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Fast Five and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin put together this short film for Google's Spotlight Story program in 2016, and it's still one of the more ambitious live action VR shorts out there. Lin opts to use 360 cameras to put you in what feels like a big budget blockbuster, with an alien hellbent on chasing you through the subway. It's absolutely thrilling.

In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, with the help of his students including Bob Sproull, created what was widely considered to be the first head-mounted display system for use in immersive simulation applications. It was primitive both in terms of user interface and visual realism, and the HMD to be worn by the user was so heavy that it had to be suspended from the ceiling. The graphics comprising the virtual environment were simple wire-frame model rooms. The formidable appearance of the device inspired its name, The Sword of Damocles.
As of the end of 2018, the three best selling Virtual Reality headsets were Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR), Facebook’s Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. This was not a surprise, seeing as the same three HMDs had also been best sellers in 2017. 2019 sees the VR landscape broadening with Google, HP, Lenovo, and others looking to grab a piece of the still-burgeoning market. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaXjcIl-6q8&t=1s
Convincing Virtual Reality applications require more than just graphics. Both hearing and vision are central to a person’s sense of space. In fact, human beings react more quickly to audio cues than to visual cues. In order to create truly immersive Virtual Reality experiences, accurate environmental sounds and spatial characteristics are a must. These lend a powerful sense of presence to a virtual world. To experience the binaural audio details that go into a Virtual Reality experience, put on some headphones and tinker with this audio infographic published by The Verge.

Samsung’s approach to VR was different right from the beginning, and the Gear VR was an impressive piece of tech when it was first released in November of 2015. The Gear VR was a far more common sight than an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive in 2016 and 2017, largely because Samsung often gave the device away free with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Samsung’s VR HMD delivers a stripped-down VR experience, using Oculus head-tracking technology in combination with Android smartphones to power mobile VR experiences. Instead of dedicated display technology, lenses allow the phone’s screen to act as a stereoscopic display, making the device simpler and less expensive than other options. Samsung has added hand controllers to the Gear VR experience, bringing it more in line with current VR content. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsuyAIANYnw&t=1s


By 1994, Sega released the Sega VR-1 motion simulator arcade attraction,[18][19] in SegaWorld amusement arcades. It was able to track head movement and featured 3D polygon graphics in stereoscopic 3D, powered by the Sega Model 1 arcade system board.[20] Apple released QuickTime VR, which, despite using the term "VR", was unable to represent virtual reality, and instead displayed 360 photographic panoramas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30l5LO7gC6A&t=1s
To a degree, I’ve made it sound harder than it actually is since software has compensated for much of this, but these were some of the questions I was asking when I was first learning. I then started learning that some standard editing procedures could still be done. For example, I can still create image masks in 360°. So in truth, I still stood behind the camera the whole time along with others and gear and then masked myself out with a separate cut of footage showing the empty room. And for the motion graphics, (I use Adobe software) the software has built-in accommodations for editing and viewing in the 3D space so as to create accurate graphics. So in truth, once I learned, it wasn’t that hard, but boy is it time-consuming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FATfO8ScbCI&t=1s
In 2013, Valve Corporation discovered and freely shared the breakthrough of low-persistence displays which make lag-free and smear-free display of VR content possible.[31] This was adopted by Oculus and was used in all their future headsets. In early 2014, Valve showed off their SteamSight prototype, the precursor to both consumer headsets released in 2016. It shared major features with the consumer headsets including separate 1K displays per eye, low persistence, positional tracking over a large area, and fresnel lenses.[32][33] HTC and Valve announced the virtual reality headset HTC Vive and controllers in 2015. The set included tracking technology called Lighthouse, which utilized wall-mounted "base stations" for positional tracking using infrared light.[34][35][36] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIC7W8VYOdY&t=1s
The HTC Vive has been one of the best VR HMDs on the market since its consumer release back in 2016. Manufactured by HTC, the Vive was the first VR HMD to support SteamVR. The Vive has been locked in fierce competition with the Oculus Rift since release, as both headsets aimed at the same top end of the VR enthusiast market. The Vive has proven itself a durable workhorse for enterprise solutions, while also delivering one of the best consumer VR experiences available. The Vive was first released back in 2016, and has gone through several iterations, with the addition of a wireless module. The Vive Pro came out in 2018 and the Vive Pro Eye and the HTC Vive Cosmos are both slated for release in the second half of 2019.
