Simulation allows you to explore the world from a new perspective. It is the imitation of the operation of a real-world experience or activity. It can be used to serve several purposes such as simulation of technology for performance tuning or safety engineering, testing, training, education and video games. It offers an alternative to a real system when the latter cannot be engaged because it may not be readily available, or it may be dangerous to engage, or it may simply not exist. Simulation depends on acquiring reliable information from valid sources about the relevant selection of key characteristics and behaviours employed to build the model. They allow users seamless interaction with a virtual world. The system accepts input from the user and produces relevant output. The input hardware available for virtual simulation are as follows:
- Body Tracking- They use the principle of motion capturing to record the user’s movement and translate the acquired data into inputs for the virtual simulation. They capture one’s body movement through sensors incorporated in the system and can therefore sense the movement of different parts of the body. They can also track eye movements to determine exactly where a user is looking at any given instant.
- Physical Controllers- They provide input to the simulation only through direct contact by the user. They offer a highly immersive and accurate simulation environment.
- Voice/ Sound Recognition- This particular input hardware of virtual simulation can either interact with people or access objects inside the simulation. They amplify the level of user experience. Headsets with microphones, lapel microphones or strategically located microphones are some of the devices that enable this function.
There is a wide variety of output hardware available to deliver a realistic visual stimulus to users. The list of virtual simulation output hardware is given below:
- Visual Display- Stationary displays provide the visual stimulus to the user. The displays can vary from a desktop display to 360-degree wrap around screens to three-dimensional screens enabled with stereo.
- Aural Display- Many types of audio systems exist to help the user hear and localize sounds. Specialised software can be used to produce 3D audio effects to create the illusion that sound sources are placed within the space around the user.
- Haptic Display- They provide a sense of vision and audio to users and a sense of touch. The display responds to users input without resistance and force.
Simulation games, as opposed to other genres of video or computer games, represent a much more accurate gaming environment. They easily allow users to interact with the playable characters and gaming environment realistically. They provide a more complex gameplay. VR gaming is at the forefront of simulation games and has become incredibly popular among people of all ages. They use either virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments to provide realistic images, sounds and other sensations. Virtual reality represents an extraordinary shift in the way people experience the digital world. The VR presence tricks your senses into believing that you are experiencing the event you’re virtually experiencing and encourages your body to respond in kind.
It allows you to participate in events that traditionally cannot be possible indoors. A golf simulator, for example, allows golf to be played on a graphically or photographically simulated golf course in an indoor setting. It provides capturing data on both the ball and the club for accurate speed and directional information and simulated ball flight behaviour. The simulation is designed to calculate ball flight performance and track the motion of the club by which the ball is projected. It allows for environmental aspects, including terrain, wind, rain and other such influences or obstacles to offer a truly immersive experience.