Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
VIRTUAL reality (VR) is a concept which
allows people to experience an 'as if
world. In other words, computer programmes and imaging hardware create a
three-dimensional world with which
actual interaction is possible.
A report released by a committee of
the National Research Council, an operating agency of the National Academy
of Sciences in the US, expresses the
view that despite the enthusiasm
surrounding so called VR systems, there
persists a large gap between the technology available today, and that which is
needed to make virtual environments a
According to the report, scientists
lack the technology to achieve the same,
unless the US government supports a
broad-based programme of research on
VR systems. The committee's chairperson, Nathaniel Durlach, a senior scientist at the Massachussetts Institute of
Technology, feels that it is only the
entertainment industry which is currently emphasising' on VR to make
interactive TV and three-dimensional
video games possible. But such efforts
are not enough to render VR useful to
many other vital fields. The committee
believes that VR's potential is limitless.
From helping explore outer space and
ocean floors to conducting heart
surgery, handling hazardous wastes
or developing new manufacturing
processes, it could work many wonders.
The report voices several problems
that current VR systems and their use
involve. For instance, there is concern
over the discomfort of wearing and the
poor quality of the images delivered by
the currently available headgear. The
committee adds that while technology
in the US is capable of supporting
the development of virtual environments connected through networks, it
presently lacks the ability to support applications.
The study gives certain illustrations
that provide one with insight as to the
exact potential and possibilities offered
by VR systems. One of these pictures a
medical student using a special computer programme to manually interact
with a virtual heart. Special visualisation
technology enables the student to see,
hear and feel the heart from multiple
vantage points, and special controls
enable the student to practice a variety
of surgical operations on the heart. In
another example, the study of cardiac
movements in real humans has been
imagined by using see-through displays
that enable the viewer to combine normal visual images of the subject with
real-time images of the pulsating heart
derived from ultrasound scans. Indeed, if such possibilities are transformed into reality we could be opening up an endless number of exciting options.