dagmara at u.washington.edu
Tue Jan 16 09:28:57 PST 1996
Here is another try. Susan reported that she only received a small portion
of the text. Did anyone else experience a similar problem? Dagmar
>From dagmara at u.washington.edu Tue Jan 16 09:13:55 1996
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 19:45:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Dagmar Amtmann <dagmara at u.washington.edu>
To: wash-at at u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: virtual reality
I have responded to the person who inquired about virtual reality and he
no longer needs any leads. The request made me realized that most people
don't know what virtual reality is and how people with disabilities could
benefit from it, so I decided to elaborate. Those of you who are familiar
with it, please bear with me.
Virtual reality is a pretty intriguing concept and a relatively new field.
I searched the World Wide Web to see what's available. I came across the
following homepage that offered interesting information about virtual
reality (fondly called "vr"):
What is virtual reality?
VR is technology used to create interactive virtual environments. For
instance, a participant may be equipped with a series of sensors which
transmit movement of the participant to a sophisticated computer. A
virtual representation of the participant on the screen than imitates the
movements of the participant. For instance, the participant can choose the
direction in which he/she walks and the environment changes accordingly.
Here are some examples of VR I've come across. The military is developing
a system that would allow surgeons to perform surgery right on the battle
field. A medic on location would install the necessary equipment
(including a camera) onto a wounded soldier and the wounded individual
wouldn't have to wait for treatment until after he/she is transported into
the medical facility, which would potentially save lives. Architects could
make sure that designed buildings are wheelchair accessible. A software
package would draw the building onto a computer screen according to the
actual specification. A virtual person in a virtual wheelchair would then
wheel through the facility to make sure that the building is accessible.
The factors such as how heavy the doors are and how much pressure is
needed to open them could be programmed in. It would be possible to make
sure that there is enough maneuvering space for wheel chair users. Another
way to use VR is to train individuals to drive wheelchairs (similar
facilities are used for training airplane pilots). This way an individual
could learn the skills necessary without risking an injury. VR has been
used to help people suffering from different phobias, by simulating the
conditions of which the individuals are afraid and providing them with
support and coaching necessary to overcome the fear.
I heard of the following possible use of VR regarding the Internet in the
future. Supposedly not very long from now instead of writing messages
back and forth (like we do today) in order to participate in an
electronic discussion one would create a virtual representation of oneself
and then actually (virtually) walk into a room where other forum
participants (or more accurately their virtual representations) would be
present and we would have a normal conversation. Theoretically, you could
create your virtual self in any way you decide and be whoever you wanted
to be. So start thinking whether you will be a woman or a man, whether
you would be tall or short, what your hairdo would be like....
If you have come across other interesting ideas, please share them with
the discussion group.
On Mon, 15 Jan 1996, Susan Sweeney wrote:
> Could you repeat this message. It did not come through, except for the
> title. ? Thank you. Susan Sweeney SSweeney at gonzaga.edu
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