Virtual Reality in 2016

Virtual Reality has long been transforming the plans for big industries, and that does not seem to be slowing down!

With the likes of Sony, Facebook, and Google leading the way, it is quickly becoming an advanced wide spread technology with individuals using it in their day to day lives, and not purely for gaming and entertainment. It can also be seen to be changing the way we operate within healthcare, the automotive industry, and even down to the way we shop. (Virtual Reality) VR has assisted immensely in providing a risk free training environment for medical practitioners, and not only that, it provides the opportunity to educate on rare or unusual cases. In regards to the automotive industry, Ford are ahead in the development within their company. Not only have they been using VR for over a decade, they are also implementing it as one of their crucial tools within development.

VR as a whole is an immersive world that allows an individual to interact and manipulate its surroundings, giving the illusion of a whole new environment. Far from the concept we first saw in 1987 when the term Virtual Reality was first coined by Jaron Lanier. One of the earliest products this can be seen in was released in 1957, and it was a device called the Sensorama; a 360’ immersive motion picture. Sensorama was one of the first products to offer a near reality experience through the use of audio, vibrations, and even smell. Oh how times have changed.

Since the late 1980’s VR technology has come on leaps and bounds, with interest picking up in the last decade. According to Statista there are currently 43 million VR users, when compared to 2015 with only 5.8 million users. This jump in numbers shows a significant growth and there’s no signs of that stopping, with it expected to grow to a staggering 171 million users by 2018. This is no surprise considering the expected revenue is $30 billion.

The releases of VR headsets such as Oculus Rift, Samsungs Gear VR, HTC Vive and Google Cardboard have flooded the market giving a range of options for all price brackets. This aspect has also expanded in recent years with the release of VR accessories such as the The Peregrine Wearable Interface, which allows the user to perform up to 30 different actions with their fingers, and the Feel Real Mask which gives the sense of heat, wind, vibration, and smell.

Sony is currently one of the largest sellers of game consoles with over 17 million Playstation 4’s sold in 2015. Not only this but they are leading the way in VR gaming with their release of the PS VR in October 2016, with pre orders selling out in minutes. So what VR games should you be on the lookout for?

Upcoming PS VR Games

  1. Final Fantasy XIV – Virtual Reality version of the top hit multiplayer game!
  2. Rigs: Mechanized Combat League – a battle arena not made for the faint hearted! A single player game that allows you to unlock levels by completing new futuristic sports.
  3. London Heist: Getaway – created by the developers of PS2 Getaway it is sure to please!

VR on the rise, but Microsoft have created a dual Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality headset allowing the user to be a part of both a virtual world, and have the use of holograms within the real world offering helpful information. It is currently released as a developer edition, with the purpose of creating games and apps. However a consumer edition is on the cards and is expected to offer great things. In particular a major feature of the Hololens is the ability to use it without being connected to anything, a trait many in the current market do not offer. So keep an eye out for the release of Microsoft Hololens Consumer Edition!