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From Latin virtus ("force" or "virtue" ), virtual It is an adjective that, in its original sense, refers to what it has virtue to produce an effect, although it does not produce it at present.

The concept, however, is currently associated with what has apparent existence, opposite to the real or physical . This term is very common in the field of computing and the technology to refer to the reality built using digital systems or formats.

It is known as virtual reality to the technological system that allows the user to have the feeling of being immersed in a world different from the real world. This illusion occurs thanks to the models created by a computer that the user contemplates through a special helmet. Although virtual reality was born to be applied in video games, it is currently useful in fields such as medicine and transport.

Virtual reality does not have a well-defined origin, probably because it was the convergence of various ideas and discoveries that took place since the mid-19th century, long before the existence of computers that we know and use today. Below are certain milestones over the past two centuries, which certainly represent indispensable points on the road to this fascinating technology:

+ 1838: Charles Wheatstone, an inventor from Great Britain, created the first stereoscope, a device capable of reproducing static images in three dimensions. It was about a system similar in appearance to a pair of glasses, in which two photographs of the same scene were placed, each taken from a different angle, to simulate human eye vision.

+ 1929: for the first time in history it was possible to train in a way virtual to the future pilots of the US armed forces, thanks to the creation of a flight simulator. It was called Link Trainer (although it was also known by the name of Blue Box) and was absolutely mechanical.

+ 1930s: similar to the previous invention, the first were created in America simulators mechanics for the study of floods of dams and rivers.

+ 1945: using the first computer with electronic technology, known as ENIAC, it was possible to simulate for the first time the trajectory of the projectiles. Subsequently, this was applied to the Manhattan project, to simulate explosions.

+ 1958: The Philco company developed a helmet for reality virtual, which translated the movements made by the user.

+ 1965: a newspaper article of title "The Ultimate Display" ("The best screen") written by Ivan Sutherland described virtual reality as a concept, but without using the term itself.

+ 1967: the company was founded Evans & Sutherland, developer of the first virtual world creation program with three-dimensional models.

+ 1970s: a glove was created that allowed displacement through a virtual world.

+ 1979: The first absolutely computerized flight simulator was released.

+ 1984: in the book "Neuromancer", a novel by William Gibson, the term" cyberspace "was used for the first time, to refer to a virtual world.

Other meanings

A virtual pet On the other hand, it is a digital partner created with the objective of accompanying and entertaining people. It has no more physical form than the hardware where it runs, which is usually a small electronic device. The user must feed and care for the virtual pet to prevent "Die".

A virtual library It is one that houses digital works in various formats (.doc, .pdf). Through Internet , these libraries are available to people around the world.

He virtual sex Finally, it is a form of erotic relationship that implies the absence of physical contact and that takes advantage of the characteristics of communication and information technologies (ICT) to be carried out.

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