Virtual Reality Shapes and Sizes
It looks like the latest kids on the block are using Virtual Reality (VR) to connect with virtual worlds. These days, headsets like Oculus Rift are grabbing the headlines. Companies are queueing up to gorge themselves on the latest VR developers. It seems like no one can get enough.
However although this is still in its infancy, the CEO of Oculus VR is investing in education. Brendan Iribe has invested $31 million in labs for artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computer vision, robotics and virtual reality at the University of Maryland.
What’s Brendan Iribe Up To?
VW have grown up over the past few years. Initially seen as a playground for geeks and freaks, it’s now being seen as a great tool as well as a perfect playground experience. The addition of VR has made VWs more desirable than ever. As a community platform, the merits of Virtual Worlds are for allowing people to engage with each other with ease regardless of their situation or location.
These headsets help people have a much deeper immersive experience. If you were to try a roller coaster, you better take your sick bag with you. They also have their downside – try typing while wearing a VR headset. You’ll soon find out how difficult it is to type if you can’t see the keyboard.
Modelling complexity has also increased and near-life like features are a given these days. Avatars are closer to real life and so are builds, games and work. It’s a whole new concept of experiencing the world without leaving your bedroom. This generation is the ‘Avatar’ generation. Brendan Iribe is betting on the future of the Avatar Generation.
So what else can be done with VR?
As well as being fun to play with in games, VR is being used for many things from developing civic participation and leadership skills, visualizing real time weather data, modelling complex mathematical functions, and experimenting with architectural models to creating stage dramas. While the headsets are currently cumbersome, they will be sleeker and leaner in time. As will immersive suits and motion capture (Mocap) like Sixense’s Hydra system. Already part of Xbox and PlayStation kit, these devices are coming onto online gaming.
Why Use Virtual Worlds?
Virtual worlds give participants an opportunity to be whoever they want, wish or hope to be. With a custom designed “avatar,” you can look, behave and speak any way you want. It’s your “second life,” after all. Fame, fortune and fantasy are all aspects of a virtual world that’s created by its players for its players. It’s become a constant part of many people’s lives, who now build their real lives around the games they play.
What Happens When It All Goes Wrong?
Individuals can make an anonymous avatar and trash it when their virtual life goes wrong. There should be no come back to your real life. Of course the unscrupulous can use this to scam and steal both money and affection, but this is true of a lot of online activity. You just have to be sharp and be aware.
Good luck with your virtual world, whether it be Second Life, Minecraft or one of the other myriad of games out there today.