Using your smartphone as a virtual reality screenSince virtual reality became public many have desired to have a complete virtual reality experience but in certain ways, kits such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive are too expensive, some prefer to go to conventions where virtual reality is being promoted and stand in a long queue in order to have a taste of this experience. Many companies have exploited most of the potential of virtual reality; one example is Sony which now presents its PlayStation VR, an accessory for PlayStation 4 which we can use to enjoy a virtual reality environment with the use of special glasses, a motion camera compatible with PlayStation 4 and a compatible game.

Conferences in which companies reveal their virtual reality prototypes have been very common in big videogame fairs such as the E3, Paris Game Week, Tokyo Game Show and even Microsoft or Sony fairs. In these fairs, large quantities of virtual reality prototypes are presented and with a little bit of luck we we could have a chance to experience virtual reality without any cost, however we don’t have to go through that in order to have a full experience of virtual reality. Here in Vofeel we’ll show you some alternatives to enjoying virtual reality at a very low cost.

Virtual reality glasses

There are easily accessible virtual reality head sets in the market which enable us to use our smartphones as the screens’ projection. How does it work? The glasses have got special lenses that simulate the projection of an enlarged view, the smartphone sensors are what gives it the precision to know in what direction we are moving and the apps we download will maintain a double screen in order that each lens of the glasses have a unique view for each eye, though it should be or will always be the same image, depending on the app we find in the app stores.

Samsung Gear VR (150 Euros)

Maybe the best bet to enjoy virtual reality but in a not so cheap way is the Samsung helmet version, one of the best designs presented so far, adaptable to most smartphones hence making it universal. This virtual reality helmet weighs 300g, it includes batteries, an aux exit for headphones and micro USB ports and USB sort C. The belt it includes is to simulate and strengthen the idea of it being a helmet and not to have a problem using it any other way.

VR Case (15 Euros)

When it comes to fulfilling all of the users requirements at a very low cost we find ourselves with the virtual reality glasses from VR case, inspite of it costing very little, it fulfills the lens functions; only insert your smartphone and you can begin enjoying the experience of virtual reality. This model also includes belts and a section where you can insert your smarphone, but it isn’t universal; only smartphones that measure between 3.5″ inches to 6″inches can be placed in this section, however if it doesn’t cover all that’s needed we could have problems with one of the lenses.

Construct your own virtual reality glasses

One of the biggest proposals that Google presented to the virtual reality market was to create a small prototype called Google CardBoard VR, in which simple pieces of cardboard and cheap special glasses would carry out all the functions of a virtual reality headset. There already exists in the market finished CardBoards, we only need to buy them and start enjoying them, personalize it how we want and we have our own virtual reality helmet, nevertheless Google gives you the opportunity to design it by yourself.

In the beginning Google released to the market a small envelope with all the tools to create this economic virtual reality helmet; pieces of cardboard, economic special glasses and corresponding instructions on how to assemble these glasses. On the internet you can also find instructions on how to create a CardBoard with the same Google design, it is as simple as downloading a model of how to trim the cardboards, buying a lens of 4mm with special augmentation and following the instructions step by step.

Apps for smartphones

In the app stores we will find many apps that work with augmented reality, the way to indentify if an app manages augmented reality is, if it is double screened and if it can also move in the direction of whichever way you turn. Since Google shared in Android the DSK of CardBoard it’s been seen infinities of examples, prototypes, videogames and interaction with users that have a CardBoard or a virtual reality helmet. At the CardBoard launch, Google also created a special section of videogames and apps that perfectly work with virtual reality either with the glasses or with another companys’ helmet.

Estudiante de Ingeniería de Sistemas en el Instituto Universitario Politécnico Santiago Mariño en Venezuela. Redactor freelance para VOFEEL international desde 2016. Amante de la música clásica y de la tecnología. [English]: System engineering student at Santiago Mariño University. Freelancer writer for Vofeel since 2016. Classical music and technology lover.

