Virtual reality (VR) translates to a computer-generated experience in which a person uses electronic devices, such as special glasses with a screen or gloves with sensors, to participate in a virtual three-dimensional world.
An example of virtual reality is a virtual tour. You will not actually be in that place, but by using special equipment you will be able to explore it as if you were there.
Let’s take a look at different types of virtual reality and how they engage users in their specific ways.
1- Non-immersive Virtual Reality
Non-immersive virtual reality is a type of virtual reality in which you interact with a virtual environment usually through a computer where you can control some characters or activities within the experience, but the virtual environment is not directly interacting with you.
A good example of non-immersive virtual reality would be a computer game like Dota 2. You can control aspects of your character and they will have an effect on the virtual environment of the game. Technically you are interacting with a virtual environment but not directly. Your character in the game does that.
2-Fully Immersive Virtual Reality
Fully immersive virtual reality is the opposite of non-immersive virtual reality. It ensures a realistic virtual experience. It would feel as if you are physically present in the virtual world and the events occurring there are happening to you.
Special equipment like VR glasses, gloves, body detectors equipped with sense detectors is required to provide a realistic virtual experience. The data from these sensors is used by the computer and the virtual world responds to that in real-time to provide users with a realistic virtual experience.
An example of this would be a Virtual Gaming Zone, where using special gear you and other players can interact with the virtual environment, all at the same time, and play with or against each other.
3- Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality
A semi-immersive virtual reality is something in between non-immersive and fully immersive virtual reality. Using a computer screen or VR glasses, you can move around in a virtual environment but other than your visual experience you will have no physical sensations to enhance the experience.
A virtual tour can be a good example of semi-immersive virtual technology. It can be device-based or web-based. Many businesses are opting for this technology as participants can roam around the place without having to be there physically.
4- Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that lets the user see the real world usually through a phone screen and make virtual changes to it on the screen. A good example that will help you better understand augmented reality is the mobile game application Pokémon Go. You can turn on your phone’s camera and point it to a place where you suspect Pokémon will be. Your phone screen would then display the Pokémon on your screen, as though it’s in the photo’s frame. They only appear in the environment of your screen and there’s no physical addition to the area being filmed.
5- Collaborative VR
This a type of virtual reality where users from different locations can come together in a virtual environment in the form of 3D projected characters. A virtual environment of a mobile game like PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds (PUBG), where virtual 3D characters of different players come together and they all interact with each other’s virtual personas in that environment, is a good example of Collaborative VR.