Why VR? #001

The “GetNoticed!” contest has started for good so it’s time to start blogging. The first post will be less technical to provide an intro to virtual reality as technology and share my ideas around it. The contest requires technical posts each week so the next one will have some meat in it.

Virtual Reality (VR for short) is a new immersive medium that more than ever can take you into new, created worlds. Like cinema or video games before they are not real (but virtual) but provide new opportunities and environments for quite amazing journeys and stories to play out. The difference is mainly the level of immersion for the user.

Imagine watching a short film on a busy and loud train using your mobile phone. Then compare it to watching a horror movie all by yourself in a dark room on a large screen with a high quality sound. I’m sure you get the difference. Some of us would probably be scared of a demon waiting for us in the bathroom 😉

VR goes even further than this. Not only it exchanges a flat screen (size doesn’t matter, for once 😉 ) with full 360 degrees experience but it actually blocks you from the real world by providing virtual image and sound all around you.

What can we do with such technology? Let’s start with some entertainment that was already mentioned – movies. When IMAX used the phrase “watch a movie or be part of one” it was just a marketing B$. As much as I love to see movies in IMAX theater, after all it is just a bigger screen. When you watch your first movie, you really can say you were part of it.

Then you add interaction and personalization and you get video games like never before. Those new VR horror games may scare the c#$p of you. Not kidding. We’ll get into games in many of the next posts.

From games we go to education. It’s often the case that a programmer started with games to get himself/herself into coding later. Almost everything can be learn online now and soon it will be possible to learn it quicker and better in VR. There are already first demos of VR possibilities, including virtual presence, more efficient communication (including body language) and unlimited possibilities of learning tools. This time everyone will be able to create new ways of teaching and learning. VR along with AR (augmented reality) could be the platform for Education 3.0 (will write about it in another post).

That is just the beginning. The first versions of consumer products are out there and you can try VR for as little as couple of bucks for a cardboard for your mobile. Not let that make you think that the quality is not there yet. Oculus Rift with Touch, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive provide really cool experiences while Samsung Gear VR is quite affordable. 2017 brings all new list of hardware from many different manufacturers and software packs are getting their new releases very often.

But that’s the topic of our next post 🙂

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