Virtual reality glasses have come a long way. When they first rolled out, there is a lot of uncertainty among the first adopters of the technology regarding their longevity. It’s one thing to get excited about a fad or a sort of brainstorm that somebody had and another to see that idea develop into a flourishing industry that can outlive you.
It’s still anybody’s guess where the virtual reality glasses segment is headed, although it seems to be going in the right direction. Gone are the days of goggles glasses when Google’s founder went out of their way to make a big deal of augmented reality through wearable technology. The whole ethos or philosophy behind virtual reality glasses made their way to a broader range of products that seemed like fads.
However, you have to shell out a few hundred dollars for Google’s virtual glasses. When they introduced the project, they made sure that virtual reality glasses will become affordable, and that’s precisely what happened. Since Google glasses are not the industry standard, there is a broad market out there. It is no surprise then that the typical set of virtual reality glasses can come with affordable pricing and will not blow your mind.
Here is a quick guide to where we currently have virtual reality glasses as we paid close attention to current trends. You’ll be able to see where this consumer technology is headed.
How do virtual reality glasses work?
Virtual reality glasses are just a catch-all term for a device that enables people to capture reality by wearing a device and turning real-world stimuli into data points. These data points are stored on the device and uploaded to the internet. They can also be plugged in through an app based on the web or a local device. They make sense of this information by organizing it and then spits it out in a form that the user can interact with.
That is pretty much the long and short of virtual reality glass technology. There are many different ways to use this technology, as well as to implement it. Here are just some exciting trends that not only give you a good understanding of the inner workings of this technology but also help you map out what you can and cannot do with it.
3D image and Stereoscopy
Human beings have two eyes precisely because if we had one eye, we wouldn’t have a depth of field vision. Depth of field vision is crucial if you are hunting for your food. You want to know the distance between you and your prey or the yummy bunch of grapes or berries you like to have for a snack. Artists and movie makers have long known this.
That’s why they came up with all sorts of technologies to trick our minds into reinterpreting a flat screen as a 3D image. Not much has changed when it comes to virtual reality. The underlying goal is still the same. You take a 2D model and add details to it so that your mind puts everything back together as a 3D image.
The big difference is that VR glasses would use very nuanced data points and use formulas that represent this information. When you view it with a VR device, they appear to be 3D. It’s not so much that the philosophy has changed, but the data collection and algorithms have been revolutionized to produce a better effect.
Head Tracking System
What the biggest drawback is to any kind of virtual reality glass system is the tracking. You want to be able to explore the space that you are naturally witnessing through the glasses. You want to be able to move around in that simulated space, which is what head tracking does. It sends a signal to your device that mimics how you would typically walk around and interact with an outside area. All this happens in front of your eyes within the tool to create a fantastic immersive experience.
When developers and product designers of VR headsets address the head tracking problem, they ended up solving a related issue, which is how to map your movement in virtual space. Not only should it appear that you’re going somewhere when you are exploring stuff through VR glasses, but you should know where you are always in the real world.
This feature is important because the computer now that’s powering your virtual reality headset should have present different information as you move your way within that virtual space. Movement mapping makes this happen.
Video and Sound Supplement
It is one thing to see realistic graphics and another to feel the emotional impact of those graphics. This situation is created when the immersive video is paired with equally immersive and engaging audio. We’re not just talking about stereophonic sound, but it has to be 3D surround sound.
One of the problems with virtual reality glasses is to eliminate any kind of reminder that you are operating within a simulated space. One common problem that reminds us that we are playing a video game or doing something that’s not a part of reality is latency. When you do an action, how long would it take for the scene that you’re observing to reflect that action?
Virtual reality headsets have all sorts of algorithms and built-in technologies that enable the user to experience as little latency as possible. Otherwise, the illusion of a simulated reality just breaks down because you can tell that there is such a significant lag between the action and choice you made and how it played out in your virtual world.
Different types of virtual reality glasses
Now that you have an excellent working understanding of the ins and out of virtual reality glasses, here’s a quick breakdown of the types of products out there.
PC VR glasses
These devices are mainly worn for playing PC-based games like the World of Warcraft. They can be wireless, or they can be wired, and they’re usually programmed to work with all brands of monitors to enhance the gaming experience. These VR glasses for PC are intended primarily for static images only. It is because they don’t have the tracking mechanism of full VR glasses.
Sony VR glasses for PlayStation
These work the same as PC gaming glasses but are intended for a PlayStation gaming console. Again, the drawback to these glasses is their tracking mechanism.
The final word on virtual reality glasses
Virtual reality glasses still have a long way to go. It’s one thing to recreate reality in front of your eyes. It’s another to take you to a whole other level of existence. The central promise of virtual reality is not how faithfully it can recreate the things that we can already experience. The challenge is how it will enable us to tap into the limitless capacity of our imagination and unleash the fullness of our ability to think of alternate realities. We’re quite a long way from that situation.