As we know it now, virtual reality has been around for decades. To give you an idea, the original head-mounted display wasn’t an Oculus Rift, even though it is often regarded as the gadget that sparked the VR revolution. Instead, it was a device called Headlight, developed in the 1960s. However, non-digital forerunners, all the way back to 360-degree paintings, shared the same goal: to transport your experience to a new location. Virtual reality is the wise man of technology, not simply because it is ancient.
Over the past 200 years, the technology has been utilized for everything from research and medicine to pilot training and helping architects display their latest skyscraper, allowing viewers to walk through it before a single brick has been put.
Yes, the current focus is primarily on gaming, but VR is useful for more than that. Virtual reality offers a wide range of uses, which will only grow as technology advances.
What is virtual reality, and how does it work?
As described in this article, virtual reality often involves a head-mounted display, a computer, smartphone, or console to construct the 3D scene, and some type of input trackings, such as hand tracking, voice tracking, or head tracking.
This setup is now used by various head-mounted displays, including those from Oculus, HP, HTC, and PlayStation.
The finest virtual reality headsets to purchase
As previously stated, certain VR systems have a display that splits the feed for each eye. In these circumstances, footage from your PC or console is sent to the screen(s) in front of your eyes through a cable (typically HDMI). Other less expensive VR gadgets use your smartphone to display virtual reality material.
There are also standalone, wire-free devices, such as the Oculus Quest 2, that provide entry-level to mid-level VR experiences without requiring an expensive smartphone or gaming PC. These have become increasingly spectacular in recent years with the Quest 2’s ability to run games that you’d find on a PC without a discernible quality loss. If you plug in the Oculus Quest 2 using an Oculus Link (USB-C) cable, it can also run PCVR games, and the firm is working on making this experience wireless as well.
It’s quite cool to see your hands and see them being monitored correctly in a virtual reality environment. Other technologies are being developed to enhance the tactile aspect of the experience. The encounters will become much more genuine when you can see and feel what you’re engaging with.
These kinds of enhancements are also included in the most recent flagship headsets. The Valve Index, for example, contains controllers that allow you to play with a more natural grip and games that track each of your fingers. It also has an extension slot where future additions might be installed, such as the Leap Motion controller for controller-free finger tracking. What’s the big deal about virtual reality?
Virtual reality is always evolving and improving. Prices for headsets are reducing, and new headsets are being introduced. Improvements in technology, such as wireless adapters and standalone VR headsets, are making the technology more accessible. More game makers are becoming interested as technology advances. There are more games to play and more reasons to get excited about.
Along with virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality are making rapid progress. These give engaging material that may find its way into the workplace. The future will undoubtedly be fascinating.
- What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?
- What is Windows Mixed Reality, what headsets are available, and when will it be accessible?