Virtual reality or VR is a big deal.  Lets face it right now… we’re nearing the end of the “smartphone” era and by that I mean that pulling out a device every time we feel the need for some kind of data will be getting very old fashioned, very soon.  This is why here at Raptor we’re always trying to keep one step ahead, whether that’s IOT, 3D printing, automation, robots or AI oe indeed VR.

One thing we haven;t talked about much yet is Virtual Reality so I thought it was high time we had a quick look at what Virtual Reality is, why it’s not going away and why it’s going to rock our worlds both on a personal and business level.

What is VR?

For those of you that don’t know, there’s a video revolution going on right now that makes 4K look old hat!  Broadly it breaks down  into 2 technologies, 360 video which is like a camera but one that gives you a complete 360 view so you can move your smartphone around and the image follows where you look.  It’s kind of like actually being there.  360 video doesn’t require you to have any special hardware at all, you can view it form your phone or PC.  VR is where you wear a headset and you get a 360 video but in 3D too.  Done well and the effect can be mind blowing and i’ve seen some awesome stuff ranging from roller coasters to film pre-views that actually make you feel like you’re there!

The main players in the VR space are Oculus who were bought by Facebook about 2 years ago for a lot of money!, Samsung have their Gear VR product that’s a high quality headset that can turn any Samsung device into a pretty decent VR experience, HTC have a headset that;’s been adopted by STEAM, the online gaming community which was a wise move by them and then there’s the budget Google “Cardboard” project that aims to give everyone a taster of VR using any Android device.

 

Why will VR it rock my world?

Remember when we were all wondering why we even needed widescreen TV’s, when we used to scorn the point of HD or even 4K?  Well even your gran appreciates these technologies now.  What VR will do is take everything we know about video and make it 100% truly immersive.

Facebook see VR as the future of social, literally putting people from anywhere, together in any scenario they can think up.  Image being able to move around a world of people in a real life 3D setting?

Gaming is probably where there’s the most current buzz right now.  Rather than looking at a flat 2D screen, VR will allow you to look over your shoulder, hear and see things behind you and just maybe you might be able to actually be on the pitch in Fifa 18!!

Drones use VR and have done for years to be able to control them from afar, as if you;re piloting them like a plane.

Art is adopting VR and actually using it to push new boundaries in artwork, how it’s presented and how VR can create all kinds of new and exciting artistic experiences.

 

OK, so this is cool, but really, this has a commercial use?

Oh yes!! I can already think of a few enterprise level places where VR is big business already,here’s some:

Going back to drones for 1 minute, being able to pilot a device from afar, as if you’re really there is life-changing.  This has so many applications like crop spraying, fire fighting, criminal chasing and more that its impossible to not see a world not using this!

Surgeons are already using robots to remove themselves physically from the surgeons table, however VR will take this a step further.  Operations that you consult with over VR and then have done in drop in centres by a doctor from the other side of the world could see the application of medial science change like it has never done before.

Architects are using VR already to give clients an unbelievably realistic experience of their buildings before they’re even built.  It’s kind of like kickstarter for the building industry where builders can make major changes or improvements to buildings before costly work starts.

How to’s or training can use VR to step users through a task in real-time, turning the classic model of train, test then do onto it’s head or on a simpler level can expoe new users to an environment without any of the risks associated with them being trainees.

I could go on but I think that’s enough.  What i do know is that if you think parcel delivery, meter reading or general mobile solutions are immune form the VR effect then think again.  I think VR is one of the most exciting technologies with the potential to disrupt our lives being so huge it’s only going to get bigger.

 

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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