What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can hear, what you can smell, taste and feel then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by our brains -Morpheus, The Matrix
Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, Sony’s Morpheus , Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard . Virtual reality and Augmented reality are no more a half-baked ideas. Soon these technologies will become a part of people’s daily life. Since the release of Oculus Rift in 2012, virtual reality technology has come a long way. The Rift will be released in Q1 2016, making it one of the first consumer targeted virtual reality headsets.
So what is Virtual and Augmented Reality ? Let’s find out.
What comes to your mind when you think of Virtual Reality ? Tron Legacy? Matrix Series ? Its all about the creation of a virtual world around you that you can interact with. It allows us to create virtual worlds using software and is presented in such a way that users believe it’s real. It’s an immersive experience in which your head movements are mirrored. One of the popular ways to experience virtual reality is through a headset. These headsets use stereoscopic displays. Offset images are displayed separately to the left and right eye. Both of these 2D offset images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3D depth. These displays are combined with head tracking devices allowing the user to look around the virtual world by moving his head. These movements are fed back to a computer which then uses the data to covert the actions into responses on the screen. The upcoming headsets have a higher field of view and FULL HD screens, for a more immersive experience. The military uses VR for flight training purposes. But the real development VR has seen is in the gaming industry. Virtual reality is going to revolutionize gaming. The feeling of being inside is a game is awesome! You can also pair the headset with tracking controllers that let you take your VR experiences further than ever before. It’s a paradigm shift from gaming on 2D screens.
If you are in search of a good VR headset need look no further than the Oculus Rift.
Augmented reality adds digital elements like sounds and graphics into the real world. It’s a blended experience between the real world and the computer generated world. Users can interact with these digital elements.Generally a headset is used which places the virtual objects over the real world. These head mounted displays provide a very immersive experience.
Microsoft’s Hololens is the best augmented reality tech out there. It uses a see through display which lets you see holograms over the physical world. These holograms are digital elements with which the user can intearct. These digital elements allows us to the do things in a completely brand new way. The ability to draw with your hands, move digital objects around. This is a new medium for creation. It blows my mind. It blends your digital life with your physical life. Its amazing. Its crazy.
Virtual reality has seen somewhat of a resurrection,thanks to improved hardware. It’s going to change how we do things. It’s about seeing the world in a completely different way. It feels like unlocking a new dimension. VR gadgets require a high frame rate to make it feel natural. Smooth movement is necessary to prevent simulation sickness, which causes headaches. So you need a high end PC to stream the games at high fps, which will cost around $1000. You can also buy VR accessories like the Google cardboard or the Gear VR , in which you can use your smartphone as the graphics engine. But the graphical prowess of smartphones is limited. For now it’s for the enthusiasts, who want to get the best experience. But it’s just a matter of time before they’re ubiquitous.