Scuba diving among the sharks along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a breathtakingly immersive experience. It's also dangerous and expensive.
But exploring a virtual ocean and coming nose to nose with a real-looking shark is a viable alternative. That, in a nutshell, has been the promise of virtual reality over the years — it could put us in an artificial environment that feels entirely real, without getting our feet wet.
Movies like “ The Matrix ,” “ Lawnmower Man ” and “ Star Trek ” gave us a taste of "VR." In the mid-1990s startups and investors jostled to bring virtual technology to the mass market; instead, VR tech became specialized, used mostly in corporate training, the military (flight simulators) and science education.
No more. The success of the 3-D movie “Avatar” and the popularity of super-realistic video games are bringing virtual reality and its cousin, augmented reality, to the entertainment forefront.
You can now experience virtual reality technology at museums, discovery centers and trade shows and in immersive “rides” at Disney World and other big theme parks. It will soon make its way into our living rooms via devices that transport us fully into virtual games. And as the tech goes mainstream, the job opportunities are growing.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page