Have you ever seen a group of dinosaurs walking past you or walked in space? Or do you wish take a virtual tour of the Seven wonders Of The World? As crazy as it may sound, this might become possible very soon. You can experience this and many other things with the help of a technology called Virtual Reality.
This technology has been in development for quite some time and is expected to become widely available to the world in the near future. Whenever that happens, it is going to immerse you in a simulated world where can move around and explore your surroundings in 3-D. The environment that will be created will be so realistic that you will simply forget that nothing around you in that fascinating world is real.
How does Virtual Reality work?
The technology is built into computers that can simulate a 3-D environment which the user can experience from anywhere, even from their homes. They either have to wear a VR headset or glasses, look at a computer screen or stereoscopic display to enter into the virtual world. If they want to further enhance the experience, they may wear additional gear that will further expand the technology.
The user will be able to explore the virtual world in the same way as he explores the real world around him. The objects appear to be life-sized and highly realistic to the user, resulting in his or her brain forgetting for that the world is virtual and not real. This immerses the user in the simulated world completely. And his movements and actions are also captured and rendered in that world. This ensures that the overall experience is electrifying for the user.
Experience Virtual Reality
This is a video released by World Surf League which lets you experience Virtual Reality with the Samsung Gear VR.
(The publisher of the video recommends that for best results you need to update your desktop browser. It is recommended to use the latest version of Chrome for optimal playback. Use your mouse to toggle and get the fully-immersive experience)
Is the technology fully developed?
You might be surprised to know that virtual reality was conceived as early as in the beginning of the 20th century. Since then scientists have been trying to make this concept a reality. The technology itself has been around for a few decades now, but it is far from being perfect. Most VR devices still deliver low resolution graphics and sound when put to full use. This is one of the main reasons why virtual reality devices have not become household gadgets. After all, you wouldn’t want poorly rendered dinosaurs to scare you around. Unless the image rendering, motion sensing and other important components of the technology becomes perfect, or even nearly perfect, it is not expected to become widely available.
When is it going to be available?
Virtual reality is already being used for some high-level applications. It is used for training of US military personnel who are presented with scenarios of virtual combat and learn survival strategies without being exposed to real warfare. It has also been used in some video games since the early 1990s. The modern PlayStations and some other video game consoles also use the technology.
The good news is that virtual reality has developed quite rapidly in recent years with many technology majors expecting it to have a bright future. They have spent big dollars in research and development aimed at making the technology perfect. Oculus VR, a leader in virtual reality technology was acquired by Facebook in early 2014. They were focusing on development of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality devices,. Since the acquisition, Facebook has taken this up as one of the most important projects that it is working upon. We expect to see virtual reality hardware being introduced by Facebook in the near future.
Some other leading companies like Sony, Samsung and HTC are expected to launch virtual reality headsets in the coming months. They plan to make these affordable and widely available to the general public. Facebook has plans to release products for immersive gaming first and then take the technology to other areas as well.
Another important component of virtual reality is the content that is required to create the virtual world. This is also largely a technology in development, which will take some more time to become perfect. The good news is that here also, media majors like Disney and Time Warner are taking keen interest and spending millions of dollars in research and development. They are focussing on producing content that will power the virtual reality headsets.
We do hope that the developers succeed in making the technology perfect very soon. Till that time the world will wait expectantly hoping to own a headset and experience the magical world virtual reality anytime they wish to.