Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality seemed like science fiction when people first heard about them.
What? Seeing 3D digital objects in front of me that help make life easier? Sounds like movies.
What? Being transported in a whole different world so I can play? Sounds like it’s not possible.
But it’s here! We’re living in an age where this is possible! It’s currently in its early stages but it’s exciting to know that it only gets better from here on out. Keeping up with the latest VR news is always exciting. There’s always development going on. Don’t forget the games being released for VR are also getting better and better. Check out this list of free games to see the abundant number of exciting games you can play on your VR device today.
So what will we need to be able to experience this awesome technology? Before we go there, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Let’s start with the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Then we’ll discuss what you need to get started on your AR and VR journey.
Difference Between AR and VR
Augmented Reality adds digital elements to what you see in the real world. It’s like an extra layer added to what you already see. Usually, you can interact with the digital elements but it depends on how advanced the AR program is.
You’ve been exposed to AR whether you’ve noticed it or not especially if you’re fond of social media. According to statistics, 70% of Snapchat’s 186 million users activate AR lenses daily.
Virtual Reality on the other hand is a more advanced version of AR. In VR, it completely changes your perspective instead of just adding to it. It transports you to this world that is completely digital. This world can be a replica of real-life places or it can also be as crazy as an alien planet.
Most VR games also have music that makes the illusion of being there more complete. Because it incorporates more than just your sense of sight, it’s more immersive compared to AR.
Equipment Needed for AR
Augmented Reality has been more accessible to the general public lately. Anyone who has access to a smartphone and an internet connection can experience AR.
With it being so accessible, what do you need for the best experience? Well, we have to identify first what you’ll use AR for.
If you’re using AR for the common filters for social media posts, then a simple smartphone would do. The quality of the photos will depend on your phone’s camera.
But if you’re using it for a game that has AR features, then a more powerful phone is needed. For example, Pokemon Go. This game has a feature where you can project your pokemon beside you as if they’re actually there. For this to happen, you’ll need a phone with a gyroscope.
More advanced uses would be integrating AR into our everyday life. This would need more advanced devices like Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, and Magic Leap One.
These devices are like wearable computers. They allow you to manipulate objects with AR technology. A few promising applications would be in the industrial and educational fields. Imagine learning surgery without the need for a cadaver!
Equipment Needed for VR
If AR is generally accessible, VR is somewhat the opposite.
Some VR games are available on app stores and are playable on mobile phones. But these are the games where you don’t do much. You’re just there and it takes you on a ride. An example of this is roller coaster games that just simulate the feeling of going on a roller coaster.
There are games made to be played on a virtual reality platform. These games would need VR-compatible equipment. It’s important to note that this equipment does not come cheap. Here are the things you’ll need and other things that are nice to have.
Image from pexels.com
1. A Computer with Good Specs
Using a VR headset with a desktop computer will give you better graphics. But because running VR on your computer can be demanding, you’ll be needing good specs. You need at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 video card or something similar.
This will make sure your PC can handle the graphics you’ll be playing in. Aside from this, you should at least have 8GB RAM. For your processor, Intel Core i5 is enough. If you can get your hands on something more advanced, that would be better. Finally, you’ll be needing lots of USB ports because you’ll be working with a lot of wires.
Image from oculus.com
2. Headgear and Controllers
There are VR sets that can be used on their own. You can just put them on and start playing. Since they’re standalone, they’re great for traveling.
These can be pretty convenient but the graphics of the VR sets that need a computer are better. In comparison, these VR sets make use of computers to have better graphics.
Each set is good and has advantages over the other. You’ll just need to decide which one would be more important for you.
Image from pexels.com
3. Good Quality Earphones/Headphones
Good quality earphones or headphones is a game-changer. It’s one thing to see the virtual world but it’s a whole new immersive experience to also hear it.
Find earphones that have good bass and will help complete the experience.
Image from virtuix.com
4. Omni by Virtuix
Omni by Virtuix is an equipment that is nice to have. It’s not a requirement but having one will improve your experience.
When you’re running in the game, this device will keep you safe and in place. This is great for players who have limited space. It’s also great for those who would want the full experience of action-packed games. The developers claim that it enables “Unparalleled gameplay action”.
Finally, you’ll need space. You wouldn’t want to play VR in a cramped room.
While playing, you wouldn’t be aware of your actual surroundings. You’re in a different world, how can you take into account what’s around you?
You’ll likely be flailing your arms around while you play. You wouldn’t want to knock over anything in the middle of all the fun, right? That’s why you’ll need space to do all this so you can be safe.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the future of technology. Each of them would have great applications in different things.
Augmented Reality can revolutionize how we learn, work, and our overall daily living. Imagine learning about space while seeing the planets right in front of you. Imagine working with machinery where you can see the parts you’ll need in the spaces where they should be. Imagine using your phone without needing to touch it.
Virtual Reality on the other hand can revolutionize the way we play. It brings us to places that we can only dream of. It gives a whole new meaning to the immersive gameplay experience.
Right now some of these things may be inaccessible to the general public. But who knows? They might be used by the masses sooner than you think.