Like everything else, content consumption is evolving towards more efficient and robust mediums. From the day the first cave paintings in Spain were created to present day, humans have been pushing the boundaries on content consumption. If we were to extrapolate the current trends to the future, contact lenses as a content consumption platform are not too far fetched. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to define what virtual reality is.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is the use of hardware and software technologies to simulate an actual three dimensional(3-D) environment. It is different from two dimensional content consumption platforms in that users are immersed in a realistic 3-D environment where they can browse the internet, play video games, or indulge in any interactive environment that mimics the real world.
The Virtual Reality Ecosystem
Any modern day content consumption medium usually comprises of an ecosystem of software and hardware components. The VR headset and controllers make up the hardware part of the virtual reality ecosystem . The headset comprises of a display right in front of your eyes and tracking controls for your head and hand.
The aim of VR hardware is to aid VR software in giving the end user the feeling of a 3-D virtual environment. As we know, mobile and desktop technology allow us to consume content only in the second dimension. Other auxiliary additions to VR hardware are controllers, which can come in the form of game controllers or an entire system built to mimic your immersed environment.
Leading VR Headsets
VR headsets are certainly not new but Palmer Lucky, the founder of Oculus Rift was the one person whose efforts made VR a mainstream product. He used Kickstarter to launch a prototype of his product and was able to garner the interest of Mark Zuckerberg. Other prominent VR headsets on the market include HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, Samsung Gear VR, and Google’s Daydream View.
Most software used in creating VR are based on 3-D modeling. The same principles that were used in the creation of video games are now being adapted to VR. Unreal engine, Unity 3-D, CryEngine, and Lumberyard are some of the more popular software used in virtual reality gaming. If you want to create a 3-D environment that is not necessarily a game employing 3-D modeling software might be a good idea. Some of the more prominent 3-D software out there include Blender, Sculptris, “Wings 3-D”, “3-D Crafter” and Daz studio.
Augmented reality is more or less a hybrid of virtual reality and the physical environment. Pokemon Go, a game that was all the rave a while back is the perfect example of the use of virtual reality and true reality. More products will launch in the augmented reality space as useful tools to aid the education, healthcare, gaming and science sectors.
The march toward the perfect medium with which users will devour their content continues. There are wild postulations about how we will consume content in the future and they are very exciting. Some postulate the use of implanted brain microchips, some believe contact lenses will become the norm. Others believe the clothes we wear will be content consumption platforms. The truth is that the possibilities are endless and no one can accurately foretell what mediums content will be consumed on in the future.
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