new pilots. It gives possibility to save money and is safer.



There is a lot of things which we
can do with Virtual Reality. In upcoming years, we can expect a significant
growth in the popularity of Virtual Reality, as well as the rapid development
of this technology. The prognoses says that Virtual Reality will bring up to
2.300 Million US Dollar with even the doubled sales in the years 2017 (“Virtual
Reality – Prognose zum Umsatz weltweit bis 2018 | Statistik,” n.d.). Oculus
Rift selled 60.000 DevKid1s (Vrland, n.d.) and 45.000 DevKids2 until July 1st
2014 (cybereality, 2014), which indicates that the market is growing and more people
are becoming interested in and aware of the technology.




History of VR


      Technology of Virtual Environment has its
origins in the 50’s. Military forces were the driving force for most of the high-tech
inventions. The need to exceed the opponent, especially during The Cold War,
produced many life changing ideas, including the Internet. Virtual reality was
also influenced by the military.


The great visionary who gave the world
interfaces developments we use nowadays was Douglas Engelbar. He gave up his
“steady job” in order to implement his new “guiding philosophy”. His goal was to
make the word better. He founded Augmentation Research Center, where he invented
NLS, or the “oN-Line System”. Hyperlinks, the mouse, screen windowing
and many others were used in practice for the first time in this system. It was
the beginning of the modern Virtual Reality (Pimentel).



Virtual Reality has a long history
of progression over the past 50 years. Listed below are the most important



The Ultimate
Display – early as it might seem, in 1965 Ivan Sutherland wrote his famous
paper “The Ultimate Display” predicting accurately the course of development of
Virtual Reality. He wrote about head-mounted displays and even “a chair
displayed (…)(that) would be good enough to sit in” in virtual room.



Sensorama – it
was the first approach in order to create a system of virtual reality. For two
years since 1960 Morton Heilig was working on creating a multi-sensory
stimulator. Color and stereo video was combined with scent, wind and



Reality (AR) – first introduced in the 90s, is focused on “presenting a virtual
world that enriches, rather than replaces the real world” (S. Bryson). The
technology has its origins in military – it was invented to provide pilots with
additional information during the fight. The digital picture is displayed on a
see-through HMD and adapts to real life objects.



UNC Walkthrough project – it was launched
at the University of North Carolina in the 80s. The main goal was to create an
architectural model that could be explored by user by stimulating a walk
through it. During the project, several VR devices were created.

Categories: Architecture


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