Not long ago computers were
considered an amazing invention. Today they form part of our everyday life. The
latest thing today is Virtual Reality. A Virtual Reality system can transport
the user to exotic locations such as a beach in Hawaii or the inside of the
The Virtual Reality system is
still in the early stages of its development. At the moment it is necessary to
put a large helmet on your head to see the simulated world and you have to wear
a special glove on your hand in order to manipulate the objects you see there.
Lenses and two miniature display screens inside the helmet create the illusion that
the screen surrounds you on every side.
You can «look behind»
computer— generated objects, pick them up and examine them, walk around and see
things from a different angle.
Already today Virtual Reality
is used in medicine. In hospitals, surgeons could plan operations by first
«travelling» through the brain, heart or lungs without damaging the body. It is
also used in police training schools. In schools pupils could explore the Great
Pyramid or study molecules from the inside. Developers of Virtual Reality say
its potential is powerful.
The word which comes closest
to describing Virtual Reality is «simulator». Virtual Reality technology
resembles the flight simulators that are used to train pilots. But of course
there are dangers as well as benefits. In the wrong hands Virtual Reality can
be used for power fantasies and pornography.