(Inside Science TV) -- We have HD, 3-D and we even have virtual reality. The virtual reality we have today is pretty amazing … but now researchers are working to make it even better with a new and improved version.
Put on a headset and you will be transported into a whole new world.
"People usually consider virtual reality for gaming and for movies, but I believe it's an entirely new medium. It's not like going from a television to a bigger television. It's more like going from radio to television," said Gordon Wetzstein, an electrical engineer at Stanford University in California.
"Virtual reality is a technology that allows you to immerse yourself completely in a computer-generated environment," he said.
Virtual reality began with the invention of the stereoscope? Add HD video, digital displays and computer graphics and you have the basics of today's virtual reality. But in just a few years it could be replaced entirely with a light field stereoscope. This new device better imitates how your eyes see.
"What it actually allows you to do is focus anywhere in the screen like you do in the real world," said Wetzstein.
Current virtual reality headsets can cause some people to get headaches or nausea.
"It's very similar to motion sickness," he explained.
The next generation of virtual reality headsets, developed at Stanford University, may eliminate motion sickness for some users. The new virtual reality lets your eyes focus on multiple images. Creating a more natural depth of field builds a type of hologram for each eye, which gives you a more natural experience.
"We work with 50 different images right now. So instead of working with one image per eye, we actually show 25 images per eye into the same pupil," Wetzstein said.
For things like a lengthy robotic surgery – the new headset could help reduce eye strain on doctors during a procedure.
From surgery and entertainment to therapy and hands-on training.
"We can immerse a person or child in an environment and really show them how things work in a hands on manner that transports the person into this environment. It allows us to get a better sense of stuff and how stuff works," he said.