A few decades ago, such products were considered something unreal and unattainable. Virtual reality was used in fantastic works, for example, in 1935, writers already invented fantastic objects in their works that would be used in the futuristic future. Their imaginations drew incredible pictures of the near future. Of course, we still cannot boast of the ability to recognize smells at a distance, but the assumptions about the creation of virtual glasses that are very similar to a headset for virtual reality have come true.
What should a person who first encountered the VR world pay attention to?
The main things
The main point worth paying attention to is choosing the right headset that will be of high quality and durable. For example, good virtual glasses can serve you for a long time. Usually, expensive devices are used to work with computers, during virtual games or video calls at work, while cheaper gadgets are ideal for mobile devices.
All gadgets should be used in conjunction with high-quality headphones, controllers, or even exercise machines to help you fully immerse yourself in the virtual world. For example, hand controllers will be able to produce your gestures in games, which is much more convenient and interesting than conventional joysticks.
All VR devices are equipped with a special store where all available applications are collected, you have the opportunity to select and download your favorite programs or games. You can enter such storage both from your computer and directly from the VR device itself.
Highest quality devices
4 years later, after the launch of the Internet site, in 2016 the market modification of the Oculus Rift appeared. Initially, sales were carried out online, through a specially created website, and only over time, they penetrated the trading floors of the whole world.
For a long time, to use the Oculus Rift, an expensive PC with all the necessary specifications as needed. To date, Oculus has developed a special system called "asynchronous space warping" that will make Rift technology available even on cheap computers (from $ 500). Besides, firms such as Dell, HP, Asus, and Alienware are reaching out to their customers and developing affordable computers that can support VR systems.
In December 2020, Oculus released a new headset, namely the Oculus Touch handheld controller, thanks to which your gestures will be transmitted to the virtual reality system. The price of such a device reaches 199 dollars, which is quite expensive for such a device.
Future Buyers: VR fans who want to be the first to experience innovative technologies and see exactly how Facebook will bring virtual reality to the masses.
Conclusions: Oculus Rift has managed to kick-start an ultra-innovative VR system. The company employs the very best designers and inventors who create truly unique leisure and work applications. Despite some protests from critics of the company's founder's political activism, thanks to Facebook's patronage and investment, the Rift will flourish and grow.
Thanks to the fruitful collaboration between the Taiwanese company HTC and the game development firm Valve, the HTC Vive program was born. Valve has brought virtual reality to its online store of games, Steam, while HTC has created a personal website called Viveport, which contains useful apps.
Vive is rightfully considered the main rival of the Oculus Rift. These two platforms require powerful computers that can support all application functions. HTC has partnered with Alienware, HP, and MSI to provide system fans with the necessary tweaks and software to make programs run on select Vive Ready PCs.
The main advantages of Vive are the presence of a front camera, thanks to which it became possible to project a real picture of the world around you into virtual reality. Included with the system, you automatically get two gesture controllers, which is not in the Rift, but the price of such a kit is much higher, which is natural.
Plus, Vive comes with a base station that can track all gestures and movements. Thanks to this, you can move freely within the virtual space. Of course, all of this requires a lengthy setup process, but it's worth it. After making the setting at the very beginning of work, you will not need to constantly return to this stage before you want to test a new game, for example.
Who will be interested in absolutely every person who would like to experience immersion in the virtual world from personal experience, as well as buy an ideal home VR system that can be used not only for gaming purposes?
Conclusions: At the moment, HTC Vive is the most expensive virtual reality system available, which requires a serious setup process. Despite this, it is the most impressive and innovatively equipped system in which you can move freely and even turn your head.
Sony PlayStation VR
In third place in terms of innovation and technology is the Sony PlayStation headset with a VR system. Its release took place in the fall of 2016, initially, it was positioned as an application for the PlayStation 4. The newest PlayStation models also perfectly synchronize with virtual reality gadgets, which will significantly increase the screen size and improve the picture quality.
In addition to the familiar PS4 controller, the DualShock 4, for optimal PlayStation VR performance, you will need to purchase a PlayStation Camera, which costs about $ 60.
