Virtual Reality Basics and Use Cases
The experience of VR comes primarily from wearing what is called a head mounted display. This is effectively two screens, one for each eye, inside a housing that is designed to fit comfortably on the human head. Augmenting this there may also be headphones for audio and motion controllers for interacting with the environment.
There are many places virtual reality is being used today, and even more being worked on by companies around the world. Here are some examples of how VR can be used to entertain and innovate:
Gaming is one of the more prominent markets for VR experiences, and was the driving force behind the Oculus Rift kickstarter campaign. As fun as gaming on a normal computer monitor or large-screen TV is, virtual reality takes you from looking at the game world to being inside of it. Wearing a head mounted display allows you to freely look around within a game by moving your head, rather than a controller or mouse, and going to the next step with room-scale mobility like the HTC Vive offers makes it feel like you are really inside the game world.
Immersing yourself in a virtual world isn't just for gamers. There are many places which are hard or impossible to go in real life, but which can be simulated in virtual reality and then experienced in a more visceral and intuitive way than other media can provide. Exploring mount Everest and the surface of Mars are two examples of that which were demonstrated at GTC 2016, and there is a ton of potential for using this technology to educate and learn about the world. Soon medical students will be able to practice virtual surgeries and astronomers may be able to walk on other planets!
Being able to view objects or places in true 3D and physically interact with them will also be a boon to many professions. Imagine being able to walk around a building before constructing it or experiencing what it would be like to sit in the driver seat of a car before the first model rolls of the assembly line. Practical business applications often lag behind gaming or simpler educational experiences, but to see an example of how virtual reality is already being used in a professional setting check out our VR case study with NASA.
Puget Systems offers VR Ready computers running the latest GeForce video cards, which have been tested in-house with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Learn more about what specs are well suited to running virtual reality in our Hardware Recommendations.