Advances in Virtual Reality (VR). What Is "Now" and What Is "Next"?


Recent advances in technology have enabled innovative ideas that once seemed impossible to come into reality. The American fantasy film Jumanji has become no more science fiction. Virtual reality (VR) has enabled traveling into many worlds just in few seconds.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Companies are investing more and more in VR to achieve a more realistic experience to the users. Recently haptic sensations of the virtual reality (VR) are under development. Gloveone, a kick startup project announced its idea to make a VR pair of gloves. Instead of just experiencing the sight of VR, you could also enjoy the feel of touching things.

For example, using this glove you could feel the touch of a virtual butterfly on your hands. These gloves contain 10 actuators at different part of the palm and the finger tips. Every actuator works independently. They produce various intensities and frequencies to give you the actual sensation.

Using these gloves, you could feel the weight and the shape of a virtual apple. You can even feel as if you were smashing the apple. Gloveone is also equipped with 9-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) sensor. It is a sensor of high importance that gives measurement for rotation about 3 axes and acceleration in 3 axes.

There is an additional 3-axis magnetometer that measures magnetic field in three directions to eliminate the small errors that can build up to give very accurate measurements of rotation and acceleration. The sensor could accurately track for instance your head position during complex movement. There is a separate sensor for every finger. Gloveone adds important and amazing feature for VR that could easily be integrated with other systems such as Kinect.

In 2015, a startup company called Prynt suggested a brilliant idea of augmenting a full video of your experience to be printed in a picture. After printing the picture using their device, you could point your mobile to the printed image to view the full video. They enabled people to augment videos in picture on the go. They needed just $50,000 for the project; however, they were able to collect $1,500,000.

There are infinite possibilities that augmented reality could do with virtual reality (VR), the merge between both. Using this experience, you could have a full amazing experience of not just playing in your place. You could run around in your place while changing the walls of your home into walls in a cave.

You could see your hands right in front of you manipulated by the software. Impressive Pi is a company that developed revolutionary headset. It merges between 3D gesture control and wireless position tracking to provide the best VR & AR experience.

Computer vision algorithms handle the 3D gestures of your hand making it possible to act in a natural and normal manner without the need of taking the headset off. The headset offers AR overlay. It captures the real world with its dual camera and embeds virtual objects. It is like a living hologram. It also gives warning to avoid collisions when seeing real objects.

Many developments were done to improve the quality of the sensors and produce more accurate sensors. STEM System project was made by adding five sensors to track all the body. Developers announced that STEM system has the accuracy and responsiveness to support sword fighting game. It also makes the experience of climbing a ladder possible.

With all this kind of new projects, it may seem that there is no more room for innovation. However, there is a project called FOVE. FOVE offers the first headset that tracks eye motion. This headset enables a wide range of applications in Virtual Reality (VR). It was used with physically disabled students from University of Tsukuba in Japan.

Students played the piano using their eyes. They were able to choose between the different chords. FOVE tracks where the eye points and recognizes which chord should be played. It also enabled writing using the eye in VR systems and provided high accuracy aiming at targets in VR games. The person just aims with his/her eyes to shoot a virtual enemy. Players could make eye contact with characters in video games.

In order to overcome the limited size of the player room with the endless world of VR, Cybershoes were made. The player wears those pair of sensors under his/her shoes. The player can then sit on a chair and run using Cybershoes to explore the unlimited world of VR.

A lot of people have tried 7D cinemas at some stores. Now the project Yaw VR offers a compact, full and small solution that could be stored under your desk. It is a portable VR motion simulator. It has a diameter of just 29 inches and height of 15 inches when it is folded while its weight is 33 pounds.

Yaw VR offers three degree of freedom motion. It is designed for gaming as it will give an exceptional experience with racing and flying games. The simulator is very fast that it can make a full rotation in 1 second. The motion was tested on a man weighing 210 kg showing its endurance and strength. The simulator was offered at the cost of $890 only.

A new waterproof headset VRSlide was made at Galaxy Erding in Germany. It could be immersed few meters in water. It can also be used with Samsung Galaxy S8.

The technology was also installed into numerous roller coasters and theme parks. “The Void” is one example of theme parks that is in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Using a combination of AR, VR, and multiple sensors such as motion tracking, haptic feedback and customized mechanical rooms, a whole new amazing world is made in that park.

In 2016, the world chess championship between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin was shown in 360 VR technology. It is the first sport to be viewed by VR.

With all these amazing inventions, we can only imagine what the future will bring in the field of virtual reality (VR).