Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of the real world, including the appearance of three dimensions and the ability to interact with the computer-generated environment. Virtual reality uses electronic devices such as goggles, helmets and gloves to create a sensory experience generated by a computer. The term virtual reality was coined in the 1980s by Jaron Lanier, a pioneer in the field of virtual reality. He founded VPL Research in 1985, which developed the Data Glove, the Eye Phone, and the Audio Sphere. Synonyms for virtual reality are immersive media and computer-simulated life, the abbreviation for virtual reality is VR.
Three weeks later, CNN broadcast the democratic debates in virtual reality, followed shortly thereafter by the NBA seating virtual viewers courtside to watch Steph Curry score 53 points on opening night. (The Atlantic)
The Oculus Rift, which is owned by Facebook, won’t be available until early next year, but many of the two billion consumers worldwide who own smartphones can already try out virtual reality on the cheap with Cardboard, a device from Google that folds into a viewer with a slot for a smartphone. (The New York Times)
Merge VR Googles and the Freefly VR headset are two virtual reality headsets now on the market that aim to give a better experience than Google Cardboard, while still not breaking the bank. (The International Business Times)
Last week, most notably, big-media millions poured into a hot Laguna Beach virtual reality company. (The Los Angeles Times)
Broadway’s “The Lion King” will release a virtual reality video of the show’s opening number, “Circle of Life,” on a handful of digital platforms tomorrow morning, aiming to capitalize on the growing momentum of VR to turn consumer heads toward the 18-year-old production. (Variety)