Sony is doing everything to make PlayStation VR, not just a single-payer system, but also to implement the possibility of group play at a distance.
Required Devices: PlayStation Camera ($ 45). PlayStation Move motion controllers, priced at $ 99 per two (although you also can control regular joysticks for gaming)
For whom it is suitable: fans of virtual games, gamers, and players on the PlayStation 4.
Conclusions: PlayStation VR is the most affordable VR product. There is preliminary information that a large number of new VR games will appear soon thanks to Sony's assistance.
The working side of Microsoft
After creating the highly successful HoloLens virtual world headset, Microsoft also continues to partner with other companies to develop a suite of gadgets for Windows computers. Their cost starts at $ 299. The company is determined to transform the system and make it more accessible to a wide range of users. These devices will work at the expense of monitors, projecting a VR picture.
In addition to the already well-known gadgets for VR, there are many other indispensable accessories. The rapid success of the Oculus Rift has turned the online sales site into a real mecca for innovative new products and ideas related to VR development. You can find many startups and ad boards on it.
Here you can find devices and controllers for every taste, the site allows you to get acquainted with their characteristics and functional qualities. Therefore, before making a purchase, you can easily make sure whether the headset you have chosen is suitable for your system or not.
Besides, you can turn your attention to the development of OSVR from Razer, which makes devices for PC gaming. It is this system that is trying to make open standards for VR a reality. And this is done primarily for the convenience of buyers. Today, you can purchase one of two Razer developments, although it is quite possible that soon, device makers will embed it in their gadgets.
VR shooting methods
The process of shooting virtual reality video is significantly different from the process of simple shooting. You need to have special cameras, programs, and skills to get high-quality VR video. You will have to spend a lot more time and effort. The best option for the shooting is the OZO camera from Nokia, it is almost identical to those used by professionals when shooting video. But, unfortunately, its pricing policy does not fit into the available framework, its price reaches 45 thousand dollars. If we consider a cheaper option, then you should pay attention to the Samsung Gear 360 spherical camera. Its price is only 350 dollars, and the quality of shooting is very high. This model is equipped with 2 lenses for taking 180-degree shots for the video. This device will be a perfect thing for those who have a desire to start creating VR products.
Also, you can consider other cameras with the ability to shoot 360 degrees, for example, LG 360 Cam or Vuze Camera. Many new products in this niche appear on online sales services every day, so we advise you to follow them.
360-degree shooting vs VR
Often for short, we use the term "360" and "VR". They may also sound like synonyms, but they have some fundamental differences. Panoramic photos and videos, usually called frames that were glued together after shooting, are called 360-degree photos and videos. But it's worth remembering that this has nothing to do with virtual reality. After all, this type of shooting does not imply free movement during the video creation process, unlike the VR world. Despite this, absolutely all virtual reality devices combine these two methods of capturing the moment.
VR or augmented reality
In addition to the virtual reality we know, you can plunge into another dimension using the augmented reality system.
When entering virtual reality, you seem to plunge into the electronic world, using special auxiliary devices, at this moment you do not follow the real world that surrounds you at the moment. Unlike augmented reality, which is used as a background addition to the real world. You see the real world, but with some adjustments, maybe animation or minor changes.
To test additional reality on yourself, you could use special glasses of Glass. This ultra-innovative device was released by Google in 2014, but at one time the corporation decided to abandon attempts to promote glasses on sale by themselves, as the main idea.
Fortunately, you will soon be able to experience Microsoft's HoloLens development, which is equivalent to PlayStation VR. After all, the main focus here is on the entertainment and games segment.
One of the most successful developments can be Magic Leap. So far, the project is at the start-up stage, but it has already managed to interest experts in the technological world and collected an impressive amount of funding (more than $ 1.4 billion).
