Technology and Gadgets for a Virtual Experience

By Deepshikha Shukla

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Virtual reality (VR) technology has changed the way we see and interpret the world. Although, VR is more popular in gaming, it is also used in other industries including healthcare, education, military, entertainment and business. This article takes you through the many applications of VR, some of the best VR gadgets and their accessories.

Best VR GadgetsHealthcare

VR allows healthcare professionals to practice skills like surgery in a safe environment without causing any danger to patients. It can engage doctors, nurses and other medical personnel in interactive training scenarios within a 3D environment. It also helps them overcome emotions and phobia during treatment. Doctors can plan and prepare better for a medical procedure with detailed information.

Education

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Educators can use 3D computer graphics to show complex ideas and scientific concepts in a visual format. For example, in a molecular model, they can interact with images to communicate concepts to the students. This enables scientific visualisation.
VR provides a lot of learning situations to interact with objects in a 3D environment. For example, students can demonstrate the workings of a solar system in VR. This makes it easier for them to understand and retain the concepts better and faster.

Military

VR is used for training purposes in the military, to learn situation-based reactions in an appropriate manner without the risk of injury. It is safe and costs less than other training methods. It includes medic training, battle field training and vehicle simulation with reduced post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.

Entertainment

VR can be used to turn fantasy or concepts into something that seems real. It can also be used at museums, virtual theme parks, gaming, galleries and sports arenas.

Business

VR enables engineers to plan, prototype and construct projects in 3D, and provide a better understanding of their construction and working. This saves both time and money before actual project realisation. VR enables them to check for faults, structural weaknesses and other design issues.

Tourism industry is also using VR, by providing VR trailers of tourist destinations.

Best VR Gadgets in the market

Many VR headsets and their accessories are available in the market. Listed below are a few of these, along with their best features.

Oculus Rift

This headset comes with handheld touch controllers, which are shaped to feel like you are using your hands. It has an OLED display with 2160×1200 screen resolution, 110 degrees field-of-view and 90Hz refresh rate. It costs about ₹ 43,000, if you buy online.

HTC Vive

The headset works with PCs having powerful graphics cards. Like Oculus, it has a 2160×1200 OLED display with a wide field-of-view. Its front-facing camera and 32 sensors are great for precise motion tracking. This adds real-world objects to the experience. The device comes with two base stations for motion tracking and two multifunctional trackpads. It costs ₹ 69,990 on online stores.

Google Daydream

Daydream takes you on adventures in high-quality VR. You do not just see the world, you experience it in a new way. Daydream lets you swim with seals, fly through space and more. You can get it for ₹3999 on Amazon and other online retailers.

Samsung Gear

The latest iteration of this headset is compatible with Samsung smartphones (S6 and later). It comes with a Bluetooth controller equipped with both motion sensing and a touch pad. Samsung collaborated with Oculus to build Gear’s software ecosystem for developing apps and games. It is available online for ₹9900.

Sony PlayStation VR

Sony PlayStation VR is easy to set up and operate. The headset features an OLED display with low latency. It retails at ₹30,990 (with 1TB memory) online.
New and upgraded VR accessories take the immensive VR experience to new heights. Peripheral desginers are leaving no stones unturned. Listed below are a few accessories for VR.

PS VR Aim Controller

This controller lets you feel the action in compatible PlayStation (PS) shooter games, with precise aiming, advanced motion sensing, immersive vibration feedback and rechargeable battery. It costs ₹7299 online.

VR Aim Controller
VR Aim Controller

Leap Motion

Leap Motion is a portable motion controller for adding hand gesture controls to VR gaming. It is precise and tracks each finger perfectly. It costs ₹9999 on Amazon and other online retailers.

Leap Motion controller
Leap Motion controller

Roto VR

This device lets you sit and relax in the virtual word. It is compatible with most VR headsets and gaming stations. The headset plugs into a port at the base, thus removing the issue of rotating 360 degrees in VR. Foot pedals let you run and walk in the game, while sitting comfortably in reality. Head tracking lets you rotate the chair depending on where you look. It retails for US$ 999 (approx. ₹67,517), on the company website.

Roto VR
Roto VR

Virtuix Omni

This is an omni-directional treadmill that lets you wander around in VR. It lets you spin, run and walk in various games. The treadmill costs US$ 499 (approx. ₹33,725), on Omni’s website.

Virtuix Omni
Virtuix Omni (Credit: www.scriptosphere.com)

Tesla suit

The suit lets your entire body experience immersion in VR. It includes two bands (one for each arm), one T-belt, two bands (one for each leg) and a pair of T-gloves.
With every upgrade in VR technology and its gadgets, we are moving a step closer to feel and recreate our imagination. VR is helping us express and realise our ideas in a 3D environment, making others understand and realise it, too.

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