THE CARDBOARD (R)EVOLUTION

Google’s Cardboard revolutionised (and made affordable) the concept of virtual reality.
Karan Bajaj & Hitesh Raj Bhagat take a look at how things are developing, what the updated experiences are and highlight some of the limitations

10 MUST-TRY EXPERIENCES FOR GOOGLE CARDBOARD

CARDBOARD The free app from Google offers a collection of demos and videos, supports playback of your own videos and allows viewing of photospheres captured by you.

VRSE

VIRTUAL REALITY This free app gives you a beautiful short video that is loaded with fantastic VR effects. There are other videos also available within the app and more are expected soon.

ORBULUS

Loaded with 360-degree photosphere images from around the world, this app shows you image previews as orbs. Look at any orb for a few seconds to view that particular image using your headset.

ROLLER COASTER

VR One of the best ways to enjoy VR is to use this free app to get the feel of riding a roller coaster. Set on a tropical island, this roller coaster ride is one of the best on the play store. You can also try the Dive City Roller Coaster app.

SISTERS

If you like horror, a free app called `Sisters’ is a good way to get a feel of how VR can elevate the movie experience. You are put in an old house in this spooky game to experience a ghost story.

TUSCANY DIVE

This app lets you use VR to look around a beautiful villa in Tuscany. With excellent visual and sound effects, this app is a good example on how VR can help in providing walk-around demos.

GLITCHER VR

Using the camera on your smartphone, this app shows a live view of your surrounding. You can then apply various built-in visual effects and see your surroundings change.

VR CINEMA FOR CARDBOARD

Using this app you can play videos stored on your devices in the cardboard headset and enjoy the feeling of watching a movie as if you are in a movie theatre.

CHAIR IN A ROOM

This app puts you in a locked, windowless room and you only have a few clues to help you out. If you already haven’t figured out, it puts you in the centre of a horror set piece. The developers ask heart patients to stay away.

DEBRIS DEFRAG

This simple game gives you a fair idea of the direction that VR games will take. You’re floating in space: it’s in 3D and offers beautifully rendered space environments and planets. The objective is just to fire beams at the asteroid debris using the clicker (the magnet switch). You aim by moving your head around which adds to the fun.

VIRTUALLY ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

GAMIN

G Gaming is one of the primary uses of VR and is already being explored in a big way.Cardboard users can get games from the Play Store and many are excellent. For serious gamers, there are Windows and MAC games that are compatible with VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.These games provide a more immersive experience with rich visual and sound effects.

REAL ESTATE

Let’s say you want to look at a few options before buying a new house. You could either spend the time and money to travel to all locations (they could be different cities or countries too). Or, you could do this from the comfort of your couch. Realtors are now embracing VR as a great tool for prospective custsomers. A simple link to the app needs to be shared, with walk-throughs of various houses.

PRODUCT LAUNCHES

OnePlus is all set to do the world’s first product launch in virtual reality They will use Cardboard as the platform for the launch of the upcoming OnePlus Two on July 27. It might soon start a trend: companies can use VR to showcase products and an unlimited number of users can `tune in’ while sitting at home.

VIRTUAL TRAVEL

You can visit multiple desti. nations everyday VR apps can place you in a different location, offering 360 degree views of various places in the world. Some apps can give you a walking tour. This lets anyone travel to any country without the cost ­ you can literally visit all the wonders of the world sitting in your home. Google has already made various popular tourist destinations across the globe available r for VR viewing using Street View technology.

EDUCATION

Instead of reading about history or how planets revolve around the sun, students can actually see it happening using VR headsets.Some apps even allow users to interact with various objects in the demo and get more details about them. This will open new avenues for education ­ students will be able to better understand various subjects thanks to live VR demos.

LIMITATIONS & PITFALLS

VR IS NOT FOR EVERYONE

People who are prone to motion sickness, those who have a history of epilepsy and people with claustrophobia or vertigo are especially prone to problems.This could mean a general feeling of uneasiness, vomiting, seizures from flashing lights and even a complete loss of consciousness.

UNCONVINCING VR

aims to create a reality that looks like the real thing, but it is often unconvincing. The amount of processing and technology required to actually transport you to another location is not there yet. Even now, the best VR systems can cost upwards of several hundred US dollars.

DESENSITISATION

In the future, VR could be used as a substitute for real human interaction.Just as mobile phones, televisions, tablets and computers do today in some sense, will VR cut us off from all the things that make us human?
There is a very real possibility of a strong psychological effect on us: that of `desensitisation’.

The Commercial Side of Things

When Oculus Rift first emerged in 2012, it looked like science fiction. After a successful Kickstarter campaign and acquisi tion by Facebook, Oculus is set to launch a consumer version in 2016. Essentially, it is a head-mounted stereoscopic display that connects to a PC. It has twin, high resolution displays (1200 x 1080 pixels each) and a wide field of view. Some oth er offerings include HTC Vive, Fove VR , Sony’s Project Morpheus and Avegant Glyph. Lens makers Zeiss and Samsung have a different approach: using phone displays as a screen (like Cardboard).

Zeiss’ effort is the VR One while Samsung will soon launch Gear VR, purpose built for smartphones like Note and Galaxy S6.

Build Your Own Cardboard For Cheap! Google’s vision for Cardboard was to offer something that allows anyone to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun & inexpensive way. If you want to make your own Cardboard VR headset, you only need a few things: cardboard (a clean, large pizza box will do), paper, a printer, a pair of biconvex lenses (40mm focal length, available on Amazon India), a couple of ring magnets and some velcro. Next, head to http:www.google.comgetcardboard and download the instructions. Essentially, you need to print the template on paper, stick it on cardboard and cut the shape. There are also many unofficial Cardboard variants (assembly required) that you can buy online at ebay.in, amazon.in and DX.com.

A Step Up From Cardboard Cardboard works well -but what if you want better? You can get plastic VR headsets with universal phone compatibility on portals like Amazon India and DX. These devices have larger lenses for wider viewing angles, they fit better if you wear glasses, they offer better light sealing and a headband to keep it in place (for hands-free VR). Before buying, check that it fits your phone: the specifications usually list compatibility according to screen size (for instance, `fits phones with 5 to 7-inch screens’). The thickness of the phone is not an issue because the foam lining in the headset expandscontracts to fit almost any device (you may still have to remove bulky cases from large phones though).

Source: The Economic Times
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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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