Every year, video game developers work to create games that look better than ever before. Technological advancements enable new and innovative ways to enhance your gaming experience. Virtual Reality (a.k.a. VR) is arguably becoming one of the hottest gaming topic today. Showing its capabilities in the gaming industry, VR is giving players the ability to further immerse themselves and interact with the world's developers create.
Though it is evident that virtual gaming is still in the process of development, VR has already caused a hype which is sprouting vast arrays of speculation and expectations. Even in its embryonic state, VR has opened new opportunities for game developers and lately has been grabbing some major headline attention. Companies like Sony and Google have been releasing their own VR sets compatible with the latest PlayStation console and mobile gaming apps which require a VR set. Facebook as well is working with Oculus on integrating VR on social media, pushing VR into the mainstream and we are even seeing the emergence of VR as an extension of real world devices and services. The world Drone Racing championship is already flown by the pilots from the drone's perspective. Military usage for remote surveillance is commonplace and we can even take VR headset views of real eagles soaring over mountains or go diving with real sharks from the comfort of our home or classroom.
Redefining player immersion
Even if VR is not completely developed, it has already shown huge promise. VR offers us a newer way of seeing the world. You can teleport yourself just about anywhere and feel as if you’re there. With its 360 degrees feature, it allows you walk around the virtual world of your favorite game or the real world not normally accessible to you, like space. Imagine the next generation of blockbuster movies where you are on the set, and you choose where to look instead of the camera. It even has hints of being the next big social network integration. I would be amazed if the R&D department ast FB was not already looking at this.
The market potential could be huge
The VR market was worth about $1.9 billion in 2016 but is expected to climb to $22.4 billion by 2020. These numbers include both hardware and software sales. Though currently on its early stage, there are still many possibilities on what could happen. But more companies today are rallying around and investing in this new technology which could lead to the substantial growth in this field.
VR as the new cloud computing platform
At the moment, VR is limited to our visual and auditory senses and the applications developed so far. Once other senses are catered for, it will break the barrier between the virtual world and the physical world. Besides VR being mostly associated with gaming and entertainment right now, it has also shown possibilities of becoming the next computing platform with vast possibilities in education, help and rescue industries and security. If VR becomes a success, there could be possibilities of it surpassing gaming, film making and other forms of entertainment and even becoming a new form of communication.
As futuristic and exciting as VR may seem, it is still young, and it’s likely to take take many more years before it becomes mainstream. At least five to ten years according to Zuckerberg.
Here are some of the best things we have seen VR used for so far:
Obvious - But YouTube VR of course
The Blu - Experience the wonder and majesty of the ocean through a series of habitats and come face to face with some of the most awe inspiring species on the planet.
The Tilt Brush - Paint life-size three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Experience painting as you have never before. (My Personal favorite).
Virry Educational- Virry is a fun and educational wildlife experience that uses live stream cameras across the world and now 360/VR to allow children as close to a real safari as you can get without actually being there. Virry immerses kids in the lives of wild animals, encouraging discovery, empathy, and problem-solving. It is a unique way to let kids aged 3 and up virtually interact with real animals, feeding, playing and caring for them in their natural habitats. All the while helping them to better understand nature, conservation and the world around them.
MoleculE VR- MoleculE VR is a virtual reality app focusing on Cell Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. Using a Google Cardboard You can take part in an Expedition into the Cell World. During the journey You will be introduced to the sophisticated system of cell communication. Moreover You will be able to have a closer look at some protein complexes involved in the process and learn key aspects about their functions and interactions with small molecules like medicines. Real Crystallographic data from the Protein Data Bank turn into 3D virtual structures and take Molecular Modelling Science to the next level. Molecular VR is an innovative eLearning tool that aim to support and integrate classic teaching and learning methods.
There are, of course, so many more that are worth of note, but that in itself tells you that this is not a fad. The only way this is going away is if it gets leapfrogged by the next technological advancement.