Can Virtual Reality Change the World for Good?
When an industry is projected to accommodate a 300% increase in its valuation in the next three years, you just know how vital it will be in the forthcoming days.
Currently valued at $4.8 billion, the Virtual Reality market would be soaring immensely high by 2024. Honestly, that doesn’t come as a surprise.
Read along to know why.
Defining Virtual Reality
To put it straight, Virtual Reality (VR) technology allows you to explore and interact with virtual worlds. It uses a headset and motion tracking to immerse you inside the experience. You can look around in any direction, just as if you were really there. By using your hands with motion controllers, you can pick up and interact with objects, just as if they existed in real life.
VR can transport you to new and unique places that you’ve always wanted to go to. You can travel around the world, visit historical landmarks, or even get under the ocean. You can talk to people on the other side of the globe, attend concerts in front of thousands of fans, learn about space and beyond, or even roam around Hogwarts!
There are many varieties of VR experiences. Some are games or simulations that let you try something new or compete with others. Others are more passive experiences to help you relax and unwind. Still, others are focused on education, helping you learn about something in a fun way.
Virtual Reality Types
1. Immersive VR
Immersive VR is making you feel like you are in the virtual world. Some immersive VR experiences include a full body suit with gloves and other accessories. Others are just headsets that show you an entirely new reality.
2. Non-immersive VR
There is also non-immersive VR. This refers to experiences that have computer-generated elements but don’t let you move around in those virtual worlds. You might have seen this type of experience before on your television or while playing video games.
VR in Gaming is Reaching New Heights
The Virtual Reality game or simulator consists of several motion sensors that make the experience all the more fun. The best thing about VR is that it makes the person feel the things he wanted to feel in the real world and gives him that sense of achievement (even though imaginary).
In the virtual reality world, the gamers can also feel things in real-time as there are gloves that give the gamer that sense of picking up things as if they are actually sensing touch and feel.
VR experiences in games often include a mix of interactive elements and story developments. These take you to places that are perhaps impossible or difficult to reach in real life. Multiplayer virtual worlds offer a variety of experiences that are incredibly fun and social, letting gamers experience other people playing the same game without actually being there with them.
How Does VR Stimulate the Real-world Characteristics Regarding Audio?
Convincing and clear audio is needed to make an immersive and altogether enjoyable experience. The human senses are much more perceptive of the audio that is being produced in the game. So to create an in-depth feel of the game, VR must create a multi-directional sound so that users receive a whole new experience altogether.
Favourably, it is possible to create a 3D audio soundscape in VR that matches the environment that you’re in. For example, as you get closer to an object, the sound of it may get louder or higher pitched. The same is true if it gets further away. Just like in real life, the reflections of sounds will change based on where you re in relation to it.
An audio engineer or producer can use the sound design of a 360° video to give the viewer a sense of presence and realism within their environment. The human voice is one of the most powerful tools, as hearing a person on-screen helps you feel connected to them as if they were right next to you.
Companies Dominating the Advent of Virtual Reality
Several companies offer Virtual Reality headgear; however, only a few can truly create the experience that you may be looking for. This includes the major brands (and their associated products) such as:
- Oculus Rift
- Oculus Rift S
- Oculus Go
- Oculus Quest
- HTC Vive
- HTC Vive Pro Eye
- HTC Cosmos
- HTC Focus
- HTC Plus
C. Sony’s PSVR
D. HMD + Smartphone Virtual Reality
- Samsung gear Virtual reality
- Google daydream view
- Mattel View-Master Virtual reality
- Archos VR glasses 2
- Fiit VR 2S
A host of other products exist to help you enjoy an immersive experience.
Augmented Reality (AR) vs. Virtual Reality (VR)
Quite frankly, AR is an enhanced version of a real-world environment. In this type of technology, virtual objects are added into your normal view like an overlay on a screen. The image you see through the headset blends with the real world and adjusts as if it were actually there.
This is different from VR, in which you’re completely immersed in a virtual world. A VR headset allows you to explore and interact with your surroundings, but it’s all created for you at that moment.
As the two technologies get closer together, many people have been debating about which one is better. Having experienced both, I can say that each one has its benefits. In VR, you can create anything you want and explore any environment that you want. With AR, you can enhance what’s already there in real life.
Virtual Reality vs. 360° Video
When it comes to video-based experiences, 360° videos and virtual Reality are very similar. Both technologies allow you to explore a world in which you’re not physically present. A significant difference between the two is that VR lets you fully immerse yourself in an environment, whereas 360° video gives you a more limited view.
Virtual Reality Applications Outside of Gaming
VR is used for many purposes outside of gaming, and it has plenty of real-life applications that can help you find success and improve your life.
The possibilities of VR beyond gaming are endless. One of these exciting applications for VR is Education — allowing you to learn about new things in a fun and engaging way. You can explore historical landmarks or even immerse yourself underwater like a marine biologist! Imagine how cool it would be to see the Titanic wreckage up close or walk on the moon! Think about all of the intricate details you’ll notice when exploring places that are otherwise difficult to go.
If you’ve ever taken a course in school or learned about something outside of the classroom environment, you already know that this type of experience is more memorable than simply reading information from a book.
As technology continues to improve, it can help people with disabilities and illnesses. Albert Einstein himself used motion sickness medication before his brain injury, a fact that was later confirmed by a neuroscientist known as Dr. Michael Lee. He has treated patients by using Virtual Reality to create a safe environment for them to enter and explore various settings in VR. This is called Immersive Virtual Reality or simply VR Therapy.
Virtual Reality can help patients with PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, and various other conditions. Aside from the therapeutic value of VR therapy, it can also have a physical benefit on your brain’s ability to generate new connections. The brain is similar to a muscle in that it needs exercise and stimulation to grow and develop.
You might not have thought about VR being a part of your travels, but it’s actually being used as a way to travel faster and safer by pilots. Airline pilots can now use VR headsets to simulate flying conditions and help them make better decisions.
Since you can be immersed in the virtual world, piloting a plane becomes much easier and allows them to focus more on navigating the controls than focusing on the external environment like weather or another airspace. This means that they can be more efficient at their job and riskless accidents when flying.
Looking for a real estate purchase? Virtual Reality can literally let you see a home before it even has a chance to be built. It’s like having Amazon Prime, where you can try out products before they’re even available in stores. Many real estate agents have started using Virtual Reality to show off their properties before they become available for purchase.
What are your thoughts on Virtual Reality? Curious to learn more about what VR can do for your life? Let me know in the comments below!