Just like 3D technology, virtual reality, we all known as VR is not a new concept. Back to 1950s, people already scratched the surface of the VR technology, goggles also have been introduced to people for this particular experience. Almost 70 years past, VR technology becomes more mature; whereas goggles seem more clumsy.
3D, 360-degree video, VA and VR
Ever since all kind of new technology emerged into people’s daily life, it is important to figure out the similarity and difference between them.
3D, maybe the first thing rushed into present people’s daily life because of blockbuster Avatar, known as three-dimensional film, gives people the chance to discover the depth of field, but only from one direction which is the cameraman’s angle. People do not have freedom to move around according to their own will as well as need to wear 3D glasses.
The 360-degree video is not VR, though Youtube has the channel called Virtual Reality contains 360-degree videos. 360-degree videos are known as immersive videos or spherical videos. You certainly able to move your mouse to view the video in 360 degrees; however, most of the 360-degree videos are 2D, there is no depth of field. Moreover, you can only follow the cameraman’s point of view instead of from your own perspective.
Not too many people hear about augmented reality (AR), but you definitely saw it somewhere on the live TV, like the Eurovision 2017 just wrapped up. This is a type of technology that live show will use to make the stage looks like three-dimensional. Nothing to do with the audience, but relies on the live TV production team.
Then, comes to the VR. In short, VR has almost all the advantages of 3D and 360-degree videos; moreover, it has more functions. You can explore the depth of the view as well as ‘wandering around’ on the set, moreover, you might able to interact with the video you saw. However, you have to wear the goggles to make them come to sure.
The headset is the problem…
Though VR technology exists for a long time, why it seems still far away from people’s daily life? What is wrong with VR?
In my view, one of the major problems that obstruct people to have further interaction with VR, as well as troubled all the tech companies and media organisations is the goggles. People could not find a good reason to have a pair of goggles; at the same time, tech companies are trying to convince people to buy one.
Even Zillah Watson, BBC former current affairs producer who conducted the research: VR for News: The New Reality? highlighted that goggles are the major issue for VR involved in people’s daily life at the panel hosted by Reuters Institute early this month at BBC Portland.
The bitter-sweet fact is without the headset, VR is no longer to be called virtual reality. Maybe there is one thing the tech companies need to focus on is to make a better, cheaper and lighter goggles.
Do we really need VR in our life?
Honestly speaking, as soon as people still need to wear goggles in order to enjoy VR, VR seems hardly become the must-to-have in people’s daily life. Moreover, VR is working more better in entertainment business instead of news. For video games and education, even travel business, VR could play a big part in the nearly future.
I still remember one of my favourite video games back to my teenage time is Virtua Cop, known as Virtua Squad in America, was the first-person light-gun shooter arcade game, which combined the visual effect that 3D and 360-degree technology. Video games seem alway led the trend of visual enjoyment.
Besides, VR really can do more in education and travel, as it provides the chance for people to discover and interactive with historic architecture and tourist attractions. Though nowadays people have more chances to travel, whereas most of the historic sites have been protected for good reasons.
VR definitely has a long way to go, to explore the universe or dig into the human body, as soon as people still have the curiosity about the world, VR will play a big part in the future. But first of all, I would like to get rid of the giggles…