Where some are aware of all the technical innovations, others do not keep up with the progress. We just got used to the fact that the card can not be inserted into the terminal, but here it turns out that the world is already walking around in virtual reality with might and main. If you’ve heard something cool about VR, but still don’t understand what it’s all about, we’ll answer the most popular beginner questions.
What’s the difference between goggles and a helmet?
The key difference is in the degree of immersion and the connection technology itself. Glasses are the easiest and most affordable way to experience virtual reality. They connect to a smartphone, or rather, the latter is simply inserted into the glasses and broadcasts special content through the eyepieces of the glasses. The glasses are mobile, do not depend on the computer and can be used anywhere. At the same time, the deepest dive should not be expected. Points are not tracked in space, and the quality of content directly depends on the power of the smartphone.
Shinecon SC-G06E VR Glasses
[for all models 4.7-6″, on Android smartphones, iOS smartphones, smartphone screen, 90˚ – 100˚, headphones]
1 999 *
In stores: in 30 stores
VR helmets are already heavy artillery. They are tracked in space using sensors, broadcast the image on separate displays for the eyes and provide a complete immersion in the digital space. They are ideal for gaming and connect directly to your computer. They are, however, much more expensive.
Is it true that it really sucks?
Not necessary. It all depends on your vestibular apparatus. Motion sickness, dizziness – in principle, a normal reaction for those who put on glasses or a helmet for the first time. It’s all about how the brain perceives information. Your body remains in reality while your eyes and ears react to virtual events. You see how everything flickers and runs around, but in fact you are sitting or standing in one place and nothing happens. Dizziness is something like a defensive reaction of the brain, which does not understand what is wrong.
These feelings should not be tolerated. At the first sign of discomfort, stop the session and return to VR later, when the symptoms are completely gone. At the initial stage, choose games without obvious out of sync, use the “teleport” or “vignetting” modes and other settings to adjust the gameplay to your own feelings.
For many, motion sickness goes away with time, but if you are worried and don’t want to risk buying expensive equipment, try first to go to virtual reality salons for a few game sessions or at least inexpensive glasses with a smartphone.
Are there any contraindications at all?
Especially not. The first thing that newcomers to VR worry about is whether it is possible to play with a visual impairment and what to do if you wear glasses. Of course, it is more convenient to change glasses for lenses in this case. But the glasses themselves are not an obstacle, just a VR system is put on top.
As such, there are no health contraindications for using VR, but the mental state of the player matters. In the presence of nervous and mental disorders, you need to carefully consider the choice of content, avoiding games with bright and especially dynamic scenes, wild special effects. Well, don’t get too carried away with virtual walks so as not to be sad when you return to harsh reality.
And what is there to do in this virtual reality?
Anything. Ride rollercoasters, walk with lions on the savannah, travel to Mars, play games, watch movies in 3D. It all depends on the type of downloadable content, which is now very much from ordinary videos to fantasy worlds. The glasses are comfortable and pleasant to watch videos optimized for VR and play the simplest games for smartphones. In helmets, you can do everything the same, but play like an adult, fully interacting with the playing space. And the games themselves will be cooler.
The quality of the content is varied and depends on the developers. Here, for example, looks like the sensational Half-Life: Alyx, optimized for VR.
What kind of computer is needed for a VR helmet?
The requirements for a PC can be found in the characteristics of the VR helmets themselves.
For example, the HTC Vive PRO helmet requires a processor from i5 4590 or FX 8350, from 4-8 GB (and preferably all 16) of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 video card.
In general, the more powerful your processor and graphics card, the higher the graphics settings you will be able to set in the game.
HTC Vive PRO Virtual Reality Headset
[for PC, 2880×1600, 90Hz, 110°, 520g]
The glasses do not have any specific requirements because they are not a digital device in and of themselves. They all depend on your smartphone. Some glasses models limit only the models for smartphones that can be used. For example, Samsung Gear VR can only be used with Samsung smartphones, and then not with all.
Is it necessary to buy the entire VR system or is a helmet enough?
For some games, one helmet is enough. Game actions can be implemented using gamepads, joysticks or a regular keyboard and mouse. But virtual controllers will give you, firstly, mobility, and, secondly, the very thing that VR is so loved for – immersion.
With a full-fledged VR system and “flying” controllers, you are completely immersed in the game, and the controllers mimic your hands.
I don’t have enough space at home – can I play?
Certainly. On average, 3 square meters of space is enough for a comfortable game, in which you can wave your arms and take a couple of steps. In the game settings, you can usually set the perimeter of the game zone, and when you suddenly start to go beyond it in a fit of virtual immersion, the helmet will warn you about it. You can also use real restraints to make it easier for you to navigate in space – for example, put pillows or blankets around it, or simply lay a rug on the play area. It is best to play away from fragile and sharp objects, electronics or cover them with something soft.
Are AR and VR the same thing?
No. AR is augmented reality, “augmented reality”. It literally “imposes” virtual objects on real space. Something like the acclaimed Pokemon GO game, only the potential of AR, of course, does not end there. Augmented reality is actively used in medicine, military affairs, engineering, architecture and design. Although the technologies are different, their areas of application are relatively similar. In VR, you cut off the real world and become completely immersed in a digital environment that responds to your movements. In AR, you look at the real world, but with additional elements – objects, markups, drawings, signatures, multimedia objects in games.
By the way, there is also MR – mixed reality, “mixed reality” that combines AR and VR. You kind of feel completely in reality, but something digital is happening around you, and you are interacting with these objects. The key difference from AR is that in augmented reality objects are simply superimposed on top like a picture or a hologram, while in MR they are fully integrated into the real environment, having physical and spatial points of contact with real objects.