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Imagine visiting friends hundreds of miles away without having to leave your own home. Visualize touring structures or monuments that have yet to be built. What if surgeons could operate on patients that were in another country? Imagine if astronauts could walk on Mars without ever having to leave Earth! With the modern advances of computer technology and virtual reality, such fantasies are becoming realities. This completely revised and updated edition of Virtual Reality explores the development of this groundbreaking scientific field and its fascinating possibilities for life at home, at work, and during leisure hours. This book provides an overview of virtual reality's history, the tools and techniques used to mimic the physical world, the fields in which virtual reality is being used, and some of the obstacles that virtual reality's supporters have had to overcome. This new edition catches up with the developments that have taken place in the past five years, including problems that virtual reality businesses have encountered as a result of the technology boom-and-bust economic cycle that took place during the last few years of the twentieth century.