Virtual Reality 101 – Ultimate Guide To VR Technology

Till date, I think all of you have heard about the hottest new thing in the arena of technology, a bit surprised..! Let me clear it out, I’m talking about Virtual Reality in short VR technology. And, Today we will Learn everything about the Virtual Reality like- What is Virtual Reality? , How VR Works?, What it does and can do? and so on.

This is an Ultimate Guide to Virtual Reality, so let’s proceed to learn about it.

What is Virtual Reality? VR 101

Virtual Reality the word is common but do you know the exact meaning of the term…Not sure! No problem, I will handle from that point.

Let’s learn this in our common terms:

The term ‘virtual‘ states a very common meaning i.e. almost, practical or nearly.

And the term ‘reality ‘ describes a thing that actually exists in short actuality.

So combining together the term virtual reality refers to the practical actuality, basically a thing that nearly exists in the world. Now, this could signify anything but the truth behind the technology is the reality that exists and happening.

Virtual Reality

That was in an easy language, let’s go a bit formal and technical:

Virtual Reality in technical terms is a computer technology, a three-dimensional environment built with a software and with a hardware combined that generates a different reality which a user can experience in the real time. A person experiencing the virtual reality technology can tackle and manipulate a variety of objects, sounds and other sensations within the real environment in the real time.

Not only this a person who is experiencing the virtual reality becomes a big part of that different world where he/she can move around, peep around and can even manipulate items and objects that are present in the virtual world.

Wow… Sounds interesting.!

Let’s dig in further:

History of Virtual Reality:

As I think we have the heard the term VR just a few short years ago and we also think that the term has arisen within these few years. Right..!

Nopes.. Let’s see further:

According to Wikipedia:

The first references to the concept of virtual reality came from science fiction. Stanley G. Weinbaum’s 1935 short story “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” describes a goggle-based virtual reality system with holographic recording of fictional experiences, including smell and touch.

Looking at the nearest discovery and nearest history, basically in the 21st century.

Key Facts related to Virtual Reality:

  • In 2010, Palmer Luckey went on to found Oculus VR and designed the first prototype of Oculus Rift.
  • On March 25, 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion.
  • On March 2014, Sony announced Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 video game console.
  • In 2015, OnePlus became the first only company to launch a product using virtual reality.
  • Google announced Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself stereoscopic viewer for smartphones.
  • In Feb–March 2015, HTC partnered with Valve Corporation announced their virtual reality headset HTC Vive.
  • On April 27, 2016, Mojang announced that Minecraft is now playable on the Gear VR.
  • The above facts were really interesting and updated us with a lot more about the VR technologies and their discovery.

Why Virtual Reality?

Yes..! The perfect question why VR? If our life is fit and fine without VR then why should we adopt the Virtual Reality technology?

Seem Right… As we all know the world and the internet both are growing very very very fast, getting stuck at one place and with one technology is not what science and technology teach us.

Can you even imagine, we can even experience dangerous, impractical and near to impossible things in Virtual Reality? Everything will be real in the environment where VR will place you. You will have the perfect sensation, feel, fear and thrill in the other world which only and only can be achieved by Virtual Reality.

In nearby future, Virtual Reality will impact and play a very crucial role in our day to day lives.

Extending VR to its full potential will definitely lead to new and exciting discoveries in the world of technology.

The technology of Virtual Reality can give a new reform to the educational, the medical science and many related sectors of the industry.

Students, Teachers, Researchers & more can enhance their knowledge and learning skills using the virtual environment by doing practical that are not at all feasible in the real world.

This was just one sector which we are talking about similarly, there are many more industry sectors that can taste the juice of the virtual reality.

Let’s see some of the sectors that can benefit from the aspects of Virtual Reality:

Virtual Reality Applications:

  • Entertainment & Media
  • Heritage and Archaeology
  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Sports & Games
  • Therapy & Medicine
  • Retail & Wholesale
  • Industrial Design and Architecture
  • Marketing & Sales
  • & so on…

So now I think I have some valid points that can convince you that virtual reality will be one of the greatest thing coming in the next few years. The change we are luring which in action will lighten the entire tech industry. Change is must and with change comes innovation as well as development.

