Is the security of virtual reality (and augmented reality) virtual insanity?

Futures made of virtual insanity now

Always seem to be governed by this love we have

For useless, twisting, our new technology

— “Virtual Insanity,” Jamiroquai

Star Trek and the origins of Virtual Reality (VR) 

To be on the Star Trek holodeck must be every sci-fi fan’s dream. This was an area on the ship which used virtual reality (VR) to allow ship members to build dream worlds and to prepare themselves to take on the many alien life forms of the show. And the dream has been with us for a while now; the show first introduced fans to the holodeck back in 1987.

More than 30 years later, we are using the same idea of virtual and augmented reality in as many forms as your imagination allows. Virtual reality systems are being used across many different industries from healthcare to the military, shopping experiences and engineering.

But like many technologies, virtual reality has to be tempered with some security and privacy realities. In this article, I’ll look at how virtualizing our reality may come as a virtual reality shock.

What is virtual reality all about?

To understand the security implications of virtual reality systems, we need to understand what is behind the technology. In simple terms, virtual reality programs create a computer-generated environment which is presented to the user through a user interface, like a headset. In advanced systems, the user can interact with the virtual world via sensors: for example, by using a glove or headset containing these sensors.

A VR device contains three types of sensors: accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes. These translate the movement of the wearer and communicate these data back to the VR system — and often, beyond.

Virtual reality has a myriad of use cases. Healthcare, for example, is applying VR to pain (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Susan Morrow. Read the original post at: