The Science Behind Virtual Reality: Computer Science and Coding
If you’re not familiar with virtual reality, you’re in for a fun ride (and you don’t have to go anywhere for the experience). Virtual reality is a relatively new immersive experience that can take you on a computer-generated adventure right in the comfort of your living room or bedroom. You’ll need a few essentials, including a computer or gaming console and a special headset. Some models are more expensive than others, but there are budget-friendly options that you can choose if you just want to try virtual reality to see if you like it. Virtual reality programs are created by people with a background in computer science and coding. If you take the time to learn these skills, you might be able to create virtual reality programs, too.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality requires users to wear a headset connected to a computer or game console, which virtually transports the participant into a computer-generated environment that can be explored. The simulation has high-tech graphics that make the surroundings seem very real. The headset displays the virtual environment, and head tracking allows users to actually look around the environment by moving their heads: The display corresponds with head movement to show different views depending on the direction you look. A 360-degree view is possible, and the more expensive headsets have high performance and high-quality graphics as well. Most devices also have hand-held controllers that track your hand movements, which creates an even more immersive experience, With these devices, you can reach out and touch things in the simulated environment.
As technology expands, virtual reality is predicted to become more realistic, more immersive, and less expensive. Virtual reality technology continues to evolve, but it’s difficult to fully realize and predict exactly what virtual reality will be like in the coming years. As these systems become even more immersive, it’s likely that more of them won’t require a connection to a computer. Some companies are also experimenting with adding treadmills to virtual reality systems, which can help users feel like they’re really walking through a simulation instead of just sitting or standing as they play.
Computer Science and Coding in Virtual Reality
Computer science is the study of computers and software systems as well as the design, development, and application of software. Computer scientists often focus on specialized areas such as artificial intelligence, vision and graphics, software engineering, and programming, also known as coding. Understanding programming languages and knowing how to code is important when working in a computer science field because code is what enables scientists to design programs, analyze algorithms, solve problems, and study hardware and software performance.
Virtual reality game development requires skilled developers who know programming languages such as C# and C/C++. Java is a versatile programming language used more for non-gaming virtual reality applications. Some people learn how to code on their own as a hobby. After learning a few different languages and diving into the world of coding, you might decide to pursue computer science and coding as a career. Developing virtual reality programs as a hobby might start with exploring game engines such as Unity or Unreal. Game engines serve as the framework for developers to create new virtual reality programs. Developers can design, build, and test programs they create with a game engine. Developers use these game engines to create both two-dimensional and three-dimensional games, simulations, and applications. Game engines support various software development kits that are compatible with different virtual reality devices.
- Computer Science: Visionary of Virtual Reality
- Ask an Expert: How Computer Science Has Impacted Games
- Learning Analytics: Virtual Reality for Programming Course in Higher Education