With the advancement of technology, virtual reality has not only become popular in the entertainment industry but is also an important tool for education, science, commerce, planning, and manufacturing.
Currently, developers are coming up with hundreds of new VR games. They’re also exploring the potential for documentaries and animation with VR.
Even Facebook and YouTube have jumped on the bandwagon with their 360-degree videos using Stereoscope VR.
In this article, we will go over:
…and much more.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
The term virtual reality was coined in 1987 by Jaron Lanier whose research contributed a lot to the world of VR in the United States.
But, what is it exactly?
It is the use of computer technology to create simulated environments. So, instead of viewing a screen, you’re placed in an immersive three-dimensional space.
The computer simulation can be anything you want. You can travel to nature or look around in space.
This is because when computer vision reaches all five of your senses, it gives your brain an illusion of thinking you’re in a new world.
There is no limit to the experiences you can have besides the computing power and content availability.
This is the most common type of VR, so it’s often overlooked.
It features a virtual computer-generated environment. But, the user remains aware of the natural environment.
Video games are classic examples of non-immersive VR.
The experience you will have here is partially based on the virtual environment. We suggest you use this type of VR for education, training, and learning.
For example, a flight simulator for pilot trainees.
This type of VR generated the most realistic simulation experience, from sight to sound to even olfactory sensations. However, there is no such product available right now.
Simply put, VR generates synthetic environments through sensory stimuli.
But, in AR, the real world is viewed through a device such as a camera to add computer-generated inputs like graphics and audio.
It is different from VR because it adds to the real world instead of creating a new one.
VR is an all-immersive but artificial experience that obscures the natural world. Whereas, AR enhances a person’s real-world experience through digital overlays that incorporate artificial objects.
Now that you know the general information about VR let us explain how it works.
In a sense, it combines the hardware and the software to trick the eyes and brain into thinking it’s in a different environment.
The hardware is responsible for sensory simulations such as sound, touch, and heat intensity. On the other hand, the software works on rendering the virtual environment.
This process heavily relies on how our brain and eyes form the image.
Most of the time, an individual VR headset will suffice.
But, if you want to enhance your experience, you can get consumer electronics like controllers, hand trackers, treadmills, headphones, and 3D cameras.
A VR headset is a head-mounted display that you wear like glasses around your eyes and head.
It uses a liquid-crystal display and OLED technology. This plays an important role in both virtual and augmented reality because it increases the image quality and brightness and reduces the power consumption for VR displays.
Such a light engine is particularly attractive for compensating the optical loss and achieving compact and lightweight VR headsets.
There are two types of headsets.
If you want the best quality headset that offers the most immersion, then we suggest you go with PC-based VR headsets.
But, if you’re looking for a wireless headset that will work with your phone or tablet, Standalone headsets are a good choice.
The type of VR headset you should get depends on its cost, your budget, and what you’ll be using it for.
If you want the best standalone headset, we recommend you go with Oculus Rift by Facebook. We love this headset because it is affordable as well as powerful. It also has
HTC, on the other hand, is a more steam-friendly option. It offers the best resolution for VR gaming, has an excellent tracking system, and works well with Valve Index controllers.
The third option is to go with Sony Playstation VR. In our opinion, it is the best beginner-friendly headset. It is also perfect if you’re already a PS4 or PS5 user.
Furthermore, It also works great with non-VR apps and games.
VR accessories are optional. But, they do facilitate VR technology for the best virtual experience.
Some VR accessories that you can get are:
Developers use different software to create VR environments.
They all have their own functions, like allowing you to collaborate in VR, analyze VR content in a centralized location, understand data, and more.
Similar to any life experience, audio and visuals also work hand in hand in VR to add presence and space to the virtual environment. So, we can say it is crucial in VR.
This is because, as humans, we hear in three dimensions.
If you pay attention, you can easily locate the direction of the sound and estimate a rough distance from the source. So, when we stimulate our aural senses, it delivers an experience that is more authentic. This is called binaural or spatial audio.
VR devices have their own app stores, similar to smartphone app stores. You can easily access them on their official website, for example, Steam.
You can also access these stores using a VR headset as well. From there all you need to do is find the compatible game and launch it.
We suggest you check out Oculus and PS VR for VR games. They have some of the best fiction, action-adventure, and puzzle games you can find on the internet.
Some of our favorite games are:
You’ve probably only heard of VR being associated with gaming. This is because of its popularity with games such as Beat Saber.
But, it’s also important in sales, learning, communication, travel, training, and development.
Since the pandemic, it has impacted all businesses, from the healthcare industry and education to tourism.
In medicine and healthcare, it allows both the health care provider and the patient to interact with simulated environments related to the disease.
So, if you work in a hospital, you can help patients with disorders like substance abuse, anxiety, stress, and anorexia. It also plays a huge part in the psychotherapy of these patients.
Moreover, it is also used in surgical training. This will allow you to practice in a simulated environment rather than on a human body. As a result, you will polish your decision-making skills.
It is also popular in physical therapy, clinical trials, pediatrics, and more.
In real estate and architecture, you can use it to design 3D models and even simulate life inside them. It works well for a house, room, or commercial space to see how much space you need.
A traditional study guide might not be suitable for students with special needs. This is where VR comes in education.
It modifies the course outline and helps children with better academic learning. The interactivity helps them acquire the skill they need to be functional individuals.
For example, at Charlton Park Academy in London, it is used to address the student needs better. They use it to teach them geography, science, and math.
VR goggles and interactive media have also been extremely helpful for manufacturing components for different industries.
For example, it has saved the vehicle industry millions of dollars by reducing the number of prototypes for cars since they make them in VR before creating them in real life.
Finally, if your interest lies in retail, VR now lets customers try on clothes and see how they would work in a particular environment. For example, a bride-to-be could try a wedding dress and place it in an actual wedding environment.
Apart from this, VR is also used in:
The metaverse has existed for a while. But the term recently become popular when Mark Zuckerberg promised to build Facebook into a metaverse company, the future of social connection.
If we’re being honest, the metaverse is a very vague term.
Broadly speaking, it is a way of describing a combination of VR and mixed reality that is accessed through a VR headset or a browser. You can use it to have real-time interactions with individuals across the world.
You can set up a mixed reality headset with Windows 10.
To connect your headset, you need to:
For the best VR experience, you need 8K per eye and a 114-degree field of view.
If we compare it with larger TVs, the screen of a headset is only a few inches apart from your eyes.
So, any extra pixels can really affect the immersive quality. Therefore, you need to make sure it has more pixels in order to avoid any problems.
High-dynamic-range rendering (HDRR) is the real-time rendering and display of virtual environments using a dynamic range.
It is used in computers, gaming, and entertainment technology.
The higher the dynamic range your VR headset has, the closer the simulation will compare to what an eye can see.
This means that you’ll be able to capture more details in the shadows that might otherwise appear pure black, and you’ll be able to see details in the highlights that might otherwise be washed out with white.
In the gaming community, VR’s popularity is on the rise, and this trend will continue in the near future.
But, it is not something that can only transport you to another world in gaming but has applications far broader than that.
However, as a technology, it still has years of experimentation behind it. That means you can expect the technology to improve rapidly.