To a degree, I’ve made it sound harder than it actually is since software has compensated for much of this, but these were some of the questions I was asking when I was first learning. I then started learning that some standard editing procedures could still be done. For example, I can still create image masks in 360°. So in truth, I still stood behind the camera the whole time along with others and gear and then masked myself out with a separate cut of footage showing the empty room. And for the motion graphics, (I use Adobe software) the software has built-in accommodations for editing and viewing in the 3D space so as to create accurate graphics. So in truth, once I learned, it wasn’t that hard, but boy is it time-consuming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FATfO8ScbCI&t=1s
Independent production of VR images and video has increased by the development of omnidirectional cameras, also known as 360-degree cameras or VR cameras, that have the ability to record 360 interactive photography, although at low-resolutions or in highly-compressed formats for online streaming of 360 video.[46] In contrast, photogrammetry is increasingly used to combine several high-resolution photographs for the creation of detailed 3D objects and environments in VR applications.[47][48]
If the last applies to you, you're likely a computer scientist or engineer, many of whom now avoid the words virtual reality even while they work on technologies most of us associate with VR. Today, you're more likely to hear someone use the words virtual environment (VE) to refer to what the public knows as virtual reality. We'll use the terms interchangeably in this article. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Insta360-Pro-8K-360-VR-Video-Camera-4K-100fps-Slow-Motion-Anti-shake-Panoramic-Camera-VR/32832297122.html
When it comes to moving your feet, most peripherals are stuck in traditional gaming mode: You jump with 'A' or use a joystick to walk, ignoring immersive motion from the waist down. Believing VR should have some more mobility options, the folks at 3DRudder created a VR footpad that allows the user to control all movement – horizontal, vertical and turning – using only their feet. (No word on realistically jerky jumping as of yet, though.)
If the last applies to you, you're likely a computer scientist or engineer, many of whom now avoid the words virtual reality even while they work on technologies most of us associate with VR. Today, you're more likely to hear someone use the words virtual environment (VE) to refer to what the public knows as virtual reality. We'll use the terms interchangeably in this article.
One place Microsoft has succeeded in how easy it is to set up its WMR headsets. It uses inside-out tracking, so you won't need to go plug in a bunch of sensors to make sure your headset is being seen. These headsets have built-in cameras and sensors that handle all of that. They'll even track the Windows Mixed Reality controllers, which suffer a bit because they rely on the headset being able to see them clearly to properly track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSmEWgA_IyM&t=1s
Google keeps taking stabs at Virtual Reality, but the company’s impact has thus far been limited. The lack of a big-time success hasn’t been for lack of trying. Google was there in the earliest days of this current VR cycle with Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself approach to mobile VR that has become a staple of trade shows — Cardboard was even given out free to New York Times subscribers, bundled with their Sunday paper. Google famously stumbled with Google Glass (itself a Mixed Reality HMD, not VR — more on this below). But Google is not deterred! In 2018, the company launched its Daydream platform and Daydream View HMD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVLfEHXQk08&t=1s
However, because the Lighthouse sensors need good vantage points to track all your head and hand movements, it means mounting them up high. This makes setup for the Vive a bit convoluted compared to, say, the Rift or PSVR. For the Rift, you can just plop down the sensors on a desk, though to get the same 360 tracking you'll need to buy an extra sensor (the Touch bundle gets you two). However, when you get Lighthouse all ready the effect is next-level – enough to make using the PlayStation VR or Rift feel like a step back at times. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Insta360-ONE-4-Karat-360-VR-Video-Sport-Action-Kamera-24MP-Kugel-Zeit-6-achsen-Gyroskop/32836758396.html
Like the Go, you'll need the companion app on your smartphone to set the headset and the controllers up, but it doesn't take very long at all to do. Then you can start downloading apps, games and experiences from the app or through the headset and there's familiar titles here that have already popped up on the pricier Rift. So, Beat Saber, Thumper, Space Pirate Trainer, and Creed: Rise to Glory all make the cut. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/VR-Camera-Build-in-Wifi-Mini-Panoramic-Camera-360-Degree-Waterproof-Sport-Driving-360-Action-Camera/32812534715.html
Google keeps taking stabs at Virtual Reality, but the company’s impact has thus far been limited. The lack of a big-time success hasn’t been for lack of trying. Google was there in the earliest days of this current VR cycle with Google Cardboard, a do-it-yourself approach to mobile VR that has become a staple of trade shows — Cardboard was even given out free to New York Times subscribers, bundled with their Sunday paper. Google famously stumbled with Google Glass (itself a Mixed Reality HMD, not VR — more on this below). But Google is not deterred! In 2018, the company launched its Daydream platform and Daydream View HMD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVLfEHXQk08&t=1s