We all know that Change is must and with Change comes innovation as well as development.

That was something which was important to explain and clarify to you. So if you’re not yet convinced or have doubts in your mind then let’s dig out some more from the ground of Virtual Reality System.

Features of Virtual Reality:

Yeah..! Features of any technology not only VR systems are important and play a key role in defining the particular technology.

Let’s see some of the key features of Virtual Reality Technology:

  • 3-Dimensional View of Images & Videos
  • Zoom In or Out on the image or the video
  • Interactive as the changes in the environment are depicted while the user performs movements
  • Fast enough to reflect changes in the environment making everything believable and realistic
  • Top class resolution that meets the eye
  • Wide range of Control Bars and Buttons
  • Excellent use of sensors to detect how movements are occurring
  • Immersive technology that binds the user with the sights and sounds of the virtual world
  • VR is a two-way interaction technology: As you respond to what you see in the imaginary world and what you see in the imaginary world responds to you directly.
  • Two screens (one for each eye), surround-sound speakers for extreme experience
  • Completely Realistic and Enjoyable

These were the some of the common features and characteristics that we can see in all types of virtual reality systems.

Types of equipment to Experience Virtual Reality:

Now the keystroke comes to play and looks like it will definitely smash every point on the table.

As I think it is a very common question which equipment are required to play with virtual reality. Each one of us has seen a person wearing a weird thing on the eyes that are wrapped around the head with a belt and either the belt is connected to a cable that is further connected to a computer.

The very first thing that is important to get started is:

Virtual Reality Head-mounted displays (HMDs):

You can also call this as a helmet-mounted display that is worn on the head that acts like a helmet which comprises of one monocular HMD for both the eyes.

You can also say HMD’s are a pair of virtual reality goggles with two small displays that are fitted with lenses and semi-transparent mirrors which have the capability to display a wide range of stereoscopic images and also the ability to showcase a realistic 3D perspective of the virtual world to the user.

Usually, most of the HMDs include a head tracker so that the system can respond to head movements.

VR DataGloves:

DataGloves are often referred to as wired glove which is an interactive device that is usually worn like a glove to facilitate human–computer interaction.

DataGloves are also a key part of the virtual reality systems that has the keen ability to detect hand and figure motions which ultimately gives the user the power to handle virtual objects in the virtual world of virtual reality.

The complete phenomenon of the DataGloves works on light sensors that examine the amount of light required to facilitate the action and lastly, the computer uses the exact amount of light to capture what your fingers are doing either flexing in the forward direction or in the backward.

Virtual Reality Workbenches:

VR Workbenches are basically large display monitors that allowed multiple people to view the image or the video at the same time. The display is really very flexible which can be viewed either horizontally or vertically just like a bench or table as per the easiness of the users.

The important thing about the workbenches is that users have to wear special goggles while they are watching images and videos displayed in the VR workbench. There are sensors that allow users to interact with the workbenches.

Virtual Reality Wands

Wands are basically like a stick or you can say as Joysticks, they are much simpler in design than the DataGloves and are very much productive in their job.

Wands are equipped with motion sensors, accelerometers, mouse-like buttons or some may contain scroll wheels for scrolling and other activities.

These were some of the tools that are required if you want a hands-on experience on Virtual Reality systems. Although there are many more extensions that make virtual reality experience even more impressive, but they are add-ons.

As everything is getting compact day by day from computers to mobiles likewise in the coming future the virtual reality systems will also get compact and reduced, something like a wireless gadget.

Is everything fine? After going through such a long article.

Yeah…! That’s good and superb from your side, Thanks for your patience. Let’s take a long breath and continue further on some terrific knowledge part.

As we know are aware of Virtual Reality, its history, its features, applications and more. Now the time has come to get introduced to some of the leading and trending virtual reality devices and virtual reality headsets that have taken the virtual reality market by storm.

