While we think of virtual reality as a fairly modern concept, it’s been written about in Science fiction since the 1930s. In 1960s, we finally see gadgets like the sensorama which also included sounds and smell. We started to then see things like the view master get created, which were goggles that would show a picture and would build the foundation for virtual reality headsets that we see now.
In a nutshell, virtual reality is really a blanket term for anything that seemingly replaces the reality you’re in, created digitally.
Most VR headsets are made out of lightweight plastic and since you’re going to be putting it on your head, anything lightweight is a good choice. The overall construction is pretty solid. The front of the headset opens up and your device slips in right there.
The headset works with any Smartphone with the display size between 3.4 inches to 6 inches. A few headsets can support both smaller as well as larger size Smartphones. It has this really comfortable padding at the front or at the back, whichever way you’re holding it so using it for extended periods of time was rather enjoyable.
Some headsets have a detachable faceplate so you will have the access to the speakers and the camera on a Smartphone which will help you to capture your own 3D content with the cardboard camera app. But the star of the show are the lenses that make a moving two-dimensional object looks like real world 3D.
Here’s how it usually works;
Most of it is sight-driven; a way to confuse our minds into what we’re seeing. So a headset or goggles are created which cover all sight and replace with something else. In most cases, there are actually two images one over each eye and when we’re looking at these images both at once, we get a sense of three dimensions.
There are also built-in gyroscopes that can sense when the goggles move. So if you look, the screen looks down, making you believe that you’re actually in that setting. Fully immersive sound can also be used to make you think you’re in another place.
For you to interact with this world, there are many techniques being worked on. Some including gloves that can sense where your hands are or things like video game controllers.
The cool part is, you don’t need to download a separate app to see how it all works in coordination with a Smartphone. You can do that straight from the Youtube app. Youtube currently supports virtual reality content and the amount of content is constantly increasing.
It’s quite hard to explain what actually happens when the phone is in the VR headset. It’s kind of those things that you have to experience yourself to get a full idea.
Virtual reality has been talked about for a while. So it’s not surprising that virtual has already been made for the masses and it was relatively unsuccessful. Video game companies like Saga and Nintendo have both created virtual reality headsets. The Virtual Boy by Nintendo was discontinued after less than a year of production and it’s the company’s second lowest selling platform ever.