What is Virtual Reality?
There are so many ideas that individuals think of bringing to life while looking at an image. Virtual reality technology is one of those mediums that takes humans closer to the vision of bringing visuals to reality. To put it in simpler terms, virtual reality is an artificial environment which is created with the help of a software. It is then presented in a way that users believe and accept it as a real environment. VR basically enables the user to be inside an experience. Which means the user is able to interact with 3D worlds instead of just viewing a screen.
Virtual reality ecosystems are said to be immersive as they usually engage a user’s visions. Virtual reality headsets are one of the immersing system of all time. This system engages a user through touch only to provide a three dimensional world to interact and explore. On a computer desktop, VR is mainly experienced through sight and sound. Since human beings are visual beings, display technology proves to be the biggest difference between Virtual Reality systems and traditional user interfaces.
Applications of Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality technology first came to use primarily for gaming. It further progressed to be used for the entertainment industry. This technology is used in theaters where audiences enjoy 3D movies. This gives them the feel of actually being inside the movie environment surrounded by imagery and sound effects. Virtual Reality as said is mainly applied to the gaming industry wherein, a virtual stadium is built for the user to experience the thrill of a game day right from the comfort of their home. Similarly, virtual reality can also transport users to a music concert only by making use of the technology.
Healthcare industry has been a big adopter of virtual-reality technology. This enables institutions to use computer-generated images for diagnosis and treatment. Virtual-reality simulations, such as those created by software companies use actual diagnostic images from CAT scans or ultrasounds to construct 3D models of a patient’s anatomy. The virtual models help both new and experienced surgeons determine the safest and most efficient way to locate tumors, place surgical incisions or practice difficult procedures ahead of time.
Scientists have a tough job of searching for life on other planets. This is where virtual reality technology comes into picture for them. NASA uses virtual reality to make their research more accurate and look for elements that are not easily noticed by the naked eye. They also used this technology to show the public what it feels like on various spacecraft. People got a chance to see through virtual reality what astronauts actually view through a spacecraft and what all space elements they get to experience.
Virtual Reality provides an immersive experience that has revolutionized the education field. By making field trips and simulations of complicated concepts accessible to people of all ages, virtual reality can make cognitive learning faster, more effective and efficient. Making the education a virtual reality driven sector has helped the field to grow enormously.
How is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Different?
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are considered to be very similar concepts but are different in various aspects. Even if the concepts explain diverse ideas, the designs and devices used are the same. Both the technologies are equally powerful and once they get their target consumers, they are going to make a mark of their own. The technologies envision a future that will change how humans use a computer and to what extent. Virtual Reality replaces reality while taking the user to a different. And Augmented Reality adds to reality by adding onto elements that are already being watched by the user. This simply means that AR creates artificial objects in the real environment while VR introduces an artificial environment altogether
In Augmented Reality, the computer uses sensors and algorithms to determine the position and orientation of a camera. AR technology then renders the 3D graphics as they would appear from the viewpoint of the camera while placing the computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real world. On the other hand, in Virtual Reality, the computer uses similar sensors and math. However, rather than locating a real camera within a physical environment, the position of the user’s eyes are located within the simulated environment. If the user’s head turns, the graphics react accordingly. Rather than compositing virtual objects and a real scene, VR technology creates a convincing, interactive world for the user.
About Vr Headset
Virtual Reality Headset is a head-worn equipment that covers the eyes to give a complete 3D experience. These headsets allow users to interact with artificial environments and experience it from a first-person view. This instrument is also known as VR goggles. These goggles tend to replace the user’s natural environment with virtual reality content. This content may include movies, games or even a prerecorded 360 degrees VR environment. This environment may allow users to view things just as the physical world. VR headsets are available on a slightly expensive end and need a computer device that can handle that kind of animation. The ones that are less expensive also work on smartphones. These headsets use a combination that involves accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer ,and proximity sensor to detect the user’s motion.
Tips to Buy a Vr Headset
Check On Budget
Investing in a Vr headset is an expensive affair. Users always need to take their budget into consideration while making a decision purchase it. The primary reason for users need to keep a check on their budget is because there is a whole range of Vr headsets available in the market. They need to do their research right and consider every aspect of the instrument and then buy it that fits their budget.
Density of Need
When a user decides to buy a Vr headset, he should ask himself two questions. One if he really needs it and second to what extent and use will the equipment serve? This factor needs consideration because buying a headset that does not live up to requirements or a headset that is far more advanced than the actual requirements proves to be of no use. Buy a virtual reality headset with the perfect specifications serving a range of requirements proves to be a fruitful investment.
A Virtual Reality headset is available in a range of specifications and features. Investing in a headset that matches the hardware requirements of the desired device is very important. It is considered to be crucial because the instrument to be of complete use and give the best output, the hardware specifications need to match.
For an enhanced virtual reality experience, having a good controller is extremely important. The reason being, it augments the user experience in many different ways. The market also avails a range of control panels each made to deliver a different experience depending upon the purpose of use. Selecting the accurate controllers helps users to use it for their own benefit and make their experience of using Vr headsets an effortless one.
List of Best Vr headsets
The number of Vr headsets available in the market are many, but there are few amongst the lot that are preferred the most by users. The list mention below consists of headsets that have been delivery unparalleled performance and possess the ability to deliver a real VR experience. The most preferred Vr headsets are:
Google Daydream View
Each of the headset mentioned has different features and characteristics to offer. Here is a complete explanation of them all to help buyers make a better purchasing decision.
HTC is such a strong brand having a range of smartphones has also introduced a Vr headset. The headset has a matte black exterior that gives it a sophisticated look. It comes in a futuristic and detail-heavy look instead of the clean and minimal design.
