Intro to Virtual Reality Gear
Ever since we, as children, got our hands on blue and red opposing lens wear (that you’d usually have to hold yourself) to make images in magazines, in movies, and on television pop out, we’ve been dreaming of the 3D panoramic virtual world in which we could fully immerse our sight, body and soul.
That world is now here and is on the road to greater and more impressive developments. And imagine if your old favorite games could take you to the places you’ve always wanted to go … Legend of Zelda, King’s Quest, Duke Nukem for the first-player game lovers, wouldn’t that be something? How about exploring the extensive worlds that never seem to end, found in large- scale games like the hugely popular World of Warcraft? One could practically go on a gaming vacation in those magical and never ending worldscapes! Moonglade, here we come!
For the creative minds among us, dreams of creating our own virtual world are already taking form, although in 2D format. So many opportunities will arise from platforms on which storytellers and graphic 3D artists will be able to create and mold the lush worlds they’ve so passionately developed in their vivid imaginations!
Not only do our 3D glasses come in actual hands-free eyewear form now, but there is a plethora of other virtual reality gear available for purchase across the world, ranging from the economic to high-end, so that everyone can take advantage of this new entertainment enhancement without needing to spend more money than we want to.
Briefly, below is a list of some of the accessories available for purchase that can help you realize your 3D and other virtual reality entertainment aspirations:
- Virtual reality lenses that are adjustable to your specific pupil and focal distances to give you the clearest vision. These lenses can also be adjusted for people wearing contact lenses or small eyeglass frames.
- Goggles (complete with VR lenses) that can be worn on their own or as part of a headset (known as a HMD—head-mounted display) designed to immerse your sight completely into the virtual world and free your hands as you relax into a movie or control the console to your panoramic virtual world.
- Specialty joysticks that allow you smooth control as you navigate the VR world. With some games, a quick flick of the controls can even give you a 360-degree view of your game. You’ll be able to input the specifications you want without ever needing to look down and break your VR experience. Won’t you be excited when we’ll be able to do that in a movie?
- Data gloves which allow you to input your will into your VR setting by reaching out into it. It’s a lot more fun to watch your animated self grab onto an item than it is to push a button. Talk about a heightened experience!
- Data suits, once perfected, will be the next great VR rage as they will allow us to completely immerse ourselves in any VR situation and interact intuitively in our new surroundings. Currently used by special effects professionals in the cinematic world to map out actor's facial expressions and body movements to create and build animated or augmented (think The Hulk) versions of them, eventually we will all have access to an integrated movie and game-playing version of this technology. VR enthusiasts can hardly wait.
We’re beginning to develop data gloves and suits, and other items known as “haptic” devices engineered not only so that a user can interact in an environment, but so that he can move within it and feel anything from virtual blowing wind to the smooth, cold iron of an item picked up from the ground.
Although we may be some years away from the ultimate VR experience, these ingenious advancements in tactile technology are being developed and will be made available to the public in due course.
We’re also seeing the “less-is-more” trend making waves in the new design releases of new sleeker and slimmer designs, from data gloves to headgear complete with VR goggles and an integrated sound system. When we think VR equipment, we’re still thinking of the bulky units that used to clunk around with our other entertainment gear. But times and tastes are changing, and the industry is adapting.
For example, to please the eco-friendly player and movie aficionado, there are headsets constructed out of recycled cardboard that can be customized to meet anyone’s artistic sensibilities, whether you feel like sticking googly eyes on your headset or applying a masterpiece in oil paints to its surface.
Also available are sturdier and trendier headsets, glasses and gloves modelled for durability and aesthetic appeal, so you have a wide variety of looks to choose from without skimping on the versatility of usage of the model you’re interested in.
From corrugated plastic to panda faces, VR headsets are in and new models are always coming out. Gloves are thinner, more breathable and their tactile input and output abilities in a virtual environment are getting more precise and intuitive to the user.
We wouldn’t be surprised if stick-on input and output sensors made an appearance for those a little uncomfortable with the idea of spending on, and donning, a full-bodied data suit, especially on a hot summer day.
All kidding aside, stick-on and impermeable sensors would be easier to replace, have less impact on your carbon footprint when they need to be discarded, and run a much lower risk of interrupting your VR experience if you accidentally spill your drink or find yourself rained on.
All in all, the virtual reality world is here and advancements in its immersive entertainment options show absolutely no signs of stopping. No matter what your budget is, you will find virtual reality gear that will help you better enjoy the entertainment that is already available all around you.
What’s more, the highly affordable availability of new-user models for the curious makes this new technology an excellent birthday or Christmas gift that is sure to raise eyebrows and surprise the happy recipients.