Microsoft HoloLens is shaping up to be another formidable competitor in the HMD market. Unlike VR tech, Microsoft based their display on holographic technology. The original Hololens was more proof of concept than consumer device, and the recently announced Hololens 2 is again eschewing the public in favor of enterprise/government uses. The Hololens 2 will feature upgraded visuals, including a much-expanded field of view — music to fans of the original device, who settled on the limited FOV as the main drawback of the device. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlQt4HNIFXE&t=1s
Google and Samsung were the biggest names in mobile VR, with Google Cardboard and the Daydream View, and Samsung's line of Gear VR headsets. They respectively worked with Google's and Samsung's flagship phones, like the Pixel 3 and the Galaxy S9. However, both companies have been very quiet over the last year or so about the category, and we've yet to see a Gear VR headset compatible with the Galaxy S10 series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vgBDiDpLmU&t=1s
Special input devices are required for interaction with the virtual world. These include the 3D mouse, the wired glove, motion controllers, and optical tracking sensors. Controllers typically use optical tracking systems (primarily infrared cameras) for location and navigation, so that the user can move freely without wiring. Some input devices provide the user with force feedback to the hands or other parts of the body, so that the human being can orientate himself in the three-dimensional world through haptics and sensor technology as a further sensory sensation and carry out realistic simulations. Additional haptic feedback can be obtained from omnidirectional treadmills (with which walking in virtual space is controlled by real walking movements) and vibration gloves and suits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiN4q5ThUxE&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. In contrast, photogrammetry is increasingly used to combine several high-resolution photographs for the creation of detailed 3D objects and environments in VR applications. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azRl1dI-Cts&t=1s
Nintendo's Labo series of games/arts-and-crafts sets for the Nintendo Switch have interested us since the first Labo Variety Kit came out. You build your own controllers with cardboard and play games using the Switch and motion-sensing Joy-Con controllers. Now Nintendo has returned to VR (a field it hasn't set foot in since the ill-fated Virtual Boy) with its fourth Labo package, the Labo VR Kit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRi-SvU7imU&t=1s
Basically, these AR headsets have transparent lenses that let you look at your surroundings, instead of completely replacing your vision with a computer-generated image. They can still project images over whatever you're looking at, but those images are designed to complement and interact with the area around you. You can make a web browser pop up in the middle of a room, for instance, or watch animals run around your coffee table. It's fascinating technology that could hint at the future of computing. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Product-Brazilian-Virgin-Hair-360-Lace-Frontal-Straight-With-Baby-Hair-Lace-Frontal-Wig-360/32733906711.html
Answering “what is virtual reality” in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.
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.aliexpress.com/item/Amkov-Mini-360-Video-Camera-V1-Action-Camera-Dual-Image-Stabilization-Mini-Panorama-Camera-360-Degree/32859282955.html
Bottom line, if you're looking for a VR experience that's closer to the Rift and the Vive without the big price tag and the setup, this is the one you want. The room tracking is fantastic, the controllers are the best we've used and while it won't play all of the top end Rift games, there's a good collection of games and experiences to try out already that will hopefully grow over the coming months. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCYhcFVgCKg&t=1s
Daydream comes with a 3DoF (degrees of freedom) controller and supports most smartphones, but the quality of VR will vary depending on the phone you're slotting in there. While the quality of games can't compete with the big names, the Daydream platform has consolidated over the past year with a respectable lineup – including Wareable favourite Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X6XAbRfk6c&t=1s
Visuals are delivered via an OLED display that offers 1,440 x 1,660 resolution per eye. There's also a built-in speaker with the option to plug in headphones for a more isolated experience. While the VR experience might be on par with those PC-powered headsets, it's still very good and a big step up from the Oculus Go. Games run nice and smooth, though the smartphone-like processing power does mean some titles can take slightly long to load up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1odROVjOISc&t=1s
No conversation about Mixed Reality HMDs is ever complete until someone brings up Apple. Yes, the company has no available or announced devices in this space — but there isn’t a soul following technology trends that doesn’t believe the Cupertino giant isn’t a) working on some kind of AR glasses, b) acquiring companies that make lenses and materials that are perfect for some kind of AR glasses, and c) talking about AR as a transformational technology every time a microphone appears. The rumor mill says Apple’s glasses could appear in 2019, but we have our money on a 2020 launch, alongside a newly redesigned and reimagined iPhone that moves away from the “iPhone X design” for the first time since it launched. Stay tuned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8rHmosvbs&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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS_-ZMcGnow&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