Let’s see who are the market leaders:

Market Leaders of Virtual Reality Headsets:

You know what there are many companies that are busy in the development of VR headsets but the biggest companies like Facebook, Sony, Google etc. has already marched their players in the playground. Let’s see them one by one:

1. Oculus Rift:

Oculus Rift by Facebook

Oculus Rift is one of the leading virtual reality headsets that was first designed by Palmer Luckey in 2010 but later on in 2014 it was bought by Facebook and now it is very well developed and manufactured by Oculus VR that is known as a division of Facebook Inc.

The Oculus is a very advanced device that certainly doesn’t require sticking a phone inside the device to experience VR. The Oculus is indeed one of the finest HMD devices that I think everyone might like to grab on.

The Oculus is designed with a soft fabric which is comfortable, adaptable, and beautiful. The device has superb head tracker sensor that excellently tracks your head movement in all directions and lays you with a perfect all around view of the virtual objects.

The Rift has the capability to get connected to your computer device using the DVI and USB ports and generates ultimate graphics and imaging quality.

The Rift has following specialties:

Field of View: 110 degrees

Resolution: 1,080 by 1,200 (per eye) or 2160 x 1200

Refresh Rate: 90 Hz.

Sensors: Motion, External Visual Positioning

Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

2. Samsung Gear VR:

samsung gear VR

Once again Samsung Electronics developed a superb and top class mobile virtual reality headset that has the technologies of the next-generation. The gear is extremely comfortable to wear, comprises of a high field of view, loaded with IMU for rotational tracking not only this but the device has touchpad and back button on the side for more convenience of the device.

The proximity sensors are awesome when it comes detecting every inch movement of the user. The Samsung Gear VR gets easily connected with the smartphone via micro-USB. The devices supporting the VR headset are Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge+, or Galaxy S7/S7 Edge.

Field of View: 101 degrees

Resolution: 1440 x 1280 (per eye)

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz.

Sensors: Motion, Presence

Connections: USB 2.0, USB 3.0

3. HTC Vive:

HTC Vive VR

The HTC Vive is also the topmost rival of all the other VR headsets and is one of the best virtual reality headset developed by HTC and Valve Corporation. The Vive headsets utilize the “room scale” technology in a superb way which clearly is depicted from the fact that a user can grab objects in virtual reality, and even walk around one to another room easily basically it transforms a room to a 3D space via sensors.

The HTC Vive has 70 sensors and is the only virtual reality headset that is built on Valve’s SteamVR platform.

Field of View: 110 degrees

Resolution: 1,080 by 1,200 (per eye)

Refresh Rate: 90 Hz.

Sensors: Motion, Camera, External Motion Tracking

Connections: HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

4. Sony PlayStation VR:

sony playstation vr

As we all know that Sony PlayStation VR is very well known as Project Morpheus which is also a high-rated virtual reality headset or HMD that is perfectly developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The company developed the VR so that it properly supports the Sony PlayStation 4 home video game console. The VR headset has an excellent 5.7-inch OLED panel, with a display resolution of 1080p where the gaming experience of any user lifts up to the next level.

Field of View: 100 degrees

Resolution: 960 by 1,080 (per eye)

Refresh Rate: 120 Hz.

Sensors: Motion, External Visual Positioning

Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0

5. Google Daydream View

google daydream view VR

Why Google will be on back foot when all other rivals of Google are going forward, so Google also launched their virtual reality headset named Google Daydream View. The VR headset is very simple in design, comprises of high-quality graphics in the virtual reality device.

The company also claims that the google VR is 30% lighter than other VR headsets available in the market. The headset is comprised of a wireless controller.

Field of View: 90 degrees

Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixel

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz.

Sensors: Motion

Connections: Wireless

MindBlowing VR gadgets…Really have to say all the companies are really working hard to come up with something that is valuable and gives 100% satisfaction to all the users.

These were the Best VR Headsets that are available in the market. If you are going to buy any of these then I guarantee that you will definitely experience something that is out of this world.

If you are looking for more pros and cons of these gadgets then you can just check any of the above gadgets at Amazon and then go for the purchase.

Simple & Sweet…If you’re a VR fan or you always wanted to experience virtual reality in real then I would recommend you going with any of these VR HMDs as they are the topmost which can give you the real life virtual experience.

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