Virtual Reality, or VR, is an impactful emerging way of consuming content with unprecedented levels of immersion. VR is not a new concept, though, having been developed and tweaked for the past twenty years by some of the biggest tech companies in the world. The best-known application for VR is entertainment, but VR impacts other aspects of modern life, from teaching to communication.
In this article, you can learn more about VR development, its applications, challenges, and future trends. But first, we must ask ourselves, what is Virtual Reality?
Understanding VR Development
Virtual Reality uses advanced computer-generated simulations to create a virtual space that is both realistic and immersive, making users feel as if they are in another world and allowing interaction with objects or even other people.
Users see and interact with this environment using specialised hardware and software, such as VR Headsets, which display the image and register user input thanks to motion sensors installed on the headset, and other input devices, like handheld controllers, that allow for interaction with virtual objects and tracking the movement of the user’s hands and arms.
Software development is also crucial, as these programs usually consist of huge environments that require a lot of work. Virtual reality developers must create the area where the user will interact and then adapt that environment for use with VR equipment.
Applications of VR
Gaming has probably been the first area of entertainment that adopted VR with open arms. As early as the mid-2010s, VR devices like the Oculus Rift and offerings from Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox allowed players to hop in a video game as if they were in the middle of the action. Many genres use these devices, from exploration-based experiences to puzzle-solving games.
But the genre that benefited the most from VR is racing games. With steering wheel controllers and hydraulic fitted chairs, the experience is remarkably close to driving a race car in real life.
These advancements didn’t pass unnoticed by big racing teams from major motorsports like Rallying or F1, who adopted these high-quality simulators and VR displays to help drivers prepare for real-life races. Other institutions, like airlines and pilot schools, have adopted these devices to teach and train pilots to fly real-life aeroplanes.
In schools, VR is also a great teaching tool, as it allows students to experience and learn subjects like art in a much more interactive and immersive way. For example, VR enables students to visit museums abroad and helps reduce costs while giving them a great immersive experience.
Challenges in VR
However, not everything is perfect with Virtual Reality. Technology still limits both users and developers. The most powerful computers still struggle to create huge explorable areas without compromises in visual quality, latency and responsiveness of the program, creating dull and frustrating experiences for its users. Additionally, VR displays are expensive, meaning that most people will prefer to invest for now in other forms of more traditional entertainment.
Furthermore, most VR displays still aren’t fully comfortable for their users, as most headsets have only one size, meaning that people with other body types and comfort preferences may feel discomfort using these devices. Another problem that affects most of the population is motion sickness, caused by latencies and disconnect between the signal and the user’s movement. These physical discomforts might alienate future users.
Future Trends in VR Development
The future is bright for VR and VR developers, as many new uses for this technology are being tested. With the advancement of technology, computers are slowly becoming capable of creating bigger areas of exploration with enhanced quality in visuals and less latency.
Socialisation is becoming a possibility with the creation of spaces where several people can create an avatar and hang out with each other using VR devices. Companies are using these programs to advertise and sell products by allowing their customers to see a product virtually as if they were seeing it in real life.
Virtual reality development is changing how individuals interact with the world across multiple realms, from leisure to work to skills development. VR is best known for its application in the gaming industry, but it has evolved and gained a presence in fields like aviation and education, where it can help trainees and students develop their skills in an interactive and immersive way.
For now, there are still some challenges that need fixing, such as the cost of equipment and the responsiveness of programs. Nonetheless, the future is looking bright for VR development.