It's also got a bunch of doodads to help you customise your mobile experience. Adjust the lenses all you want, click two buttons to interact with your content; pop out the front window in case you ever need to use it for mixed/augmented reality purposes. Speaking of which, Merge now also sells the AR Merge cube, which lets you put mixed reality experiences in the palm of your hand. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/MCOB-LED-Bulb-E27-E26-High-Bright-Full-Power-Lampada-360-Degree-Angle-Lamparas-4W-6W/32661021352.html
By 1994, Sega released the Sega VR-1 motion simulator arcade attraction, 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. Apple released QuickTime VR, which, despite using the term "VR", was unable to represent virtual reality, and instead displayed 360 photographic panoramas. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Rxy-360-Lace-Frontal-Wigs-For-Black-Women-Straight-Pre-Plucked-100-Human-Hair-Wig-With/32810709791.html
The first fine art virtual world was created in the 1970s. As the technology developed, more artistic programs were produced throughout the 1990s, including feature films. When commercially available technology became more widespread, VR festivals began to emerge in the mid-2010s. The first uses of VR in museum settings began in the 1990s, seeing a significant increase in the mid-2010s. Additionally, museums have begun making some of their content virtual reality accessible. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Nintendo-Switch-Silicone-Case-Cover-All-in-one-Silicon-360-Degree-Protective-Case-for-Nintendo-Switch/32799384114.html
That same year, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Daniel J. Sandin and Thomas A. DeFanti from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory created the first cubic immersive room, the Cave automatic virtual environment (CAVE). Developed as Cruz-Neira's PhD thesis, it involved a multi-projected environment, similar to the holodeck, allowing people to see their own bodies in relation to others in the room. Antonio Medina, a MIT graduate and NASA scientist, designed a virtual reality system to "drive" Mars rovers from Earth in apparent real time despite the substantial delay of Mars-Earth-Mars signals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOEyGEGypvs&t=1s
Answering “what is virtual reality” in technical terms is straight-forward. Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sBQM2atjrE&t=1s
Expand your media adventures and social gaming communities with accessories and peripherals created for virtual reality. For example, a VR controller offers seamless integration with virtual reality games to give you more control over your virtual environment. Beyond PC gaming, virtual reality experiences also encompass other forms of video. Virtual reality-compatible cameras capable of filming in 360 degrees offer you the chance to view and edit your footage, along with other VR-ready components. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a54H2V06dqw&t=1s
This seems simple enough in theory (simple is relative), but in practice, shooting in 360° requires a whole new mindset. Typically, when shooting a video, I would just stand behind the camera. But with 360° video, I’d be in the shot no matter where I stand. How can I light my model with studio lights, if the studio lights would also always be in the shot? How do I capture audio? How do I do camera movements? These are all questions that have to have a solution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrcqqhn-unA&t=1s
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.youtube.com/watch?v=_zUCMfYkgj0&t=1s
Google and Samsung were the biggest names in mobile VR, with Google Cardboard and the Daydream View, and Samsung's line of Gear VR headsets. They respectively worked with Google's and Samsung's flagship phones, like the Pixel 3 and the Galaxy S9. However, both companies have been very quiet over the last year or so about the category, and we've yet to see a Gear VR headset compatible with the Galaxy S10 series.
The PlayStation VR is compelling thanks to Sony backing development for it and the affordability and availability of the PlayStation 4 compared with gaming PCs. All you need is the headset, a PlayStation 4, and a PlayStation Camera (now included with most PlayStation VR bundles). There are some excellent games on PS VR like Moss, Rez Infinite, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, with Sony and other developers working on several more (including Five Nights at Freddy's VR).
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.
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. In 2012, the Rift is presented for the first time at the E3 gaming trade show by Carmack. In 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for what at the time was stated as $2 billion but later revealed that the more accurate figure was $3 billion. 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. Zenimax, Carmack's former employer, sued Oculus and Facebook for taking company secrets to Facebook; the verdict was in favour of Zenimax, settled out of court later.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqmBa8FPMx8&t=1s