Virtual reality has entered a curious space in the public consciousness. It wasn’t quite big enough to take over home entertainment, as some predicted, and for this reason, it’s easily ignored by many. Many who actually give it a shot though find it to be a thrilling new medium. Thus, we can generally look at it as having fallen into something of a niche corner of modern tech, available to all but meaningful – for now – only to some. Thinking of it this way is perfectly fair, but it also ignores one clear fact, which is that virtual reality is still growing and becoming more relevant to different audiences. Consider the following developments from the last year or two following VR’s initial burst:
VR in Various Use Cases
VR in Gaming: That goes without saying, gaming with VR has been going on a while with the introduction of the Oculus Rift. However, the first ever VR headset for gaming was the Nintendo’s Virtual Boy (1995). Of course, Oculus manage to bring everything together and put up a great demonstration where VR gaming will take a big part in the gaming industry. Thanks to that, companies started to pour money into VR game content development and various VR headsets start to appear in the market.
VR in Film: VR never really took off with the film industry due to the various limitations. Ironically, when the VR concept was first introduced back in 1962 with the Sensorama, it was dubbed as the future of cinema. Nonetheless, the people in the industry still believe in that and VR films are still being produced as of now, especially “that” genre of films.
VR in Education & Training: Apart from entertainment, virtual reality has proven to be a very effective tool to conduct training and education. For instance, military personnel as well as those who involved in the medical industry. Instead of physical training sessions which can be limited in various ways, with VR, trainees can experience and get prepared for scenarios that only can be reproduced through the 3D realm.
VR in Psychotherapy: There are some fairly stunning examples of what VR can achieve in psychotherapy and personal wellness. While some of these examples concern professionally designed programs, others show the soothing effect VR programs can have on the mind, and how they can be used to treat a variety of mental conditions so many of us just live with.
VR Casino: Casinos occupy a space somewhere on the fringes of gaming. But they also represent a ton of business, and probably don’t get their due in conversation. As it happens, several popular online casino games are now presented in sumptuous VR 3D through a variety of devices that can be paired with popular headsets. It’s a major development for the industry and for the droves of people who love this sort of gaming.
VR in Interior Design: It has come to our attention that interior designers and property development companies are taking advantage of VR to improve their clients’ experience. It benefits both parties as the client get to experience the design outcome even if the show unit is not ready.
VR Travel Planning: People are also starting to use VR for travel planning and other experience that can be somewhat like it. Because VR can theoretically transport us visually to any place in the world, a lot of travel booking platforms are taking advantage of it so that prospective customers can test out destinations and build itineraries. It’s proving to be a great way for people to figure out travel plans, but also a great means of exploring the world.
We could keep going, but you get the idea. Virtual reality’s usefulness is expanding fairly rapidly, which is why it’s still a good idea to stay in tune with the market even if it’s not your thing. Accordingly, this is our quick look at some of the best available headsets for use alongside your PC.
Types of VR Headsets
The Oculus was in many ways the “first” VR headset in that it was the first one a lot of people had ever heard of when it was developed and released. The Facebook-backed goggle system is widely recognized as providing some of the top quality alongside one or two rivals, and it’s compatible with PCs equipped to handle VR. Basically, this is a high-end option price-wise but one that’s worth it if you’re going to get into VR – particularly given that it’s always adding new games!
The HTC Vive is perhaps the Oculus’s chief rival on the market, and it’s one some see as being able to eclipse the Oculus in quality. Its price point certainly suggests this kind of quality, which is to say the HTC Vive is going to cost you. It’s essentially like buying a whole, high-end gaming console all over again. But those who are really into VR for one purpose or another will argue that it’s worth it.
Windows Mixed Reality
Microsoft promised to bring a brand new VR experience by combining it with Augmented Reality (AR), hence the system is dubbed as Mixed Reality (MR). Besides, Microsoft allows the third-party manufacturer to employ the technology and build their own headsets. Theoretically, it is a wonderful idea where users would experience the best of both worlds. However, the lack of MR content means that users can only fall back and experience VR games & contents instead.