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Virtual reality is about to become a reality

The consumer release of immersive gaming headset the Oculus Rift, expected in 2014, will be the first step on the road to creating true virtual worlds

By Juan Mateos-Garcia  

Games developer Sergey Orlovskiy tests virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift. Photo: © Sergey Galyonkin

 

Virtual reality (VR)—defined by the OED as “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way using special electronic equipment”—is a common trope in science fiction, from Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse, where users’ avatars interact with each other in a virtual world, to Star Trek’s Holodeck, a room where people and objects are simulated using holographic images, to The Matrix.…

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