What is immersion?
Immersion generally refers to the state in which a person is fully immersed and completely absorbed in a particular environment or activity. This can refer to different types of experiences, such as:
Here are some examples of immersive media experiences:
- Virtual Reality Games: VR games let you immerse yourself in a virtual world where you explore the environment around you, fight enemies or solve puzzles.
- 360-degree videos: These videos allow you to look around and explore the environment around you. For example, you can take a virtual tour of a city, museum, or national park.
- Augmented Reality (AR): AR allows you to place digital objects in the real world, giving you the feeling that these objects are actually in front of you.
All of these experiences are immersive because they make you feel like you are immersed in another world or another reality and make you feel like you are a part of it.
Immersion in Virtual Reality
Immersion in virtual reality (VR) occurs through a combination of visual, auditory, and haptic stimuli generated by the VR system.
To create an immersive experience, the VR system needs to create an environment that is as realistic as possible and gives the user the feeling of really being in that environment. This is achieved by rendering 3D models and environments in real time and using 360° stereo images and sound.
Another important component of immersion in VR is tracking. To give the user the feeling of really being in the virtual environment, the user's movements must be precisely matched in real time to the movements of the virtual world. This is achieved through the use of sensors and cameras that record the user's movements and relay them to the VR system. Which happen with as little latency as possible, otherwise the feeling of immersion breaks.
Haptic feedback, such as vibrations or pressure on the hands and feet, can also help the user feel like they are really in the virtual world. For example, when the user touches a virtual object, haptic feedback can make them feel like they are actually touching it. However, this cannot yet be provided by VR headsets and controllers. However, common controllers can vibrate to provide feedback.
Overall, the quality of immersion in VR depends on the quality of the technology, the environment, and the interaction between the user and the virtual world. When all these factors work together, an immersive experience can be created that gives the user the feeling of being immersed in another world. Therein lies the magic of VR.