What does VR stand for?
…or what is this fancy technology, everyone’s been talking about?
First of all, VR stands for virtual reality. Not the Vibration Reduction, nor other mysterious abbreviation. Simply put, VR is the use of computer technology to simulate a given environment and lacing the user within this generated space.
You get a full immersion into the scene instead of the traditional flat display and with the use of custom controllers, you can interact directly with objects in 3D space. For virtual reality to be achieved it needs to be interactive, immersive, explorable, or fully believable.
What is VR? More than just reality!
Yet as cool sounding as all that is, do we really need it? The simple answer is yes we do.
VR brings with it a possibility to experience scenarios and situations that would otherwise be difficult to replicate in the real world, from games and entertainment to training simulation, VR allows us to reach beyond the limits of our physical plane.
Walk on a beach and listen to the sounds of the sea a few thousand miles away without stepping out of your front door, or sit to a lecture from a world-renowned scholar of old in crystal clear audio renditioning without having to invent a time machine.
Train doctors on complex surgical procedures, test components and devices in 3D space, teach history and physics in a more interactive and engaging way to students, all these are just the surface of what virtual reality technology can do.
What can VR do?
VR can save organizations time and money and make work more convenient.
Workers won’t have to travel or have long commutes in order to make decisions and complete projects. Architects, for example, from across the globe can use virtual reality to evaluate designs and projects in real-time and do so simultaneously saving them the very large cost of a physical meet.
VR also opens the door for a virtual marketplace, where shoppers can try on garments or makeup, and complete the whole purchase from the couch.
Not only is the technology entertaining us but also helps us overcome various real-life challenges.
But to connect to this virtual space we need custom tools. Companies such as Microsoft, Magic Leap, Facebook to name a few have been on the forefront in the development of VR enabled hardware, headsets, and controllers, taking Virtual reality to the next level with projects such as “Hololens”, “Magic Leap”, “Oculus”.
When matched with their own software development kits or third-party tools like PlayCanvas, Unreal Engine 4, Unity3D, etc., creators can build fantasy or near realistic simulations.
Watch out for that cable
However good VR technology has become, it does pose a few risks to the users, we have seen incidents where user tip on cabling attached to their gear while moving around or pump into objects in physical space not realizing that they are there.
There are many positives of virtual reality, but there are also concerns. Many researchers believe that the technology can lead to even deeper isolation among people (shared VR could be the answer here). When people’s social media needs to get addressed online, they will not need other people to interact with it.
But this has been said about other new technology from TVs to radios. New advancement in VR are combating these issues and with proper safety regulations and guidelines, most of these issues are reduced or outright eliminated.
Also, newer devices are doing away with cables and making their hardware wireless or wearable so we don’t go tripping all over the place.