Immerse Your Senses Into Virtual Reality
What if Virtual Reality could reach more of our senses? Taste, smell, touch..
In The Goldman Sachs VR/ AR Report Virtual and Augmented reality are referred to as the next generation of computing for our world. Virtual and Augmented reality can (and will) change much about our lives and the lives of our children in the next 20 years. Soon, It will be possible to do things in a virtual world that one cannot do in the real world. It will also be possible to be in the real world and have holograms or other augmented realities brought into the world you are in, so that you can check your email without ever opening a computer or cell phone. Will it be normal to put on a pair of goggles to check your email and catch up on the news when you get to the office in a few more years? Could it be possible check your voicemail and have a hologram from your boss? Is this science fiction or is it about to become a part of our reality in this world we live in?
Many would say the answer to this is a resounding yes, it is about to become a reality in our world.
Virtual reality can transport its user to another world. One can enter their virtual world and leave the real world and all its real problems behind. This is done through powerful computing, games developed for virtual worlds and headsets. There are numerous choices for the headsets to experience the virtual world. Depending on who you speak with, it could be that the HTC Vive is the best choice or possibly Samsung Gear VR or maybe just the beginners accessory, Google Cardboard. This article will guide you in the headset choices if you wish to explore virtual reality and you wish to move forward in bringing it into your life by buying your first headset.
Presently, there are many choices for controllers and interactive devices with virtual worlds, the accessories are coming to life as quickly as the games and applications that are being developed. There are complete suits that one can wear, with sensors embedded in them that are being made to help immerse one into a virtual world on the physical level. Some might say, that this experience could be better if you were using all of your senses instead of just your sight. What if you could smell the green grass growing or feel the wind at your back in addition to all the other things going on within a virtual world? Would this make your experience richer and more immersive?
When heading into a virtual world, one wants to be sure they can interact between the physical and virtual world. One of the things that can help you immerse yourself into a virtual world is that your touch must be connected to your vision of what is happening in a virtual world. They need to match otherwise things would be out of sync in the experience. When we drive a virtual car, we wish to hold a physical steering wheel and actually feel and see that steering wheel in our hands. If we hold a golf club but we see a wheel in the virtual world, this wouldn’t be a good match up. As games and virtual worlds develop more and more, they evolve into complete immersed activities. As a result, we must affect more senses in order to really be immersed into the virtual worlds. In order to really immerse into the virtual world, ones senses must be in sync with each other, we must feel what we see and so forth. We can create an experience that breaks this sync, but this must be done wisely and on purpose to add to the user experience rather than confusing the senses.
Can you for a moment – imagine what it would feel like to walk between two buildings high above New York City on a tightrope. The wind blowing, the smell of the air around you, the crowds below you, and so much more. A lot would be going crazy within your senses if you were living that experience in real life. The movie “The Walk” is based on a historical account of tightrope walker Philippe Petit and his walk between the twin towers in New York City in 1974. This event in US history is chronicled in the movie. There is now a VR experience available based on this movie and the virtual experience of walking the tightrope between the buildings.
Below, you will see a video that demonstrates an experience from the movie “The Walk”. Notice in the video below, how the experience is helped by the fan that blows on her as she is “walking the tightrope”. When she gives her exit comments, one things she mentions is the fan and the “wind” blowing her as she walked across. Reaching ALL of the senses can definitely enhance one’s experience in virtual reality.
Presently, to have the ability to immerse yourself and all of your senses into the VR experience is a cumbersome one. One must carry backpacks and will have lots of accessories to access the virtual world in order to really immerse themselves into it. If one wants high quality video, they must also be attached into the controls of their virtual world via a cord or wire through the headset – which attaches into the computer system that puts them into the virtual world. As you can see, while the experience is an interesting one – a complete and immersive experience for the average consumer can be difficult to accomplish due to the cumbersome accessories that are required to really experience the game..
For the average consumer, the virtual experience is rather limited to a commercial virtual reality experience center such as the Ghostbuster’s experience which will be opening soon at Madam Tussauds in New York City by The Void or watching videos of others experiencing it on their computer. The average cell phone and home computer cannot handle the demands of virtual reality. These reasons are where the problem lies in bringing virtual reality to the masses and why most aren’t able to access virtual reality for themselves yet, in the evolution of this technology. Do not lose hope all of you who wish to experience it, the future does seem bright for things like this to be available to consumers in coming years.