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DLideas 8: Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

The DLideas series focuses on current developments in the world of DLP® and emerging applications using the technology.

Virtual and augmented reality, also referred to as immersive displays, are accomplished primarily by stimulating vision and hearing. Virtual reality (VR) facilitates the generation of real life simulations and creates an immersive experience for the user so they feel as if they are actually interacting with their digital environment or situation. VR is typically delivered to the user through a head mounted display and hand-held controllers which connect people to the virtual reality. These controllers allow users to control and navigate their actions in an environment meant to simulate the real world.

Virtual reality near-eye displays can be used prominently in two different ways. First, they are utilized to create and enhance an imaginary reality for gaming, entertainment and play, which is seen mainly in the consumer market. Secondly, they are used to enhance training for real-life environments by creating a simulation of reality where people can practice beforehand. This is centered more around industrial and non-consumer applications, such as flight simulators for pilots, healthcare medical training for research and surgical training, and in the space and aeronautics industry. The US military also uses simulators to train soldiers before they’re deployed, allowing individuals to prepare for various dangerous situations that could be encountered in the field.

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances users’ experiences by layering computer generated digital enhancements and virtual components such as graphics, transparent images or sensations atop an existing reality. This process enriches the overall experience by allowing the user to interact directly with their environment. Augmented reality displays are being used for industrial non-consumer applications such as warehouse inventory management and head-up displays in devices such as cars, cranes and tractors.

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