Virtual reality in video game consolesThe development of virtual reality is an advancement which so many enterprises have begun taking advantage of, ever since Palmer Luckey launched its first stable prototype; the Oculus Rift along with its developing kit for testing. Sony has been one of the enterprises majorly expanding the potential of video games in virtual reality; being able to get in and to feel the virtual world for oneself was the primary reason for its success. And as regards to video games, it was one of the most successful because it was so much better to experience games such as Shooter, Survivor or another video game genre in this manner.

In the beginning, when the first signs of virtual reality development were presented, it was criticized by many users; they believed that it was just a video game feature. Nevertheless, today, virtual reality has been socially very useful in areas, such as; medicine, science, psychological treatments, among others. Virtual reality has as a strong point, video games, and this has kept a large amount of users interested in the virtual reality news; it´s been growing as well as gaining ground in more areas. One of the most profitable uses is in distance learning; a doctor can shoot a 360° degree footage while students, from different countries with a virtual reality helmet, can rotate their point of view to any angle in the room where the operation is being made.

Sony develops Playstation VR

One of the biggest enterprises in video game consoles launched the Playstation VR (PSVR). A feature that’s been up and coming for a long time. As a result of many developments, such as; the HTC Vice and Oculus Rift, it arrives as an alternative to video games. Virtual reality has been coming up ever since Google gave the opportunity to low income earners with a smartphone to experience virtual reality with the Google CardBoard VR; cardboard figures and special glasses to simulate a tiny virtual reality helmet along with applications provided by Google in its Play Store.

Samsung is another enterprise that has also given users plenty of possibilities with the Samsung Gear; a virtual reality helmet, where we just need the corresponding applications and a smartphone to make it work. Today, Samsung Gear has got an S2 version that allows you to use your smartwatch as an accessory in some virtual reality applications. Sonys’ Playstation VR, is a unique accessory to the Playstation 4. It’ll also be necessary for the camera to be compatible with Playstation 4 and to its controller knobs.

Cheaper than the rest

The Playstation VR is cheaper than the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive; it’s even the half the cost of the Oculus Rift kit. But, this is just for people who already have a Playstation 4 and its camera. Separately, the PSVR alone is cheaper, but the entire kit is a bit more expensive. Besides, we have to include the actual video games or the ones from the Playstation Store, among others. However, we don’t have to worry about performance issues, just like any PC, if it doesn’t have the necessary requirements, we will have a bad performance.

The Playstation VR has a cost of 400 Euros in the market and its camera costs approximately 100 Euros. That is to say, that if we already have a PS4 it’ll be cheaper to invest in a Playstation VR than in an Oculus Rift kit or a HTC Vive with prices ranging between 800-900 Euros. If you’re a video game console fan and you want to experience virtual reality, the Playstation VR is one your best choices; you won’t waste components to achieve a better performance for your PC. And, you’ll need to invest less of what a complete Oculus Rift kit or a HTC Vive costs.

More than 80 games confirmed

The adaptation of a video, a video game or a film to virtual reality is hard work. But this wasn’t an excuse to some video game developers being that more than 80 games were confirmed for the Playstation VR before it was launched in the market. This happened because nobody wants to stay out of the virtual reality market, and a huge list was provided to make it clear that many enterprises wanted to participate in this idea with Sony gaining ground in the world of virtual reality.

Lots of the confirmed games will be completely epic and insane. Playing one of the recent Call of Duty games and feeling like you are inside the war will be an unforgettable experience. Resident Evil 7 has also been confirmed where the fear and zombies will invade our virtual environment and Until Dawn with the fear and drama of making decisions. These are games expected by gamers along with the purchase of the Playstation VR.

Estudiante de Ingeniería de Sistemas en el Instituto Universitario Politécnico Santiago Mariño en Venezuela. Redactor freelance para VOFEEL international desde 2016. Amante de la música clásica y de la tecnología. [English]: System engineering student at Santiago Mariño University. Freelancer writer for Vofeel since 2016. Classical music and technology lover.

