If you’re reading this you probably have some idea of Virtual Reality. You have seen a video of that one awkwardly happy family sitting together in a living room with one person having a blast by her or himself wearing a VR Headset. However, despite these observations you probably have no idea what you can actually do with a VR Headset or how the technology behind it works. Luckily for you, we have broken down every single aspect of Virtual Reality and what you need to know to get started TODAY!
1. Types of Virtual Reality
Full immersion is true VR aka the complete VR experience. Full immersion can only be classified as such when the user is in a mostly indistinguishable virtual world with equipped hardware that allows him or her to see, touch, hear, and smell everything like in the reality. This doesn’t quite exist yet due to technological barriers but they are being overcome as you are reading this.
Non-immersive VR is perhaps the most common type of Virtual Reality in 2017. This is a necessary stepping stone to the future. A VR Headset that is only capable of viewing with or without a controller. Audio is most often included but smells, tastes, touch are not included in non-immersive VR.
2. Virtual Reality Definitions and Jargon
HMD (Head Mounted Display)
this is a VR Headset or whatever variation of hardware that you use to experience virtual reality.
FOV (Field of View)
this is the angle of degrees that you can see. The average human’s eye can see up to 200 degrees.
this isn’t true Virtual Reality, it’s simply a 360-degree video from a fixed point.
this means that the sensors on whatever system you are operating are tracking your head movements.
likewise but instead of your head is wherever your eyes look
3. How VR Works – Devices
Your VR Headset has to be powered by something. This can be your mobile phone, a computer, a PS4 or depending on the headset, it can be an All-in-One device.
this is perhaps the most affordable and easiest way to get into Virtual Reality right now. The only thing you need is your smartphone and a mobile VR headset, which you can get one here for a low price.
Recommended Mobile Headsets
The two biggest players in this field are the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both of these are on the highest end of VR and will provide the user with a true VR experience. The Oculus will set you back $600 and the HTC Vive will cost you $800. However, even on top of this relatively high price you will also need a High-end computer to get everything going correctly. The recommended specs for running either one on your computer are
- Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8 GB+ RAM
- HDMI 1.3 video output
- three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (64-bit) or newer
Game Console (PS4)
The PlayStation VR has become a popular option due to it’s previously existing market. If you have a PS4 you can pick up a PSVR for ($400-600) to get into the VR world. The graphics and capabilities aren’t as high performing as the oculus or Rift but it certainly beats any mobile headset. Xbox or Microsoft hasn’t launched a VR Headset for their system but it’s almost certain that they will release one within the coming years.
this is one of the best yet overlooked categories of headsets. There are several headsets on our website that are an all-in-one solution. Meaning, you don’t need a cell phone or a computer for them to work. Some headsets run from another device using an HDMI cable or some run completely on their own with an onboard OS.
Recommended All-in-One Headsets
4. Applications, Games, and other VR Content
VU Dream isn’t just an educator & distributor of Virtual Reality technology. We also partner with innovative companies that create VR content. You can check out the full page to discover VR applications for education, healthcare, entertainment, engineering, business and more here.
These are just some of our favorites.