Event Tech Case Studies, Applications, Technologies
Category: Virtual Reality
Not to be mixed with augmented reality, virtual reality provides an individual with total immersion. Creating a realistic 3D image or artificial environment that is created with a mixture of interactive hardware and software, in which the individual reacts with in a seemingly real or physical way.
A virtual world is a three-dimensional environment that is often, but not necessarily, realized through a medium (i.e. rendering, display, etc.) where one can interact with others and create objects as part of that interaction. In a virtual world, visual perspectives are responsive to changes in movement and interactions mimic those experienced in the real world.
Virtual reality immersion is the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. It encompasses the sense of presence, which is the point where the human brain believes that is somewhere it is really not, and is accomplished through purely mental and/or physical means. The state of total immersion exists when enough senses are activated to create the perception of being present in a non-physical world. Two common types of immersion include:
A deep mental state of engagement, with suspension of disbelief that one is in a virtual environment.
Exhibited physical engagement in a virtual environment, with suspension of disbelief that one is in a virtual environment.
Virtual reality requires as many of our senses as possible to be simulated. These senses include vision (visual), hearing (aural), touch (haptic), and more. Properly stimulating these senses requires sensory feedback, which is achieved through integrated hardware and software (also known as inputs). Examples of this hardware and inputs are discussed below as key components to a virtual reality system , which include head mounted displays (HMD), special gloves or hand accessories, and hand controls.
The element of interaction is crucial for virtual reality experiences to provide users with enough comfort to naturally engage with the virtual environment. If the virtual environment responds to a user’s action in a natural manner, excitement and senses of immersion will remain. If the virtual environment cannot respond quick enough, the human brain will quickly notice and the sense of immersion will diminish. Virtual environment responses to interaction can include the way a participant moves around or changes in their viewpoint; generally through movements of their head.
A virtual reality (or VR) headset is a device that you wear over your eyes like a pair of goggles. It blocks out all external light and shows you an image on high-definition screens in front of your eyes for full immersion. Many companies manufacture VR headsets, typically for console and PC. Several off these companies include Sony, Samsung, Apple and Google.
Facebook acquisition of the Oculus Rift is a clear indication that Mark Zuckerberg and his crew have their guns aimed at the virtual reality world. It is always Mark’s desire to have people use Facebook as their main portal for their web surfing needs and he wants to extend this with the inclusion of the virtual experience. Unlike others whose main focus is to use VR in gaming, Facebook hopes to use the technology in a wide variety of applications such as the facilitation of virtual meetings, virtual trips, teleportation etc.
Samsung has been a leader in the manufacture of electronics and is currently giving Apple a run for its money in the Smartphone industry. Not to be left behind in the virtual reality wars, Samsung is very much actively involved with the creation and development of various VR gear, primarily powered by Oculus and compatible with the Galaxy series of their Smartphone.
Alphabet is the holding company of Google and it is one of the industry leaders in the development of virtual reality. Alphabet has a division dedicated to virtual reality, with big names in the developer world such as Clay Bavor and Scott Broock on board. Currently, Alphabet is believed to be developing a standalone headset which is rumored to be a revolution in the industry. According to the rumors, the headset may not need a computer and will be fitted with outward facing cameras.
GoPro already has a reputation of being the go-to product for individuals interested in action shots. Now, the company is focused in producing 360, immersive content designed for virtual reality entertainment. These include gadgets such as camera mounts which can accommodate up to 16 cameras, the same direction taken by creators of VR content.
Apple isn’t left behind in claiming the lucrative market of the VR industry either. Just a few months ago, Apple obtained patents for its VR devices which will be compatible with the iPhone. Apple also acquired Metaio, a virtual reality firm responsible for engineering virtual catalogue for Ikea, and the acquisition is a clear indication that the company is keen on getting its foot wet in the VR world.
Sony is already very strong in the VR front with magnificent products such as the PlayStation VR headsets. These headsets combine hardware with content, hence making them very viable for all kinds of players. It is also important to remember that Sony VR headsets are now retailing lower than the Oculus by Facebook.
The runtime environment provides a state for the target machine to have access to resources such as software libraries, system variables and environment variables, and provide all necessary services and support to the processes involved in the execution of the application or program. In certain software or applications such as Adobe Flash Player or Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer the runtime environment is available to end users as well.
Software developers need a runtime environment to test their software’s functioning. As a result, all software development applications include a runtime environment component which allows the testing of the application during execution. Tracking bugs or debugging for any errors are done in most applications with the help of runtime environments. Runtime execution continues even if the application or program crashes. Most runtime environments are capable of reporting of why an application or program crashed. One of the more popular runtime environments is Java, which helps Java applets and applications to be executed in any machine which has a Java runtime environment installed.
The Oculus Rift is the headset that started the new age of VR. the Rift plugs into your computer’s DVI (or HDMI) and USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery on its stereo screens.
The new HTC Vive Pro takes the place of the original Vive, which was made in collaboration with PC games giant Valve. The Pro makes several minor upgrades that enhance the overall experience, like a better head strap that comes with built-in headphones.