The Edge of Reality – Virtual Reality

More we think that Virtual Reality is fairly a modern concept, but it’s been there in science fiction movies since 1930. You will be amazed to hear that in 1960, we started seeing gadgets like sense of aroma, which also included sounds and smells. We started to then see things like view master, which were the googles to view pictures and build the foundation for VR which we are seeing now. 

In natural, Virtual Reality is really a blanket term for anything that seemingly replaces the reality your are in created digitally. Most of the VR is sight driven where we confuse our mind into what we are seeing, so a headset or googles are created which covers all sight and replace with something else. In most cases there are actually two images, one over each eye and on looking to these images both at once we get the sense of three dimensions. There are also inbuilt gyroscope which sense when the googles moves. So if you look down, the screen also looks down thus making you believe that you are actually in that setting. Fully immersive sound can also be used to make you think that you are in an another place. For interact with this world there are many techniques being worked on. Some of which are gloves that can sense your hand orientation and can be used as video game controller.

Like i said, VR has been talked lot for a while so it is not surprising that VR has already been for the masses and relatively unsuccessful. Video game companies like Sega Games and Nintendo have both created VR headsets. The Virtual Boy by Nintendo was discontinued after less than a year of production and it”s company’s second lowest sounding platform ever.

So in current days let’s look at what options are starting to become popular. The first big one is the Oculus Rift which began as a kick-started campaign collecting 10 million dollars. However was then purchased outright by Facebook for 2 billion dollars. Was this the sale that really brought the VR to the forefront and affirmed the masses that VR might be actually ready for public consumption. Soon after Sony revealed Play Station VR, a headset which sold along with PS4 which should allow for Virtual Reality gaming right in someones home. While the Oculus Rift and Play Station VR both seems superficially similar, the Oculus Rift more likely bringing huge gaming opportunities but instead likely focused on more real world applications. The PS4 VR are more likely prioritized. There are of course other companies working on VR efforts such as the HTC vibe and Samsung Gear VR.

Now one of the biggest leaps in comparative gaming was inclusion of VR specs into the game Dota 2, in which players can put themselves on to the battle field not to play but to merely specking and watch to avenge the force. Across the world and entertainment industries like Disneyland started using Virtual Reality including the Superman ride which everyone on the ride has the headset.

You can likely see gaming and entertainment as the main use for the Virtual Reality, but there are many other opportunities for example, military across the world has started using Virtual Reality in training and simulations including for their combat methods. Driving schools has begun using VR to help prepare students for the actual in the car lessons. Medical students can use Virtual Reality to study anatomy and practice procedure on complete imaginary patient. Some doctors are using VR to address phobias which some people might have such as flying an Aeroplane and fear of heights. 

In terms of cost, there is a huge spread something simple like called Google Cardboard. A headset used with your phone is only about 15 US dollars from purchase from google itself. An another more expensive side the Oculus Rift PSVR range from about 400 to 600 USD in US.

So hopefully you might have understood that how Virtual Reality works and how it’s been used for various activities in day to day world from gaming to medical science. There are more researchs undergoing to improve the user experience in the field of Virtual Reality an help it bringing in daily work for making our life more easier than before. 

Written by Rowan in November 14, 2017
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