Imagine if you could go to places on the other corner of the globe or may be beyond this planet say Mars…
Imagine if you could time travel and be a part of any era of time….
Imagine if you could train yourself, say, how to fly a spaceship, that too from the comforts of your armchair…
Imagine if you could see how a nascent town would be like in the days to come…
And, Imagine if you could arm yourself with power gizmos like your favourite Marvel character and slay the bad guys Yourself…
Don’t shudder away. Your fantasies are going to come real anytime soon!
Brace yourself for a revolutionary technology that has come to redefine the contours of how we perceive and make sense of the world – VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)!
VR has become a ubiquitous term lately. From the geeky digital news column, it has travelled to the front page itself and it is receiving a jaw-dropping reaction everywhere. To quote the computer techies, “It is the new COOL thing!”
WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY?
Let’s hop on to the VR bandwagon and understand what it is and why this crazy excitement around it.
VR simply is the digital simulation or replication of the environment, real or imagined. Immersion is the high road to reach it. The decisive feature that generates a successful VR experience is the real time exactness, which in technical parlance is known as high fidelity and low latency. What is aimed is partial or complete suspension of the user’s disbelief or scepticism. You completely immerse yourself to interact and connect to the world you are drawn to and you feel like YOU ARE ACTUALLY THERE. You will literally duck to escape the enemy’s blow in your favourite VR game!
The basic principle guiding the VR is Stereopsis. Since our vision is stereoscopic (meaning our eyes naturally produce binocular vision while viewing a real 3-D scene and the brain steps in to process it into one), the VR viewer simulates the same method by presenting two different images separately to each eye which gives a 3-D effect. 360 degree images and VR videos thus come to life.
PIONEERS OF VR
Year 2014, Google knocked down all the barriers on human capacities and laid before the world a Virtual Reality device – Google Cardboard. Though Oculus Rift was already in the market, but it failed to generate any ripples for being too clumsy to use. The Google Cardboard, on the other hand, is super easy to use and literally anyone can assemble it by following their instructions that are open to everyone.
The world has changed forever since then. Now, there is practically no limit to what a person can do and where he can reach.
Running on the Google’s prototype, VR headset devices from the world’s leading tech companies began to swarm the market like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, OnePlus Loop VR, PlayStation VR, Sulon Q, LG 360 VR, Zeiss VR One and One GX, Homido, Microsoft HoloLens, Aura VR are to name a few.
APPLICATIONS AND USES
You must have read and heard about VR’s incredible gaming experience. How you don the role of a messiah and save the world from an alien invasion, you virtually sit on a roller coaster ride and what not. There are many Android and iOS friendly applications floating on the internet to choose from. Not just 360 degree photographs, VR videos and movies are also available, download them and enjoy the experience of Telepresence.
Building a house or a shopping complex or planning a town itself, the architects always have a tough time making their designs clearer in a 2-D illustration. VR is the answer to their problems.
Iris VR, a New York based company, has made a software to make it compatible with 3-D designs to give it a feel as we are walking through the corridors or streets of the town. It, thus, helps in cutting down the prototyping expenses.
This January, the doctors in Florida demonstrated the phenomenal power of VR in medicine. The doctors used the Google Cardboard headset to understand the peculiar state of a four-month old baby. Converting the 2D images and MRI scans in 3D, they managed to frame their strategy and successfully operated on her. Several studies have even proved the better efficiency of doctors and surgeons trained through VR than otherwise.
Scared of heights, snakes, cockroaches, or anything? VR can help you get rid of your fears. Psychologists and Psychiatrists use Biofeedback and Exposure Therapy to treat phobias, PTSD, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems. VR headsets are going to come handy in treating mental health problems efficiently. Instead of exposing the patient to his phobia, the therapists can prepare him to take on the real environment virtually first. The methodology has already earned a terminology, Virtual Reality Therapy or VRT.
Similarly, the personnels can be trained for both combat and non-combat roles.
Imagine if you could enter the world of an artist’s imagination? How cool it would be! VR, when motion detectors are attached to it, can let this happen. Google Tilt Brush does just this. The artist moves around the 3D ‘canvas’, creates a fully-realised paintings, dioramas and abstract creations. There are no 3D galleries yet, but don’t be surprised to find them in the future.
Feels like visiting The Pyramids, but the air fares give you jitters? No problem. Wear your VR headset, download a 360 degree image or a video and you are teleported to your dream destination. It may not completely match the real thing, but it does come pretty close. No place on the planet and even beyond is inaccessible for you. Many museums have launched their virtual tours which are extremely beneficial for learners around the globe.
The VR has opened a plethora of opportunities hitherto unimaginable for us.
Come. Let’s dive in the VR world.
Image Credits: Google Images & 2vr.in