Virtual Reality is the idea of experiencing
an environment while not being physically there. This is all done by using
computers to make a simulated environment and use VR glasses also called
Head-mounted display to experience it. The goal of VR is to make it as
immersive as possible meaning it must feel realistic, this is done by
simulating as many senses possible such as vision, hearing and touching the
more the better. The VR glasses have sensors in them that rotate with your head
so that you can look around in the VR environment. The limits we are facing and
is stopping us from experiencing the best VR environment are computer power,
available content and motion sickness.
There are multiple headsets in Virtual Reality currently, the main ones being
Cardboard with no hardware, so the user must use his own phone for the VR.
There’s GearVR where the user uses his phone, but the Gear has its own
applications and has for interaction the Gear VR side pad, home button and
going back or the controller using Bluetooth. The last main headset is PC based
that have tracking involved. The HTC VIVE is an
HMD that uses two tracking stations to mark a playing area and
everything in that playing area is tracked from movement to interaction with
the two controllers, and there’s the Oculus which has the tracking of the head
and recently receive controllers for more complex interactions.
Since VR became an interesting and hot topic more companies are applying it.
VR is being applied to education,
healthcare, military, entertainment, engineering and much more. These are all
examples of how VR is applied to the companies.
In VR medical care an example helps people
with their phobia by doing exposure therapy and simulate various stimuli
related to their phobia. You can have sessions with the patient and teach them
how to control responses to their situations.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming a big part of the growing
market, a good example of this is Pokémon Go with their AR way of interaction.
It was aimed at people around the world
and it became a big success.
The difference between VR and AR is that
when in VR the user feels like he is moved to a whole virtual environment, when
using AR the user doesn’t move and he stays in his environment and can see
virtual items and objects in the real world that can be interacted with.
VR the user’s eyes are covered using a HMD so that he can visualize a different
world that makes the user feel immersed in it, but you must be cautious about
crashing or bumping into objects in the real world. In AR you will see
simulated objects in the real world. In other AR apps you can see the inside of
your house as a place to scan so that you can place some virtual objects like tv
screens, furniture’s for measuring and fitting. Most ways of AR are on phones
that interact with QR codes by using the phone camera.