People, even in the tech industry, describe the term “virtual reality” in a number of different ways. It’s a subjective topic with no one really right answer to it. At its most basic, though, it is an artificial environment that has been rendered by a computer. If Virtual Reality is done correctly it can transport a person into an alternate environment that feels completely real to them. This includes stimulating all five of a person’s senses to complete the illusion. The specific VR technology being used has a large influence on how real this feels. Read more about Alex Hern at bloomberg.com.
One of the pioneers in VR is entrepreneur Alex Hern. A company he co-founded, Tsunami XR, is at the forefront of making simulated environments feel completely real to users. As the chief executive officer of this firm, he guides Tsunami XR’s growth and seeks to take a piece of the $209.2 billion VR market that is predicted by analysts to exist in 2022.
In order to simulate vision, Alex Hern says that you need to use a Head Mounted Display (usually called an HMD). The most well-known of these are the Oculus Rift and the Playstation VR. Hearing things is taken care of by having two microphones sitting side by side 7″ apart which can provide people with the feeling that the sound can be coming from a specific direction and distance.
In order for touch to be incorporated designers are developing tactile inputs. Alex Hern says that taste and smell are the two senses that are lagging behind in the VR technology. He calls these the holy grail of delivering the full VR experience. People in the technology industry are at work figuring out how to simulate these two senses, such as at the University of Ottawa where they are working on adding smell to the virtual reality experience. Follow Alex Hern on Linkedin.