Display – The Vive has two OLED displays, with 1080×1200 pixels per eye. It also uses PenTile technology to introduce subpixels and improve image fidelity.
Controllers – Vive controllers are bulkier. They employ a highly functional trackpad instead of analog sticks and have much more accurate motion detection.
Base stations – The HTC base stations take the form of a small and compact cube that is very flexible in terms of placement. More importantly, they have proven to be more accurate.
Accessories – HTC offers a number of accessories. This includes basic replacement parts, as well as a number of functionality-oriented accessories on the way. Among these are an improved head strap with headphones, the unique Vive Tracker, and more.
SteamVR – HTC Vive is designed to function with SteamVR games but can also play regular Steam games which are automatically adapted to VR via Steam’s Theater mode.
The Oculus Rift is a VR headset, developed by Oculus which is a crowdfunded project. The Rift VR headset sports a modern and minimal matte black exterior with an integrated 2K OLED display, along with a range of accessories designed to enhance the overall VR experience.
Display – Oculus Rift’s display uses OLED technology and is split into two separate screens. One 1080×1200 display for each eye, making for a total resolution of 2160×1200 pixels. It also uses a PenTile technology to generate a layer of subpixels which then serve to generate a cleaner and sharper image.
Controllers – The primary means of controlling Oculus Rift content is with Oculus Touch controllers. These come equipped with two face buttons, an analog stick, a small touchpad, a trigger, and grip button each. The headset only officially supports the official Xbox One controller and can also work with other controllers, but some extra setup will be required.
Oculus Sensor – For room-scale motion tracking, the headset uses the official Oculus Sensor which functions similarly to the original Wii motion controls by tracking infrared light.
Detachable Headphones – The Oculus Rift headset comes with detachable headphones. Not only are these capable of competing with most gaming headphones/headsets in terms of sound quality, but Oculus is also selling optional earphones separately. These improve noise isolation and add an extra layer of immersion which is somewhat lacking with the standard on-ear headphones.
Along with their famous range of smartphones, Samsung has come up with their very own virtual reality headset. The Samsung Gear VR is a noticeably sleeker and high-profile solution. It leans more towards a rectangular exterior design and chooses plastic over the fabric.
Controls – The headset has an inconspicuous touchpad, as well as Home and Back keys placed on the right-hand side. It also comes with a very good controller which, in addition to the functions, include volume buttons and a single trigger.
Compatibility – The Samsung Gear VR headset is listed as officially compatible with a range of Galaxy phones. Users have reported that it can indeed work with other models that can physically fit the headset.
Oculus Store – The Samsung Gear VR was developed with the help of Oculus and it uses their store instead of the default Google Play Store. This ultimately gives users more advanced games than what is available at the Play Store.
PlayStation VR is unique among gaming VR headsets in a number of ways, the most important one being that it is the first ever console-compatible VR headset. The PlayStation Vr is dominated by high-profile white highlights and blue LED lights which aren’t there just for show but is fully functional. It also has a single Full HD OLED screen, as opposed to the aforementioned competitors which have separate displays for each eye.
Higher subpixel count – The Playstation Vr headset is actually capable of producing sharper and cleaner images due to its higher subpixel count. On top of all that, the lower overall resolution means less work for the hardware.
Dedicated processor unit – While it doesn’t contribute any extra graphics or overall processing power to the PlayStation 4, this external processor works to adapt both the video and audio output to the dynamic VR environment.
Camera-based motion tracking – In addition to the built-in sensors, the headset relies on the dual-lens PS Camera for more accurate motion tracking. It does this with the help of those futuristic-looking blue LED lights, with the camera tracking their movement and position.
Google DayDream View
Google DayDream View utilizes a technology based on stereoscopic 3D generated via a smartphone app and glass lenses. This headset is made for those who would want a more reliable and flexible smartphone VR headset.
Controls – This headset comes with a compact remote that seemingly has it all. A touchpad, Home button, contextual App button, volume buttons, and most importantly motion detection.
Compatibility – The Daydream View requires that a phone has a 1080p OLED screen that can refresh at 60Hz, and that it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat or any subsequent version.
FAQs About Virtual Reality Headsets
1. How real is the VR experience?
VR experience feels will depend on the hardware you’re using. Using high-end VR headsets, like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift should prove to be an exciting and immersive experience for almost anyone. Mobile headsets won’t seem as real, although, a lot of people still have good fun with them. Ultimately, it’s a subjective experience and what works for one person might not work for another.
2. If my PC exceeds the recommended specifications for a VR headset will it make a difference?
If you can afford to upgrade your PC with cutting-edge hardware your VR experience will, generally, benefit from it. While beefing up your kit to levels far exceeding the manufacturers recommended specifications won’t totally change your experience, it will make sure your PC handles everything in its stride. What’s more, it will essentially future proof your PC from the requirements of future headsets.
3. Which device is better, a mobile VR headset or a tethered one?
Again, this totally depends on you, what you want, and your budget. If you want the best of the best and can afford it, then go for a tethered headset. If you already have a PlayStation 4 and don’t want to fork over around $800 then go for the Playstation VR. But if you’d like to test the waters before buying something like the HTC Vive, get a mobile VR headset and see if VR is for you.
SEE ALSO: The Future of Cloud Computing Today
Looking at the current state of the technology industry, VR headsets are at the forefront for now. The response that these headsets are receiving clearly show that people are starting to see potential use and impact of them in everyday routine. The most beneficial part of these devices is that they are available in a range of price points and for various devices. Many well-known companies are adopting the VR technology and introducing headsets of their own brands. The industry is also noticing a diverse range of software and content development which is only assisting it to grow further. All in all, it is a very accurate time for individuals who want to get a taste of virtual reality and make use of all its benefits.
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