What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual Reality - VR - seems to be slowly taking over the world. More and more schools, companies, hospitals and arcades are switching to virtual reality. But what exactly is it? And what can you do with virtual reality? In this blog we explain what VR can be used for and what we think virtual reality will be used for in the future.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality (VR) is an environment that is completely simulated with computers. You can look around the computer generated environment via a VR headset. Because the virtual environment is made entirely by computer, you are no longer limited to the physical logic of the real world. For example, in the virtual world you can spend hours exploring the depths of the ocean, or go back in time to relive the first moon landing. The limitations of virtual reality lie with the imagination and skills of the developer.
Virtual Reality is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from real reality. The image resolution of headsets is getting sharper and developers are increasingly coming up with VR games and applications that are indistinguishable from the real thing. There are even manipulations you can add to a VR headset to make the experience even more realistic, such as a scent mask that mimics the scent of flowers as you walk through a flower field in VR, or a haptic vest that provides feedback on the places where you are touched in the virtual world.
Curious about all Virtual Reality glasses that are currently on the market? View our blog Which Virtual Reality Glasses are there? then once!
What applications are there with virtual reality?
The most famous application of Virtual Reality is of course gaming. But did you know that VR can be used for many more applications? For example, there are already a lot of companies that use virtual reality to train their employees in special circumstances. Think of flight attendants who have to conduct a fire drill in a virtual environment while the plane is crashing, or police officers who can follow all possible scenarios of a terrorist attack in virtual reality.
Schools and universities are already making full use of the possibilities of virtual reality. For example, VR glasses offer the possibility to go on a school trip with the whole class at the same time to a country where you would otherwise never be able to go. For training purposes, VR glasses can be used to give a virtual lesson, or to help students prepare for presentations or give a speech. The VR app VirtualSpeechoffers the possibility, for example, to practice speaking in front of a large group using mobile VR glasses or Oculus Go.
What does the future of virtual reality look like?
It is difficult to say what virtual reality will look like in the future. Companies such as HTC, Oculus and Valve are subject to stiff competition with each other, which is why they continue to innovate and improve their VR glasses. Oculus seems to be on the right track at the moment with the already released Oculus Quest. These completely wireless VR glasses offer users the opportunity to experience Virtual Reality without using an expensive gaming PC and without loose cables. This makes the Oculus Quest the first VR glasses that can be used completely mobile for the Consumer, with enough power to play VR games in high quality.
The size and comfort of VR glasses will also change in the coming years. Where the first commercial VR glasses were relatively heavy and uncomfortable, VR glasses are now being made lighter and with an eye for wearing comfort. Think of the use of lighter materials, folding screens and getting rid of the headphones. For example, Huawei will come up with the first IMAX-certified VR glasses in the course of 2020: the Huawei VR Glass. VR glasses that are the size of oversized sunglasses.
Professional VR users will have to stick to the wired versions of VR glasses in the near future. This has to do with the graphics power that some VR games and apps bring. Practice shows that a graphics card and processor from a computer gives a much better performance than a chipset processor from standalone VR glasses. So for the real professional game experience, Virtual Reality will still have to be laid wired to a graphical source. There is also a future for the professional VR user in the so-called location-based virtual reality (abbreviated to LBVR). LBVR enables multiple VR users to play and interact with each other - simultaneously - in a virtual environment. Developers in the VR arcade industry are focusing their attention on this area and are increasingly coming up with games that are specifically aimed at the arcade audience.
Finally, Virtual Reality will play an increasingly important role in medical and educational applications. Where schools VR still a bit like gimmick virtual reality will develop further in the coming years with specific VR apps to bring students - and teachers - together in an educational environment. Who knows, you might be able to stay at home for a day in the future and just put on your VR glasses to show up at school or work ...