The Visiontron is a large, pod-like device allowing the user to experience extremely realistic virtual reality simulations in a controlled environment. These devices are extremely complex and require powerful processing centers to function. At least two models exist, an enclosed model and an observation model, though they are more or less compatible (if potentially lethal).
Shaped like an enlarged egg, the Visiontron contains a single comfortable chair inside, with a high resolution display equipped with coils situated immediately in front of the user's face. The back and base of the chair contain all the hardware necessary to process the user's input into the simulation. The actual simulation is ran through a processing center the Visiontron is connected to (for example, a Think Machine 3600r Mainframe).
The only real difference between the observation and enclosed models is the different body types. Apart from that, their only difference is the programming. For example, civilian versions have built in failsafe routines that are supposed to prevent harm from coming to the user in effect of injury or death within the simulation. Running a military live-fire simulation with feedback to the user's body can be lethal, if initiated on a device that has not been properly configured.
Observation production model
The stasis pods (Tranquility Loungers), installed in Vault 112 are heavily modified versions of the Visiontron, equipped with stasis devices able to keep its occupant alive indefinitely, though at the expense of not being able to survive outside of the pod. As the loungers are designed for civilians, injury or death within the simulation do not harm their actual body; however, this safety feature can be disabled and avatar death will result in massive user cardiac arrest.
The loungers do measure vital signs of the occupants which can be viewed by people outside the simulation. One case in particular, Old Lady Dithers, has an alarmingly high stress level - talking to her within the simulation indicates that she has become aware of the virtual reality and has gone somewhat insane.
The virtual reality for the Vault 112 program was designed by Vault-Tec's scientific genius Stanislaus Braun, who eventually co-opted the simulation to satisfy his hidden sadistic urges. The Tranquility Lane simulation has been running for approximately 170 years (presumably including many resets) by 2277, preceded by several others.
The loungers are largely self-contained and the Vault has been operating without outside human intervention for over 200 years. There are, however, several robobrains which tend to the machines and provide jumpsuits upon request.
Nellis Air Force Base contains intact Visiontrons that allow for pilots to be trained in virtual simulations of air combat, allowing them to operate planes ranging from fighters to bombers (even antiquated ones, such as the B-29 Superfortress).
Another example is the Hidden Valley bunker, which contains simulators that allow users to train and sharpen their skills in combat, without having to actually participate in it. This function allowed the remnants of the Brotherhood of Steel (Mojave chapter) to maintain their combat efficiency during the lock down.
Enclosed production model
Virtual Strategic Solutions, Inc. had used an Enclosed Visiontron to recreate the Anchorage Reclamation for the purposes of analyzing the operation and mining all possible data. These simulations were later substantially altered on orders from General Constantine Chase, enough to become completely divorced from reality.
- When in the room containing the Tranquility Loungers, if you jump onto the side of one and look inside you will see that the non-player characters inside every Lounger are the same character model and look exactly the same, all except James (your father) of course.
- When entering your own Tranquility Lounger, Betty's face will briefly flash on the monitor before the simulation starts.
- When the tranquility lounger opens, the sound that plays is the same as a Vault door opening.
- If you enter the tranquility lounger without asking your companion to wait, they won't be there when you come out.
- The tranquility lounger model is used as Legacy content in Fallout: New Vegas. The monitors inside them are playing the slideshow of Tranquility Lane.
Concept art by Adam Adamowicz