‘I’m not really sure why I want one, but I know I do.’ Too many times that phrase has entered the mind of a computer/technology geek like me. Lately, I’ve been thinking those thoughts regarding VR (Virtual Reality) devices or headsets. They are all over right now. From a $5 piece of cardboard to a high end headset from one of the major phone manufacturers, you cannot look at story about technology and avoid the concept or advancements in the VR realm.
Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, LG 360, etc. are some of the endless options available right now to dive into your own virtual world. Most of the devices seem to be of the same idea - take your existing phone and snap it into the headset (Oculus Rift supplies the display, no phone needed). Strap the headset on and fire up some software that takes you to another world, or takes you live somewhere around this world. Couple this with 360 degree cameras and you will be able to experience ‘being there’. You can look and walk around while experiencing the sights and sounds as if you were really walking on a Caribbean beach.
Game developers are making immersive worlds to explore. The possibilities are endless. Imagine a small 360 degree camera attached to the starting quarterback at the big game. You’ll be able to see what he sees. Imagine a camera going through the Great Barrier Reef or the Grand Canyon. Take that video and compile it into a living world that you can experience virtually from your couch.
The technology manufacturers are already announcing the bundling of these devices with phones. Don’t be surprised if the next time you go in for a phone upgrade the friendly sales person asks you if you would like the VR headset that goes along with your phone. If you’re at all like me, you’ll say yes, not even knowing why. Like I said at the start, I don’t know why I want one, but I do. I might try one of the $5 cardboard versions just to see what it’s like. Apparently, my phone is capable of running the apps. The apps are there for me to download. I have no idea what to expect when I put the headset on, but I think I’ll be amazed at the possibilities of where this can lead. That’s all I want from the technology that I buy – to be amazed once in a while.
Oh yeah – I didn’t even mention the Microsoft HoloLens. That particular piece of technology takes this whole VR thing to another level. I’ll probably have to get one of those too.