Virtual Reality Headsets are Only Part of the Answer to Real VR Experiences. – ( TeK-THinK)
Without too much fanfare the age of Virtual Reality headsets is upon us. Maybe we stopped paying any serious attention to the promise of VR since the term “artificial reality” was first used in the 1970s and for the next 40 years seemingly disappeared.
Well is seems that the headsets at least have come a long way since then with some very recent advancements made by likes of Google and Sony (and others) in the technology. So now we have high production level units that are either on the market or will be by Christmas of this year but what can we do with them, video games?
The real power of VR is not video games. Consider a VR trip to a refugee camp in Europe where the problem of massive immigration from Sierra is very real. In this VR experience you can turn 360 degrees and see people in all directions. People that react to your presence, wave and talk to you. In this way you will be as close to being in that camp as one of the residents as you can possibly get ( without actually there). How deep on an understanding would be possible to reach from this experience? Very deep indeed.
As with all technology and forms of communication the possibility exists to do something truely evil with VR as well as good. We must not be afraid of the few, but embrace the advantage to the many.
Personal video and social media have also exploded in the last 10 years. I mean where will we put all of the pictures and videos that we create? Google is going to have to cover the planet with servers just to keep up. A very well known personal video camera system is GoPro who offers some great, ruggedly built, sports cameras for around $500. However these are single direction cameras not capable of shooting meaningful VR content.
That being said, GoPro has recently combined 16 of their camera’s in a 360 degree synchronized environment called the GoPro Odyssey. The intent of the Odyssey is provide a VR video system that is ready to go for film makers to create real VR content. The first units of this are being released only to qualifying video-graphers and you must submit an application. So if you feel creative and now how you can change the world with one, go for it.
I can hardly wait for the shift to VR and wonderful VR content that is yet to be created.
Here is one of the more popular GoPro videos on the web.
Virtual Reality in its modern usage was popularized by Jaron Lanier through his company VPL Research. VPL Research held many of the mid eighties VR patents and they developed first widely used HMD.