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The future of VR

April 19, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Introduction

Virtual reality (VR) is a growing fascination which simulates fantasy or real-world experiences within a computer-generated scenario. Over the past few years VR has become increasingly popular, more so since the release of the highly rated Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Back in February 2017, McDonalds IT released the blog “Virtual Reality – Just a gimmick or here to stay?”. Since then a lot has changed, with new ideas, products, and concepts released into the market in attempt to continue to fuel this caught on obsession.  We follow up from our previous blog with some examples of how this concept has expanded.

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New Systems and Updates

A lot has happened over a year in the VR world, with a lot of new announcements coming from major developers in the industry such as HTC and Oculus, who are both looking to build upon their first line of virtual reality developments in the near future. For HTC, this comes in the form of the Vive Pro, with a completely new ergonomic design, as well as the capability to play wirelessly in the new, optically enhanced, high-res soundstage headset, it really shows how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. With its first shipments being sent out on the 5th of April, it won’t be long until we can experience a vastly improved upon virtual reality system. While HTC are going down the road of enhanced PC gaming, Oculus are starting to take a very different approach.  The recently announced Oculus Go will allow users to experience high quality VR without the PC to back it. The all-in-one design that Oculus is going for doesn’t seem to be servicing the VR enthusiasts like the Vive Pro is, but rather letting the general public get their hands on a new wave of technology. Though a release date has not yet been made for this device, Oculus speculates that the Go will be available to purchase in early 2018.

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Development of VR

Though Virtual reality devices from HTC and Oculus are currently taking the spotlight, there are actually quite a few different options that companies in the head mounted devices industry are currently looking into. Mixed reality, the combination of the real world and the virtual world, is what Microsoft is currently looking into with their HoloLens. The HoloLens was launched as a developer product back in 2016, and though the consumer version has yet to be announced, Microsoft are marketing the product as the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, which could really widen the range of possibilities for VR fans when it comes to the consumer market. This HMD has been in the works for many years now, developing many different uses such as building designs / architecture, commercial uses for testing out products, car manufacturing, all of this and more, with the capability to seamlessly blend reality with the virtual world, with no cords, no additional hardware and no need for a handheld device to use the technology, as HoloLens is controlled completely with your own hands.

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VR Accessories - Virtuix Omni

The Virtuix Omni is a treadmill simulator accessory for virtual reality games. Although still in development, it allows gamers to simulate freedom of movement within a virtual environment, which otherwise would be restricted by walls, furniture, and the VR hardware itself. The design of the treadmill is omnidirectional, which means gamers can move in any direction with their feet in contact with the surface.

Acting as a standard controller, it is designed to work with any game, but can also be used in virtual environments related to training, fitness, and tourism.

The Virtuix website has some detailed instructional videos on assembling, entering, and moving around within the Omni, and with instructions on how to set it up with the HTC Vive.

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Conclusion

After a year of speculation, I think it might be safe to say that virtual reality is here to stay. It may not be perfect, and it won’t be for a while, but at the pace the industry is going, revealing wireless technologies, improved hardware, and even knew ways to experience your virtual worlds, it hopefully won’t be too long before VR becomes an iconic landmark in the current world.

 

If you would like any further information on these devices or have any other queries, please feel free to contact us at sales@mcdonaldsit.co.nz

Created by Rory McDonalds & Chris Walters




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