Virtual reality technology began as an experiment and as entertainment. It was talked about as a fun novelty that makes games more interesting and visits to live online casinos more realistic. But it turned out that the potential of VR is much wider. We’ll talk about this in this article.
Virtual Reality in Entertainment
At the heart of such well-known entertainment as 5D and 7D cinemas is virtual reality. Using VR equipment, a person is transferred to a virtual world: to dinosaurs, to the space of the future, the world of magic, etc. At the same time, there is an effect of full presence. There are also several developments of video games with virtual reality. In them, a player with 3D glasses is literally inside the game’s world and can participate in all quests. Best live casinos, thanks to 3D glasses, offered the opportunity to be present in special gambling halls for remote players. Virtual visitors can watch the game and place bets on a par with real guests.
VR in architecture
Game “engines” are a kind of framework with the help of which, using special software, game designers and programmers are able to create unique digital worlds. Most often, engines contain information about the real physical properties of objects, their mechanics and movement.
Perhaps one of the most striking examples of long-lived and malleable physics engine technologies is the Unreal Engine, the first version of which was introduced by Epic Games back in 1998 for their Unreal game. Its latest version has full VR support, so it’s no surprise that it has found rapid popularity among architects. Some even said that this is a completely new level and method of structural design.
Virtual amusement parks
In late 2015, several Canadian theme parks began experimenting with VR-enhanced rides. To do this, they used smartphone-enabled devices that displayed a picture synchronized with various real-life turns, ascents and descents on a roller coaster. By March 2016, Six Flags, an American theme park chain, was immersed in virtual reality.
Now some outdated rides offer new entertainment. You sit down, for example, on a roller coaster that is boring by modern standards, put on a virtual reality helmet and find yourself on board an interstellar fighter whose task is to prevent an alien invasion. The physical features of the slides themselves (turns, slopes, descents and ascents) are synchronized with the picture of virtual space and only add realism to maneuvers in virtual space. Fun? Not that word! And it costs a penny, compared to building a whole new roller coaster!
Sports training with VR
In 2007, Stanford American football player Derek Belch was blown away by Professor Jeremy Bailenson’s Communication 166: Virtual People. The idea of a virtual football coach proposed by Belch a little later turned out to be too early for the level of technology of that time.
“I told him to come back when the technology becomes more modern. And he came back,” says Beilenson.
Today, STRIVR Labs has turned Belch’s idea into a full-fledged system, already implemented in several college football training programs, as well as the professional Dallas Cowboys team. The system allows you to record 3D video during training, and then use it for step-by-step instruction of the same player, but from the side. You may have seen this in some racing video games, where after the arrival of one player, another starts, which is chasing the “ghost” of the first. Here everything is the same, only on a completely different, three-dimensional level.
So, virtual reality has stepped far beyond the possibilities of video games and live casinos. It has found application in science, teaching, sports, design. Obviously, VR will become even more useful in the coming years.