"I'm not crazy. My reality is just different from yours."

The Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland

What is Virtual Reality (“VR“)?

The concept of VR today has become near-synonymous with the odd scuba-mask looking headsets, or visors, that completely cover your eyes in order to present a view onto an alternative digital reality projected inside the headset.

There are a variety of visors on the market today, and ongoing R&D development continues to reduce their size and improve their performance.

While different headsets may feature different specifications and offer varying levels of fidelity and computing power, every VR headset principally works as described in the diagram below.

Virtual Reality (noun)

: an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment.

– Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Anatomy of a VR Visor

1. A camera or sensor tracks the position and angle of the visor, communicating this data to the computer. As the user turns their head, the data coordinates change correspondingly.

2. The computer, either located inside the visor or nearby, receives the coordinates and calculates what view the user should see inside the virtual environment.

3. Two high definition screens inside the visor display the images provided by the computer at a very rapid rate (from 60 – 120 frames per second). Each image is slightly different to account for the distance between the user’s eyes, which is necessary for the perception of depth.

4. A precision lens converts the images of the two screens to each eye of the user. The distance of this lens and width of the two screens is often adjustable to accommodate differences in vision and cranial builds.

5. The user receives a distinct image to each eye, creating a stereoscopic illusion of three-dimensionality.
As the user physically moves, the image shifts correspondingly in the virtual environment providing a sense of physical presence in the digital space.

The DreamTrace™ VR difference

Expansive Tracking Area

Most VR solutions allow for a very limited space that the user can move through, as the quality and quantity of sensor technology sets the area in which the headset can be tracked. VR is therefore often experienced seated or standing-in-place, with limited lateral movement options.

Seated-in-Place VR

Standing-in-Place VR

DreamTrace™ uses a advanced tracking equipment and software to enable lateral motion on our large (2,500sqf+) DreamStages, each capable of tracking six simultaneous participants.

The expansive DreamStages at DreamTrace™

Intuitive User Interface

Most VR solutions use two handheld controllers to interact and navigate VR environments. Typical VR controllers are usually somewhat bulky and contain a number of triggers and buttons which require some training to use comfortably.

DreamTrace™ takes a different approach.

Using hardware technology from Leap Motion in our custom visors and our proprietary ArcViz™ software, our clients use their hands and fingers to interact with the digital environment or conjure interactive menus from which a variety of in-VR options can be invoked by the press of virtual buttons.

Handheld VR controllers are often bulky and complex

Using your own hands for interacting with the digital environment is intuitive and even fun