Virtual reality headsets have seen a massive boom in 2016 and are becoming more and more popular despite the obviously unfashionable design of these headsets. Virtual reality has been a feature of many apps for a while now and doesn’t actually require a large outset in order to experience it. If you have a modern smartphone and printer, you can even create your own, with services like Google Cardboard who have a template you can print with a DIY VR headset.
Virtual reality makes use of smartphone technology to create an interactive 3D experience. The way it works is by using specialist filming devices to capture 360-degree images and then using features like mobile phone gyroscopes to move your head to see that footage.
VR footage does not always need to be filmed, it can also be created by web and app developers that tell the app to move based on head movements.
This technology has opened a whole new world of options for viewing the web and gaming. There have also been recent advancements in using Virtual Reality as an accessibility too for people who are paralysed from the neck down.
The most common usage for Virtual Reality is in gaming, with many large companies like Sony PlayStation working with game producers to come up with some great immersive gaming experiences. Techradar have a list of the best 23 Virtual Reality Games for PC, Console, and Mobiles. Many of these games require accessories like the ones available with the Oculus Rift or PlayStation headset.
Virtual reality gaming can be done for cheap using your mobile phone and a homemade VR headset, however, a lot of the better Virtual Reality games are on platforms that require expensive equipment often up to £500. These games have a lot more features and accessories that allow for a more immersive experience.
Some popular games for VR include Truck Simulator and Surgeon Simulator which both try to give you near real life experiences that you may not otherwise be able to achieve in real-life. There are also some more well-known games that have VR versions such as Minecraft and Dying Light which give you a different way to play a popular game.
It is highly likely that in future a lot of gaming consoles and producers will look into the possibilities with Virtual Reality gaming and offer different way to play common games. Imagine sitting down to play a game like Resident Evil in first person mode through a VR Headset or maybe it will be possible to play a game of Fifa Be A Pro with a Virtual Reality headset. It certainly has a lot of game producers excited as to what they are able to produce for gamers. It might not be long before gaming is entirely through a headset and TV’s are no longer required.
Practicing medical students would probably prefer not to have to apply learned techniques on real humans, and I’m sure the patient would prefer they had a trained doctor too. There are several uses of Virtual Reality for training medical students whereby they can practice what they have learned through VR game or simulator rather than a real human.
Virtual Reality is also great for helping patients. One great example is for patients with phobias such as heights. Virtual Reality can be so realistic that when you place the headset on you forget that you are actually in a virtual world as opposed to the real world. This game can be used to trick patients minds that they are in a scary situation but without any risk. IF you want to treat phobia’s often, it is best to get them to experience it, and if you can do that without any of the risks then VR could be a great solution. Unless of course, you have a fear of headsets.
Google was quick to adopt Virtual Reality, and that can be seen with its release of Google Cardboard last year. They have also since released their own affordable headset called Daydream VR which coincided with the launch of their Pixel mobile phone earlier this year.
Google Street View has been updated to allow you to use a Virtual Reality headset to take a look around the area you are visiting. This is a great addition to an already excellent product and allows people to visit perhaps an area of the world or restaurant they would like to visit before they actually go. What a way to plan a first date or to plan a family holiday, experience it virtually before even getting there.
If you ae looking for a new car, then it is likely that you will want to test the vehicle out before making a final decision. Fortunately, you don’t even need to leave your home to test out a new car with certain manufacturers. Ford, Volvo, and Hyundai have launched virtual reality test drives which allow you to take a look around the car in a virtual reality to see its features. Of course, this will never be able to give you a perfect feel of the car and a real life test drive is probably advised. It does, however, give you a good idea whether you like the interior of the car and could at least give you a good short list of cars to try.
It is now possible to purchase 360-degree cameras like the Samsung Gear 360. These cameras allow you to take videos of events you are heading to or even just to capture your holiday. This is great for capturing the whole experience and not just what is in front of you. When you come to play it back, you will be able to experience it all again through a Virtual Reality headset.
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