VR games, VR apps and VR videos
VR games, VR apps and VR videos. Virtual reality applications are all the rage at the moment! What exactly are they and what are they good for? If you want to know what VR is about then read on.
VR games, VR apps and VR videos
The VR part stands for Virtual Reality, which is a digital world that we can interact with on various devices. VR games seems to be the most popular application at the moment but education and marketing (as VR apps) are making inroads. And VR video is also becoming more popular, now that the tech is freely and easily available. It is already cheaper to develop a VR app than a mobile app.
The biggest and most impressive VR project that we all know is Google streetview. And we have Google to thank for perfecting the technology for shooting and creating 360 degree VR pictures. Facebook also helped when they open sourced their stitching software. Camera companies have also had an impact with the creation of quality, consumer level 360 degree cameras.
The devices we use to interact with VR have also improved dramatically. From the marvelous (‘cos it is cheap) Google cardboard viewer to the Oculous rift or HTC vive (which track brilliantly, at a cost:). The point here is that many factors have combined to see a huge growth in the availability and popularity of VR games, VR apps and VR videos.
VR videos are by far the most accessible to everyone because Google has developed the tech to allow users to upload 360 degree video, which anyone can view in the usual Youtube player. What you will find when watching a VR video is that you can click and drag with your mouse to rotate the picture. It is real cool. Here is an example, try it.
To shoot VR images and video you just need the right camera (or cameras with rig). Some cellphones can even shoot 360 degree images (with an app like streetview). Of course, if you want broadcast quality video, you need a more special (& expensive) camera. The 360 degree images are JPEG format and the videos are MP4. Thanks goodness we didn’t get new image and video formats just for this…
VR games are becoming more accessible. You used to have to have a dedicated device but then cellphones started incorporating the tech and brought out a viewer which holds your phone. The big difference is that your cellphone has limited processing and tracking ability. A dedicated VR device is usually plugged into a powerful computer and has better motion tracking. What that means is that the VR games on a dedicated device are better quality (at this point in time).
Right now you need a top end phone to be able to play VR games, check your phone’s specs. If you phone can do VR then head off to the app store and check out the VR games. Just bear in mind you will need to get some kind of “viewer” to hold you phone while you use these VR apps and VR games.
Playstation fans of course, are busy jumping up and down going “hey, what about Playstation VR?”. It is true, playstation has released a VR headset and many of their games can be played in VR. Due to the general popularity of gaming & the cool factor of VR, I expect we are going to see lots and lots of VR games and VR gaming sets in the near future.
Be warned VR gaming is highly addictive, once you get started you might not be able to stop…
VR apps are the most interesting to me being a developer. VR apps can start with either a VR image or VR footage (video) or even a virtual world designed in a 3D program like Maya. Then on top of that, developers like me, can add interaction(s). That means you can add buttons which when clicked or “gazed at” will open the next scene, allowing the user to move around your VR world. Or we can add a video layer which will show a Youtube movie. Or just a text layer with text information. Or surround sound audio layers…and much, much more.
That means you can create VR apps for a huge amount of real world applications. From training to recruitment, from marketing to brand awareness, from real estate to mining, the applications are endless. Companies that want to stay ahead of the curve are hard at work designing their VR showrooms, VR product demos and general VR marketing material. Why? Because right now, consumers cannot get enough.