Applications of Virtual Reality And Information Visualization
- See-through glasses can be used to superimpose live ultrasound images of
internal organs onto the body or to view real-time information such as a
patient's vital signs during surgery.
- Motion analysis using VR sensors can be used to help train athletes to prevent
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy can be enhanced by the use of VR sensory
equipment to pinpoint motor control problems.
- The study of the human body can be facilitated by the use of 3D models of the
body in which medical professionals or students can move to observe
- Surgical operations can be practiced on VR cadavers and new techniques can be
tried out or perfected on VR bodies instead of live ones.
- New drugs can be tested in VR by examining how they will react or bond with
- Surgeons could conduct robotic surgery from anywhere using telepresence
techniques and be protected from the risks of exposure during operations.
- Many scientific models could be better understood if they could be viewed in
- Mathematicians could visualize three-dimensional equations.
- Researchers could create interactive simulations of scientific phenomena.
- Students could learn about scientific concepts by experiencing them in VR.
- Chemists can study molecular structure and interactions without actually
Education and Training
- VR is an effective aid to teaching which allows students to visualize
information and to interact with information in a multisensory immersive
- Virtual classrooms allow students to attend classes without actually being
- VR provides the tools to visualize and manipulate abstract information making
it easier to understand concepts.
- Simulators can be used for training (i.e. flight simulators for pilots,
virtual cars for driver training).
- Battlefield simulations can be used to train soldiers.
- VR is used in video games where the game player becomes part of the action.
- Movies and television shows are using more VR (Earth 2, Tek Wars, Star
- Sports such as golf and racquetball can be played in VR.
Tools for the Handicapped
- The input devices used in VR provide mechanisms for handicapped persons to
communicate and navigate.
- Physically handicapped individuals can participate in virtual activities such
as sports or dancing.
- Accessibility to structures can be tested by doing a walk through a virtual
building examining the spacing dimensionality and reachability of objects.
- Robots can be controlled from a remote location.
- Military training and operations was one of the first practical applications
of VR (flight simulators, development and testing of combat strategy).
- VR allows avoidance of exposure to hazards such as firing of real weapons, or
performing dangerous maneuvers.
- Control of weapons after firing them by telepresence from a safe distance
reduces risks (smart bombs).
- Optically combining critical information such as altitude, airspeed and
heading with an unobstructed view through the forward windscreen of a fighter
aircraft allows the pilot to fly without having to look around the cockpit at
Sports and Fitness
- VR can be used to enhance the experience of indoor exercise by creating
realistic simulations (a bike ride through the country on a stationary exercise
- Realism is created by the use of tactile and/or force feedback which
compensates for muscular movement or indicating contact with objects.
- Golf can be played on a VR course.
- A virtual theatre can have participants involved in the play controlling the
plot by selecting from a set of scripts.
- One could visit a museum or art gallery using VR.
- Instead of passively viewing a piece of art, one could become a part of it.
- VR offers the potential to enhance architecture by allowing a simulated
walkthrough of a virtual space before the expensive construction is
- Problems can be found and fixed before they become real.
- A virtual spreadsheet where information can be interactively modified and
examined could allow businesses to experience what if scenarios.
- Information can be visualized in 3D.
- Virtual prototyping can save time and money in the development of new
- Virtual meetings.
of Virtual Environments (EVE) at the University of Maryland at
College Park is a collection of information about the many applications and
components devices and technologies which comprise Virtual Environments.
Case Study 10:
Virtual Reality Technology contains a definition of virtual
reality and a general list of current applications of V R.
Last updated Tuseday March 22, 1995