What is virtual reality? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound.

The simplest form of virtual reality is a 3-D image that can be explored interactively at a personal computer, usually by manipulating keys or the mouse so that the content of the image moves in some direction or zooms in or out. More sophisticated efforts involve such approaches as wrap-around display screens, actual rooms augmented with wearable computers, and haptics devices that let you feel the display images.

Virtual reality can be divided into:

  • The simulation of a real environment for training and education.
  • The development of an imagined environment for a game or interactive story.

The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) allows the creator to specify images and the rules for their display and interaction using textual language statements.

See also: augmented reality

See a video introduction to virtual reality:

This was last updated in May 2015
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • haptics

    - Haptics (pronounced HAP-tiks) is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. (WhatIs.com)

  • business continuance (business continuity)

    - Business continuance (sometimes referred to as business continuity) describes the processes and procedures an organization puts in place to ensure that essential functions can continue during and a... (SearchStorage.com)

  • data glove

    - A data glove is an interactive device, resembling a glove worn on the hand, which facilitates tactile sensing and fine-motion control in robotics and virtual reality. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.