- Virtual reality is the hot new thing in technology at the moment.
- Google and a bunch of other companies have put a lot of time and money into the development of VR technology with the likes of Google Daydream and the Samsung Gear VR.
What is Virtual Reality?
- Virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that lets you experience a different reality.
- A VR headset fits around your head and over your eyes, and visually separates you from whatever space you're physically occupying. Images are fed to your eyes from two small lenses.
- Virtual reality allows the user to be immersed into a virtual world, unlike regular screens in front of the user which do not allow for such an experience. VR can include 4 of the 5 senses, including vision, hearing, touch and possibly even smell. With this power, VR can can take people for a virtual world fairly easily.
How does Virtual Reality work?
- VR headsets like Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are often referred to as HMDs and all that means is that they are head mounted displays.
- Even with no audio or hand tracking, holding up Google Cardboard to place your smartphone's display in front of your face can be enough to get you half-immersed in a virtual world.
Features of Virtual Reality
- There are many different types of virtual reality systems but they all share the same characteristics
- Such as the ability to allow the person to view three-dimensional images.
- These images appear life-sized to the person.
- Through VR you can virtually hike the Grand Canyon, tour the Louvre, experience a movie as if you are part of it, and indulge yourself in a video game without leaving your couch.
How will Virtual Reality change the way we view media?
- Oculus already has a bunch of titles that support it, and Sony's headset will have plenty of games that use it.
- It's unlikely to be supported by all games any time yet, but from what we've played with both Oculus and Morpheus, VR will offer an intense, immersive and impressive experience that brings gaming into a whole new level of excellence.
- The potential to fly round in space using a Google Maps-style interface would be fun and interesting.
- But a space agency putting cameras all over their equipment and sending them out to the great black unknown, with scientists on earth viewing and navigating through a VR headset, would allow for space exploration in a way we've never seen before.
Problems with Virtual Reality
- The only current problems are the availability of such hardware and the price at which it can be purchased.
- Google is combating this with Google Cardboard and the Daydream ecosystem. But as it currently stands, high quality VR is not possible without spending quite a bit of cash to get a powerful computer and a headset go with it.
- As prices fall on graphics cards that can run desktop VR at the required settings and with Google making the Daydream ecosystem, it will not be long before high quality content is readily available.
- Virtual reality has a lot of potential, and with lower prices and a bigger push from companies, VR can be a great success.
- The way VR works is a very smart combination of different technologies all working together to create a great experience.
- From stereoscopic viewpoints to 3D audio, VR is the future now, and it can only get better.
- We can expect to see many more innovative uses for the technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality.