What is Virtual/Augmented Reality?
According to the Virtual Reality Society, virtual reality is the term used to describe a “three dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person.” That person then becomes part of this virtual world and is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions whilst immersed in the world. VR is implemented through a range of headsets, omni-directional treadmills and special gloves which are used to stimulate all the sense to create the illusion of reality. Augmented reality deploys certain aspects of VR into everyday life, providing a composite view of actual reality and virtual reality. By putting you in the first-person, VR allows a fully interactive approach to pressing issues like sustainable transport and urban planning and can lead to innovation in these areas.
How can I do it?
Virtual Reality is becoming a more accessible field to be involved with. Cardboard VR glasses are available online from as little as 99p and can be used with Google Cardboard VR for an affordable VR experience. Furthermore, augmented reality can be a cheaper and easier option as it only integrates aspects of VR. If you live in the United Kingdom you can access the Transport Systems Catapult ‘Visualisation Laboratory’ in Milton Keynes to trial Virtual Reality and see how it could work for your project.