Oculus: the future of virtual entertainment?
Oculus; A Virtual Reality Technology company in California, America have been developing a headset with built in screens for a revolutionary Virtual Reality experience, aiming to optimise the way we experience interactive content.
Although Oculus is known best for their Oculus Rift model- their first product specifically for VR video gaming which they successfully funded through Kickstarter- they are also working on various other Oculus models such as the GEAR VR innovation edition. The first development kit is now available for purchase at samsung.com for developers in the US (more regions to follow). It may be early days still for mobile VR, but developers can get their stuck in with building amazing experiences right now.
The Gear VR is designed to enable Virtual Reality anywhere at anytime. Working closely alongside Samsung, they have expanded the Samsung Galaxy Note 4's performance by developing a highly optimised VR graphics path with integrated system software.
And this is only the beginning of consumer mobile Virtual Reality. Although it may be missing several key elements for comfort and presence, Oculus say they are working with Samsung to improve in every vertical including optics, distortion,ergonomics, weight, heat display tech and tracking. Overall, it appears to be a long term effort Oculus are trying to perfect.
With the Innovation Edition, they are also launching the Oculus online VR store; and intergrated discovery and distribution system for VR content built in to the gear. It may seem quite basic but its the start of a true meant-for-VR content distribution and discovery platform for developers around the world.
There's some speculation around the internet about the health effects of the Oculus head sets. For a start, long term sittings of VR experiences are known to cause nausea thats's lasted further than a day. There are also risks of how our brain adjusts to the Oculus that can effect driving, for example:
A user may hear that they are accelerating or turning yet not actually feel it. Our bodies adjust to this so when we are driving in actual reality, the movements seem exaggerated. You can imagine how the side effects could potentially end in not too safe a driving experience!
Also, as beneficial as the idea of the headsets use for Mental Health and Therapy are, such as sessions where a client would want to expose themselves to their rational or irrational fear- It's nothing new when people blame video games for increasingly violent behaviours in schools. Some of the VR experiences in this particular area could even be quite traumatic.
But arguably, some of the users of these VR experiences might want to be traumatised, like raising issues on human rights for example, to implore criminals to understand the psychological effect of their actions. It could be quite a controversial debate.
But again, there are ideas of sitting in lectures and doctors appointments from your own home merely via a pair of goggles. There's a variety of potentials with Oculus.
For further reading, visit the main Oculus site: https://www.oculus.com/blog/gear-vr-innovator-edition-now-available/
and this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjNLvgqZgUI
What's your thoughts on this gadget? Is it something you're excited for or something you'd rather stay away from? Drop us a comment!