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VR room (virtual reality room)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A VR room is a self-contained area that is customized with embedded or portable technologies that allow it to deliver or enhance a multimedia virtual reality experience. Unlike seated or stationary VR, a VR room allows the user to move around with a fair degree of freedom, which more closely replicates a real-world experience. VR rooms are often used for virtual reality gaming.

Virtual reality rooms were the original option for enabling a virtual environment. Prior to the miniaturization of display technologies that could support VR headsets, virtual reality rooms were necessary to deliver a 360° visual experience. VR combat flight training, developed decades ago for the United States military, used screens surrounding the pilot to simulate the view around a fighter jet cockpit. The same technique was used in rooms and displays with projectors. VR rooms based on projectors are sometimes called CAVEs (cave automatic virtual environment). Some VR rooms also include physical objects to correspond to virtual world objects as a form of passive haptics (tactile feedback).

The current trend in VR rooms is the use of a cleared space that need not be permanently dedicated for VR. That VR type is distinguished from more permanent VR environments by the term room-scale VR.

Explore Virginia Tech’s virtual reality room:

This was last updated in August 2016

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