Virtual reality

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Virtual reality describes an environment that is simulated by a computer. The simulated environment can be displayed on a computer screen or special stereoscopic goggles. While the visual display is the central means of letting users experience the virtual environment, additional sensory information can be given, like sound through speakers or touch through cybergloves. A cybersuit can relay an amlost complete impression of the simulated environment. Due to limited processing power, a realistic simulation is very hard to achieve. Usually, users can interactively manipulate the environment, either through standard input devices like a keyboard, or through a cyberglove. The 'world' that is simulated can be similar to the real one, for example, in simulations for pilot or combat training. It can also differ from reality, for example, in the simulation of molecules.

An often-copied theme for science fiction books and movies is "trapped in virtual reality". The first movie using this topic was TRON, the last famous one The Matrix.

See also : computer graphics, cyberspace, cyberpunk