If you dream of looking at the world of augmented reality, the best solution for you would be to use special apps on your smartphones that are capable of overlaying video pictures or text on your videos or photos in real-time. An example of augmented reality is the famous game Pokémon Go, Snapchat face masks, and other apps. You can also change the design of your room using the DFS app, as well as track where the flying smokes are heading, thanks to Plane Finder AR
Using VR is possible not only during games
Undoubtedly, speaking of virtual reality, associations with games immediately arise. After all, from the beginning, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR were conceived as products that would be used by professional esports gamers. It is thanks to games that VR technologies have gained such development and popularity. But after Facebook acquired Oculus VR, it is no longer associated with gaming. Soon, the developers dream of creating an accessible virtual reality system for everyone. You can not only play in a realistic space but also attend lectures, travel the world, and meet with your doctor online. To do this, you just need to put on your glasses.
Endless possibilities and incredible technological solutions are what to expect from the world of virtual reality in the future.
Filmmaking and journalism
Today you can find a lot of technological VR developments for gaming and other entertainment, but the fantasy of the inventors did not end there. For example, more and more directors and cameramen are actively using the 360-degree shooting to obtain the most realistic effect.
In 2014, renowned filmmaker Chris Milk created a virtual reality corporation, which produced films with virtual reality effects using special devices.
Various media holdings have tried to shoot VR journalism. For example, world-famous projects and movies. Since today, VR is no longer a gimmick, soon we will be able to see more material that will use this technology for shooting.
Mark Zuckerberg said he sees great prospects for using VR. It can claim to be a new social platform that will involve many people. Of course, this may sound a little strange, because the modern computer program made for VR gadgets is aimed at the personal experience and separates you from real life.
But a certain group of organizations is trying to make VR more social. For example, the Oculus service has developed a system thanks to which people will be able to watch the same movie while being far from each other, however with the feeling of the full presence of another person. Also, the same company demonstrated a test program where people can communicate and do different things together in the online room.
There are fresh startups out there whose goal is to create social media in which people can communicate with each other as full-size avatars. Such VR is available for use thanks to devices from vTime, which are suitable for some well-known projects.
Music and the world of sports
Undoubtedly, a lot of people just dream of attending a concert by their favorite band or a team game for which they are rooting in virtual space. Therefore, many corporations are developing just such systems and devices that will help to implement this idea.
For example, NextVR aims to broadcast the upcoming US Open tennis tournament and boxing matches in the virtual world. While Voke is a successful corporation, it is negotiating with world-class stars to broadcast their concerts in VR.
Some developers strive to unite people and make it possible for a group of friends to watch the match of their favorite team so that all participants have a sense of each other's presence.
The biggest plus of virtual reality is certainly the ability to visit various countries and corners of the planet where you would hardly dare to come. It is much cheaper than real travel and is not exciting.
Thanks to the progress in VR development, you can freely admire the Grand Canyon, climb Everest, and visit Paris. GoPro provides free 360-degree views, streamed from cameras installed around the globe. Perhaps in the near future, we will be able to take a virtual walk on Mars.
Oculus VR believes indoor tourism can be very popular too. Although skeptics assure that a virtual picture cannot replace a live walk along the streets of Rome or Madrid. Nevertheless, virtual reality remains an excellent alternative to tourism.
Technology assistance in treatment
Healthcare is not standing on the sidelines and is also diligently exploring the possibilities of using VR as a means of helping people. Medical Realities is actively introducing virtual and augmented reality in the teaching process of medical students. The specially designed Virtual Surgeon software allows them to perform virtual operations that look very realistic. Such simulators are no longer a rarity; they are actively involved in the training of future doctors.
Scientists are researching whether virtual reality can distract a patient from unpleasant procedures within the walls of a hospital or help with rehabilitation after serious illness or loss of limbs.
Of course, it was not without the porn industry. She uses VR as her animation simulator. Famous service PornHub has a separate column - virtual reality. This area will be able to make good money using VR.
What can we expect in the near future?
Even though the development of a VR system has been going on for many decades, it is just beginning to gain momentum. We are waiting for a series of innovations in the field of virtual reality, a lot of new developments and ideas. There is a hope that with the development of this niche, the price of equipment will fall and it will become available to more people. But at the same time, it is very cool that we are the generation that has the opportunity to observe the development of such an unusual and fantastic VR world.