What is VR?
Virtual Reality is a computer generated environment, that is three-dimensional. You can interact with the environment using special electronic equipment such as headset (that look like large goggles with screens inside) and controllers.
Virtual reality is set to become the next BIG thing!Well, thats what 'the tech' people tell us. Virtual reality isn't exactly new. One of the first VR head mounted display was introduced in 1960. Today, the technology is far more impressive and slightly better looking. In 2012 there has been a new buzz around virtual reality technology, and in 2014 Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for a sum of $2 Billion. Since then, more people have started to pay attention to the new technology and are getting excited for VR possibilities.
Virtual Reality In 2016
Investment in virtual reality and augmented reality reached $1.1 billion in the first 2 months of 2016. Compare this to the $700 million invested in all of 2015. By 2020 the expected revenue forecast for VR/ AR industry is $120 billion. It's exciting to see how the new VR industry will grow, its potential and how it will affect our live in the future. The cool thing about it is no-one really has any idea how it will grow and if people will adapt to the technology as much as it's expected. Remember, VR is not new - its just improved - and VR today still has many obstacles, including technology and design.
The big names in VR headsets are HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Playstation. They use motion sensors and cameras to track movement. More commonly available and cheaper options include Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR which use smartphone technology and are far less interactive.
Here's an example of how a user can interact in the experience using the HTC Vive headset and controllers, compared to the mobile GearVR that has limited interaction and similar to watching a 360 video.
In our home we have the HTC Vive and love it. Choosing VR hardware and a headset is a difficult and expensive decision. I have created a headset comparison table to make the decision a little easier.