We all know about Virtual Reality (VR), with all the buzz around it, it’s a little hard not to notice it these days. The Google VR, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, LG 360 VR, I can go on and on and there is virtually a pool of platforms out there which could immerse you into the whole new world of virtual amazement. While it is hard to avoid it, it is hard to be astonished by it at the same time as its fame was long due.
For those who just got out of a coma and for those who were busy traveling time and are just back from the past, here is VR 101 for you. VR or Virtual Reality is exactly what it sounds like, a simulated virtual world which is projected to you through optics and screen, coupled with surround sound and motion detecting panoramic 360-degree view.
This could be a little too much to take in, let me break it down for you. VR is a word coined in the late 80’s, 1987 to be precise, by a fellow called Jaron Lanier, founder of the visual programming lab (VPL), a research company which researched VR gear and the first to launch VR eye gear commercially.
The history of VR dates way back to the 1800’s with the attempt to make 360-degree murals or paintings. But wait, what? paintings? Yes! paintings. This is the definition of VR which I like the most, an attempt to alter one’s reality and make them believe they are somewhere else. This is a classical example of the human tendency to escape reality or experience something more than what they have or just ‘Escapism’, and we love it. It was brought to the mainstream by no research or a scientist but a 1999 movie ‘The Matrix’ and the world has gone bonkers ever since.
The Modern Day VR
VR has come a long way from its first panoramic murals and it is going to hit every one of us pretty soon, well how soon if you ask, some experts would say it is set to take over the world this year and we don’t see why not.
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The modern day VR is mostly centered around entertainment and gaming industry. You could experience a roller coaster sitting in your chair and have almost the same adrenaline rush by it or you could just travel into the amazon sitting in your living room and talk to the apes. Yes, this is the promise of VR, anything could be possible with it, you can fly into a black hole and come out safe or you could just deep dive into the ocean to swim with the blue whales.
VR has become huge with the gaming industry and it would be naive for us to not acknowledge that. The gaming world has tried every possible way to incorporate VR into their games and is still trying every possible way to add more immersion into the virtual world. So much so that you could lose your sense of reality getting into the VR World.
Google with its cardboard is the cheapest option to experience VR which would convert your smartphone into a VR screen. And then there are other players in the market with their offerings, Samsung with its Gear VR, Sony, HTC, you name it. Yet, one giant, Apple, has not touched it yet, it sure is curious and it will join the party soon.
Other uses of VR
This is where we think VR will shine the most and the reason we think it is ‘Other Uses’ is because it may not be getting the amount of attention it should.
VR has been into education for some time now, most of our fighter pilots and commercial pilots go through simulations before they actually fly the real thing, a great use of VR. And then there are use cases where it is used to cure phantom pain in Amputee victims to treating children with Autism to allowing surgical students to practice new techniques.
VR is huge in it that the real world application spans practically to every possible scenario we could imagine and would improve and revolutionize it. Imagine being able to shop from a store without leaving the comfort of your home wearing a VR gear and virtually being in the store.
This is just a few of the applications there are and we are sure VR is set to invade many more areas of common day life pretty soon.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, the difference.
Augmented reality is completely different from Virtual Reality. Augmented reality augments or changes your present reality. It would make appear objects or characters into your real view and let you interact with it. There are games built around it and there are experiences built around it.
It is a completely different field of study and technology but some of our genius developers have come up with a way to combine both in a very attractive way. More on this in a different post.
What do we think about VR?
While its contribution to the entertainment industry is set to revolution the industry itself this year, we are much more interested in its real-world applications, if you will. The tremendous opportunity it provides for education, for medicine, for war, and for peace, for creating better interactions and connectivity, and for opening up the human minds towards the real problems.
VR is huge and is set to be huge, but the real question is would the human society take it for the commercial value it has or would it take it a notch further to better the society. We for one are looking forward to experiment with it and explore new and innovative uses for it. And yes, we would keep you posted on it.
What do you think about VR and what do you think we missed out. Do let us know and as always, happy coding.