4 Vision and displays

Graham K. Edgar and Peter J. Bex

4.1. The ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’

A working definition of the word ‘virtual’ may be found in any dictionary, and will be something along the lines of ‘having the essence or effect, but not the appearance or form of’. Extending this definition to virtual reality (VR) seems quite appropriate. VR systems, as described in this book, are often designed to emulate, or indeed replace, the ‘real world’. To this end, the visual image provided by VR systems will, in many ways, be similar to that provided by the ‘real world’. Limitations in the technology, however, mean that there will be certain detectable differences between a VR image and a ‘real world’ one. These differences are important. The ...

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