By 2016, there have been at least 230 companies developing VR-related products. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung all had dedicated AR and VR groups. Dynamic binaural audio was common to most headsets released that year. However, haptic interfaces were not well developed, and most hardware packages incorporated button-operated handsets for touch-based interactivity. Visually, displays were still of a low-enough resolution and frame rate that images were still identifiable as virtual.[39] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bWRjajx-LE&t=1s
In 2010, Palmer Luckey designed the first prototype of the Oculus Rift. This prototype, built on a shell of another virtual reality headset, was only capable of rotational tracking. However, it boasted a 90-degree field of vision that was previously unseen in the consumer market at the time. Distortion issues arising from the lens used to create the field of vision were corrected for by software written by John Carmack for a version of Doom 3. This initial design would later serve as a basis from which the later designs came.[25] In 2012, the Rift is presented for the first time at the E3 gaming trade show by Carmack.[26][27] In 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for what at the time was stated as $2 billion[28] but later revealed that the more accurate figure was $3 billion.[27] This purchase occurred after the first development kits ordered through Oculus' 2012 Kickstarter had shipped in 2013 but before the shipping of their second development kits in 2014.[29] Zenimax, Carmack's former employer, sued Oculus and Facebook for taking company secrets to Facebook;[27] the verdict was in favour of Zenimax, settled out of court later.[30] https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32871493166.html
The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’. The definition of ‘virtual’ is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term ‘virtual reality’ basically means ‘near-reality’. This could, of course, mean anything but it usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJype_TafRk&t=1s
At some point the 2.0 Lighthouse sensors will arrive with a new curved design and support to add up to four at once (right now it's just two). Meanwhile, the Vive's Trackers enable you to bring any object into VR, and some developers have already found some creative uses for them. These, combined with the TPCast's wireless adapter, gives the Vive the advantage in the tech battle. However, if you wait a little while you can get your hands on the new Vive Pro Eye, which adds new eye-tracking technology (more on that further below). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTsLkUqDcz0&t=1s
David Em became the first artist to produce navigable virtual worlds at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from 1977 to 1984.[8] The Aspen Movie Map, a crude virtual tour in which users could wander the streets of Aspen in one of the three modes (summer, winter, and polygons), was created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1978. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO9U_XxN-Kc&t=1s
In 2013, Valve Corporation discovered and freely shared the breakthrough of low-persistence displays which make lag-free and smear-free display of VR content possible.[31] This was adopted by Oculus and was used in all their future headsets. In early 2014, Valve showed off their SteamSight prototype, the precursor to both consumer headsets released in 2016. It shared major features with the consumer headsets including separate 1K displays per eye, low persistence, positional tracking over a large area, and fresnel lenses.[32][33] HTC and Valve announced the virtual reality headset HTC Vive and controllers in 2015. The set included tracking technology called Lighthouse, which utilized wall-mounted "base stations" for positional tracking using infrared light.[34][35][36] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD4ryByjVyo&t=1s
You can float down the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon in this immersive VR adventure. Start off in calm waters and quickly get blasted in the rough whitewater rapids of the Hance, Granite, and Hermit. If you've always wanted to try an adventure on the rapids, but are a bit scared, this video will give you a sense of what it's like without the wet side effects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x76yky4o4KA&t=1s
The trade-off, besides the clunky cables, is the price. The least expensive tethered options are currently around $400. And that's before you address the processing issue; the Rift S and the Vive both need pretty powerful PCs to run, while the PS VR requires a PlayStation 4. If the cost isn't a deal breaker but the cables are, HTC offers a wireless adapter for the Vive, but it requires a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot to work. There are also third-party wireless adapters for the Rift, but we can't guarantee how well they work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG4jSz_2HDY&t=1s

Everything that we know about our reality comes by way of our senses. In other words, our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of sensory information and our brains sense-making mechanisms for that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with made-up information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it. You would be presented with a version of reality that isn’t really there, but from your perspective it would be perceived as real. Something we would refer to as a virtual reality. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/OSSC-HDMI-Converter-Kit-for-Retro-Game-Console-PlayStation-1-2-Xbox-one-360-Atari-Series/32969633292.html
From the different headsets we've tested, the hardware is sound and the setup is simple, but position tracking isn't as accurate as tethered headsets with external sensors or the Rift S' new outward-facing tracking cameras. Also, the Windows Mixed Reality store doesn't have as many compelling VR experiences as the Rift and SteamVR stores, though you can use SteamVR games on Windows Mixed Reality headsets, again with some software wrestling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvCKXADeW34&t=1s
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