Building the OASIS — How VR Works

In 2030, Ready Player One could be a reality.

It’s Monday morning, you wake up and put on your Oculus headset. You are instantly transported to the surface of Mars where your super cool teacher from the other side of the world decided to teach today’s lesson.

(Credit: Ready Player One)

What is Virtual Reality?

In a nutshell, Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation.

(Credit: Unknown)

How Does VR Work?

In order for VR to work, you need two things:

  • A phone (most of the time)

There are Two Types of VR Headsets

  1. A phone compatible headset → you put your phone into the headset, as the screen.
  2. A standalone headset → this means it has a built in screen, power, and storage. No phone needed.

Parts of a Headset

  • An attachment sensor → this is attached to your phone (unless it is a standalone headset)
  • An adjustment dial & release button → because we all want our headband to be comfy
  • Motion tracking sensors
  • Lenses → so you can see the VR application of course

Types of Motion Tracking

Motion tracking is what controls what you are looking at in the VR world. It essentially tracks what direction your head is in.

1) 6DOF & 3DOF Tracking

2) Lighthouse tracking

Lighthouse tracking uses passive markers on HTC Vive headsets and controllers.

HTC Vive

3) Electromechanical environment & body sensors

Using microscopic electromechanical sensors such as: gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers is a common method of motion tracking.

4) Infrared cameras 📷

These cameras track motion without any markers. One example, is the Microsoft Kinect.

5) Depth-sensing cameras

How Do I Make My Own VR Application?

So, you want to be a VR developer.

  • C++

Haptic and tactile technologies make VR next-level.

In Ready Player One, they don’t just use VR headsets. We see devices such as: gloves, bodysuits, and conveyor belt systems. All these devices enhance the VR experience.

Motion Sickness is the biggest problem in the VR industry.

motion sickness sucks :(

Where VR is currently being used?

VR is being used in several different industries for lots of cool applications.

Business 💼

VR is huge in the business space. It is a great tool for product visualization and planning.

Entertainment

Currently, the entertainment industry is one of the biggest applications for VR technology. Just like in Ready Player One.

The game is called: Oasis Beta
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (for the Star Trek fans)
  • Edge of Nowhere (super cool expedition game)
  • Marvel Powers United (for all the Marvel fans)
  • Minecraft (creepers are scarier in VR…)
  • Fortnite… ok there’s no VR Fortnite, but when it comes it will definitely be on this list 🦄

Here’s some industries virtual reality could disrupt in the near future:

Education

VR will revolutionise the education space, because it will bring new opportunity for interactive learning. As mentioned earlier in my article, wouldn’t it be way cooler to learn about Mars on Mars! 😎

Retail

Forget shopping in store. Forget shopping on online stores.

Healthcare

Currently, companies are working on VR solutions to common patient problems 🏥 For example, it can be used to calm a patient before and after a stressful surgery. It can also be used to distract a mom, during childbirth.

Travel

Many seniors cannot travel, due to health restrictions. Luckily for them, VR travel companies are in there early stages and will bring about the opportunity to travel via VR! Travel in the VR space will help reduce carbon emissions and will be a cheaper option for low-income individuals. All around awesome! ✈️

Companies to Watch in the VR Space

There are lots of really cool companies disrupting the VR space, in a several different industries ranging from Space to Entertainment and everything in between. Here are some personal favourites:

Oculus

Google

In 2014, Google ventured into the VR space and released the Google Cardboard headset. It’s compatible with both ios and Android devices. They also released several VR games. The Google Cardboard is an affordable option for VR headsets, as it only costs $30.

Google Cardboard — Literally made with cardboard
Google Daydream — $50

AltSpaceVR

AltSpaceVR is a really cool company in VR. They are a software company and platform where you can have meetings, conversations, and play games in different VR Spaces.

The Void

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The Most Important Information:

  • Virtual reality is a really cool technology with the potential to disrupt every industry.
  • VR is a fully immersive computer-generated simulation. It is part of the mixed reality family.
  • There are six main types of motion tracking: 6DOF & 3DOF, lighthouse tracking, electromechanical environment & body sensors, infrared cameras, and depth-sensing cameras.
  • Motion sickness is a big problem in VR.
  • There’s a ton of cool companies in VR: Oculus, AltSpaceVR, The Void, and many more.
(Credit: Ready Player One)
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18 y/o researching closed-loop systems for earth + space.

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