How Does Virtual Reality Work? – VR Basics for beginners

Man in Virtual Reality VR Headset

With smart phones, smart watches, and smart TVs, etc, modern day technology has evolved and continues to evolve. The next step is the introduction of virtual reality. Most of the tech giants are invested in VR in one way or the other. The most famous of these VR devices, the OculusRift has been around for nearly three years now.The Internet mammoth, Google has introduced a DIY VR headset called Google Cardboard.

Needless to say, VR isn’t the technology of the future, it is here. It’s a reality and it is evolving every day.But is all of this hype around VR really worth it? Is this really as useful and innovative as people believe it to be? Here’s a brief introduction to VR for people who’re still baffled by it.

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

If you’re an avid movie fan, you might have seen mentions of Virtual Reality in futuristic movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, Matrix, etc. In our current world, the concept is relatively simple to understand. With VR, you feel like you’re moving through and interacting with the virtual environment displayed to you. For example, if the virtual reality that’s displayed to you looks like a forest, you’ll feel as though you’re navigating through the forest as you move around, even if you’re just walking in your room.

Naturally, the technology is still in its infancy and its abilities are limited. Unlike the Holodeck in Star Trek, you’ll only experience virtual reality through two senses. Today’s devices only target sight and sound. You will see the forest and hear the forest. However, you won’t be able to feel any leaves or smell the forest air or even feel the forest floor beneath your feet.

The technology essentially involves a screen that’s mounted on your face, a few inches away from your eyes with a goggle type device. The images are displayed in stereoscopic 3D and will encompass your entire vision. The videos are displayed in photorealistic graphics or 3D video. This is a really immersive experience. Imagine the graphics of IMAX 3D enveloping your entire field of vision. The lack of other sensory input doesn’t compromise the experience. You will get the full effect of the scene before you.

VR is a boonand has enormous potential. It’s already used by the military to train pilots and other such professionals. The potential of VR goes beyond military use. The people that might benefit the most from VR are gamers. In fact, they’ve already picked up on the trend. However this technology has limitless uses including educational, virtual travel, virtual family experiences, and more. It is not going away anytime soon.

There are several apps and games available in the market that would work well with VR devices; many that are designed specifically for the VR devices.They offer a truly immersive experience that would redefine the way youplay games.

VR Devices Range from $20

Experiencing VR is awesome, but you need the right devices for that. As we mentioned before, there are several tech giants that have been working on this technology. There are several options available to you in different price ranges and quality level. The most popular products are listed here:

  • Oculus Rift – This is the game changer, the first successful experiment that made virtual reality something more than a futuristic dream.The Oculus Rift is more of a gaming console which interacts with a computer instead of a smartphone. It is available for pre order now and will begin to be delivered on March 28, 2016. The Oculus Rift interfaces with a computer that is set up to interface with their VR software. Oculus rift computers vary from Asus brand to Dell to other brands and will be released this spring. The price for the VR headset begins at $599 depending upon what package you want.
  • Samsung Gear VRSamsung is known for its consumer friendly devices and Gear is no different. It offers a great experience at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the device also comes with some familiar restrictions from Samsung. To use it you connect it to a smartphone. Gear is only compatible with Samsung smartphones. Nevertheless, compared to the Rift’s $599 pricetag, Gear’s $99 pricetag is very reasonable; it’s a worthwhile expense.
  • Google Cardboard –The the tech giantheaded in a completely different direction when it introduced Google Cardboard. It’s essentially a cardboard headset that you need to put together. You can then mount your any Smartphone on it and use it to experience VR. People were skeptical, but it does work. It is a great way to begin your VR experience at a low cost. Google cardboard can be purchased for as little as $13 and then you need to purchase a VR app on your smartphone. This is a great recommendation for all VR beginners.

VR Apps and Games

iOS, Android, and other platforms have several apps and games that can use this VR technology to the fullest. Here’s a list of some of the most interesting ones you’ll find.

Apple iOS–There are several apps in Apple’s marketplace that can make your VR experience worthwhile. They are:

  • VRSE
  • YouTube
  • Sisters
  • InCell VR

Android –After the introduction of Cardboard, Android developers went crazy and developed several VR apps. Vrse, and YouTube are available on Android. Other apps include:

  • Caaaaardboard!
  • Insidious VR
  • Titans of Space
  • Waa! VR

VR Games –As VR grows in popularity, the number of game developers willing to design games for that experience grows as well. Here’s a list of the most popular ones:

  • Eve: Valkyrie
  • Dreadhalls
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Rigs: Mechanized Combat League
  • Elite: Dangerous

There are several other games to explore in VR and new ones are introduced every day. In all, VR is an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. If you have the inclination, you should definitely try it.

VR is a whole new world of experience and connection. It is not the thing of science fiction as much as it is a thing of science. While it is popular in the gaming community watch for it to grow in every direction possible including educational classes, sporting experiences, and more. We are living in the future!

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