A VR Experience

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a frigid January when I found my friend Eddie knocking on my door at my home in Roblin about 3 years ago.  Welcoming my friend in the door I noticed he had this huge mysterious box. He was ecstatic and speaking so fast I was having trouble catching anything he had to say. 

Setting the box on the kitchen table he finally slowed himself down and began setting on the table the components of the box of mystery:  

  • A hardcore laptop
  • A big high-tech headset
  • Some stick hand controllers
  • Lots of wires
  • Package padding
Fig 1 Photo credit BestBuy

It’s Finally Happening & I’m Excited

I was growing in excitement as he laid things out.  I had heard so much about VR (virtual reality) but hadn’t actually any real first hand experience.  This was going to be my first time and thankfully I had the rest of the evening free to do whatever I desired.

Fig 2 Picture credit Playstation VR

Hooking everything up and powering up the experience was the easy part.  The hard part was clearing out enough space so nothing could get broken or anyone hurt.  Then it began… a sensation comes about as the immersive experience takes hold. I felt like I was almost in another world and it was pretty neat to say the least.  

But How Are The Controls?

The controls were very responsive and I had little trouble quickly adapting to the way of things.  Transitioning from traditional hand-eye control using controllers and a screen, I saw the appeal that VR would have to anyone but knew instantly that it would not replace the old ways at all.  VR games can really wear on the user’s stamina and alot more energy is exerted in order to play. Although there are a lot of advantages and benefits to this playstyle, I believe most people will burn out quickly and resort back to their old systems in the long run.  

A Relaxing Simulation Experience

The VR experience does not just encapsulate gaming though.  I used it as a simulation and just laid back and listened to the music while staring into the sea in my headset, it truly was a relaxing and amazing experience.  Next I tried floating in space. It became apparent to me that this technology goes beyond gaming and could be used educationally or as an outlet to destress or reflect.

Fig 3 Photo credit PCGamer

The Conclusive Results Are In…

Truly this new technology can help us carve a new path in how to educate ourselves better in a lot of fields.  At the same time it serves a purpose as a form of entertainment and gaming. Lastly, after my own experience, I see how this technology can be applied to treating people who are stressed out and/or depressed.  An escape, a way to educate, and a gaming platform, I look forward to the evolution of VR.

The Exciting World of Virtual Reality

(The Oculus Rift S VR Headset – Image retrieved from www.Oculus.com)

The latest craze in technology has been on a steady rise in popularity since it’s conception in recent years. That’s right, I’m talking about virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is opening up entire avenues for online interaction that would’ve never been possible even 15 years ago.

Here are some of the ways that VR is impacting the modern world:

  • Medical Procedures – VR is being tested in the context of planning and practicing medical procedures in hopes of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical professionals worldwide. The medical community is looking for ways to be able to preform complex procedures in remote areas using robotics, which would be controlled by a professional using VR equipment.
  • Gaming – VR is making waves in the gaming industry by allowing gamers to take immersion to the next level and feel what it would be like to experience their favourite games as if they were the main character. Not only is it extremely immersive, but it has the most responsive controls ever made because it is as if the players are preforming the in-game actions themselves.
  • Business – Through VR, some businesses are able to conduct entire meetings and collaborate on projects with partners across the world. This allows for lower costs for businesses because they don’t have to fly employees across the world for meetings, which also cuts back on toxic emissions that harm the planet.
  • Entertainment – Since VR headsets have become easily accessible, many new avenues for entertainment have opened up, such as virtual reality podcasts that get streamed live to viewers across multiple platforms. Podcasts in virtual reality are able to be performed completely within the medium, with camera operators and sound engineers being able to create their own workspace within the set and change camera angles and adjust the volume of individual hosts, all without taking off their headsets.

VR is an extremely versatile tool that has expanded past a very niche group of users and hit the mainstream. Many technology experts firmly believe that VR is the future of life as we know it, even allowing users to work from home in a simulated office environment. Some users of VR have even built their own living spaces as 1-1 replicas in the virtual world, allowing them to experiment with different furniture layouts without the heavy lifting, sit on their couch to watch TV, or even live their lives within a virtual space.

VR looks to be the future of everything from work to play, and although it may not facilitate all of our everyday needs quite yet, I suspect that in the near future people could be able to live fully in VR, and never have to leave the comfort of their own homes. I also believe that in the near future, consumers will be able to use virtual reality to buy goods and do their shopping without stepping out of the house.

The power of VR illustration

Virtual Reality (Part 3 of 3)

About this blog.

Oh, Hey there! Have you checked out the previous blogs of this series? I sure hope so. If you haven’t click here for part 1 and click here for part 2. Make sure to check them about before going on ahead and reading this last part of the series!

In this blog I would like for you to join me in a thrilling ride and spend sometime… maybe awhile (if you’re really picky about where things should go), wondering if that piece of furniture would look better here or over there. Alright, lets get busy! Read More

Is Virtual Reality the New Reality?

A simple idea that has grown into innovation for the future is Virtual reality. We are exposed to this technology everyday even if we do not realize it. It started out as a simple concept like the Snapchat filters that we use almost everyday. Eventually this filter moved to other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but is this simple filter becoming the new norm? It has definitely evolved in becoming more than just a simple filter but a big step for other augmented reality ideas. Read More

The New Reality (AR Breakdown)

I have only paid attention to Augmented Reality for a few years now but it has been going on since the late 90’s. AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. If I really wanted to, I could have a Smurf juggling apples in front of me. In reality that is, not happening but I am visualizing it through a screen. That leads me to ask the question; what is reality? With the growth rate of AR and its relative VR, otherwise known as Virtual Reality. Our realities are about to change, if they haven’t already.

PAST

AR began its life back in the olden days, well, by olden days I mean 1998. It first appeared as the yellow first down line that you see on TV while watching a football game. The term Augmented Reality was coined eight years earlier by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell. Back then it wasn’t a serious topic but now they have evolved AR into such things like the Google glass and heads-up displays in car windshields.

CURRENT

Technology Companies are taking advantage of this and using it to evolve their apps on mobile devices. Snapchat for example, uses AR to allow users to wear an augmented mask, otherwise known as a Snapchat filter. IKEA uses AR on their app to allow customers to visualize what a piece of furniture may look like in their house before they even buy it.

FUTURE

AR is heading in a very impressive direction. Holograms becoming a reality are very near. Microsoft and multiple other companies have dedicated teams to working on such a project. AR and VR are working with each other as well, allowing users to take advantage of the benefits from both Virtual and Augmented Reality. It’s a multi-dimensional reality.

IMPORTANCE

AR is not just some toy people can play with either. Multiple industries use the innovative technology, including: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, and marketing.

“Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all five senses; augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy – sharing what we see, hear, touch, and even perhaps what we think and feel with others.” –Ramez Naam

It’s amazing technology; use it to your advantage.