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Although not all that common yet, views like that seen below are becoming increasingly common. People are sticking their phones into strange head pieces, putting these head pieces on, and craning their heads all around. These head pieces or goggles use phones to create what is called virtual reality (see below for a couple of examples of different goggles that can be used).

Photograph of a person wearing virtual reality goggles. Photograph of two types of virtual reality goggles.

Virtual reality refers to a computer-generated three-dimensional photograph, image, or environment that can be interacted with in an apparently authentic way. To create convincing virtual reality, all the depth and size cues that we have discussed in this chapter have to be understood and reproduced accurately. For example, panoramic photographs are becoming quite popular, but what if you could put yourself back inside the photograph and turn around to see the different directions in the original location? With virtual reality goggles, that is possible. Phones will draw two versions of the image and the headsets use the same technique as in Brewster stereoscopes to help you fuse the images so you can have the full range of monocular and binocular depth cues.

You can try some on the next tab. If you are on a laptop you can scroll the images around with your mouse. If you have a tablet, make the image full screen and as you turn around you will see different views of the photographs. If you have goggles that can run Google Cardboard images, you can fully put yourself into the image which will be presented stereoscopically. You look around by turning your head and body just like you were there in the first place.

VR Images

Click or touch the image to look around. If yo have anything that works with Google Cardboard, view this page in phone and touch the VR sympbol to experiences this image in immersive VR.

Try these other images:
Image 1: Grand Portage State Park, Minnesota
Image 2: Deck of the USS Constitution, Boston, MA
Image 3: North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota
Image 4: Niagara Falls, New York
Image 5: Red River between Minnesota and North Dakota
Image 6: The Point, Hanover College