Virtual GlassesThe virtual reality is one of most significant patents on the current technological advance, who’s expecting for 2020 reach to 100 million users, the first tests are based on videogames but all gave a big change when companies as Oculus VR (directed by Palmer Luckey) showed beyond that only videogames, experiencing and developing prototypes In order that other companies will take it and adapt it to daily life to areas as medicine, science, even for treatment to the health virtual reality is present.

Technology goes forward in big steps, and virtual reality is a clear example of it; a technology able to catch you in a digitized environment. In big technological conventions as CES we will appreciate companies that dedicates not only to digitize a environment if not that they adapt other tools as the 3D audio and platforms to walk and makes us the main character of a digitized world but as real, that you won’t notice the difference between real and the imaginary once you’ll be inside it.

The future in diapers yet

The project of virtual reality has many years on the market and though passed many years of prototypes, patents, projects to live the experience of the user; it’s thought that until now in 2016 it is being considered as the great beginning of the virtual reality and probably the future for big projects. Currently Sony and Microsoft bet as big tools for their videogames consoles, already exists products of virtual reality on pre-sales and ready to be used.

Passing throughout this year the virtual reality product most bought has been the glasses of virtual reality where has been sold around 7 millions of glasses around the world and Samsung with Gear VR has been the leader on sells of a million of glasses. The first homemade prototype presented was the Google CardBoard VR made of paperboard and glasses of 40mm (Focal distance and biconvex) to reach the virtual reality effect, very easy to set and with a smartphone is to live an augmented experience.

The school from the future

At the beginning of virtual reality only was known patents for videogames, truly this was the base for virtual reality glasses creation and to start with the technology from the future. The virtual reality adaptation consisted in passing all the works from videogames to educational platforms and was a success, on nowadays universities from United States use equipments to record in 360 grades a nursing hall and with it students on distance use the virtual reality helmets and make them able to see the whole area already seen by the teacher.

On nowadays Oculus VR is one of most experimented in adapting to other areas and the current benefited from this great technology are the students from school in United States with a special program called “VR for good”. 9 schools from San Francisco are going to be the first on having the opportunity to create videos from 3-5 minutes in 360 grades, an unique opportunity for cinematography students to start themselves on virtual reality.

More than 500 projects in Spain

Virtual reality in Spain have found that the 47% of projects have been carried out in 2016, exists almost 150 companies dedicated to virtual reality in Spain, however it’s expected in 2017 this companies extend their staff because the majority are start-ups companies from less to 5 employees (41%) and only a few overcomes 20 employees (8%). The half of this start-ups companies of Spain that dedicate to these areas only invoice less than 300.000 Euros a year.

In spite of the number of companies are very small respecting to staff, this projects of virtual reality in so far of projects (500 projects) is estimated that could invoice a totality of 45 million of Euros which for some technological companies is a small cipher, but for new technologies in Spain is a hope that it maintains advancing to virtual reality.

Virtual reality for all

From beginning of virtual reality it has been experimented other areas, one of most interesting is the military area; creating a digitized environment for assault practices with functional guns in virtual reality environment. Virtual reality has opened ways to big researches, even exists the possibility to heal diseases on psychiatry through virtual reality glasses.

The original idea for virtual reality glasses was the entertainment; on nowadays it keeps being the leader, but not so much, in the virtual reality projects, the enteirtainment only has 23% of the projects, the following of publicity (Marketing) 22%, tourism 17% and then, there are other areas which are in process of more searches such as the education, health, Real-estate market and services. Oculus VR is one the companies that have explored these areas, even is base to many other companies for their prototypes and experiments of virtual reality.

Estudiante de Ingeniería de Sistemas en el Instituto Universitario Politécnico Santiago Mariño en Venezuela. Redactor freelance para VOFEEL international desde 2016. Amante de la música clásica y de la tecnología. [English]: System engineering student at Santiago Mariño University. Freelancer writer for Vofeel since 2016. Classical music and technology lover.