Just last month, Google released a Cardboard, an open source mobile virtual reality equipment. For God, and now even the "hardware" is open source! Of course, the Google boys, obviously, is not simply to provide a low-tech mobile virtual reality solutions, the aim is to use the user's mobile phone to get greater access to virtual reality experience. Samsung virtual reality equipment Gear VR will be released at the end of this year, and they and the Oculus also have cooperated on the VR at the software level.
And the opposite is Oculus VR, they rely on PC for a super high definition virtual reality experience. Oculus Rift is using modern technology to help virtual reality helmet said to be reborn, it represented the peak in the virtual reality technology in the field. However, the virtual reality industry's future seems to be towards two entirely different directions, one is entertainment, another is immersed.
"Sense of place"
Yes, that is the word. "Presence" is at the heart of virtual reality. Michael Abrash in the gaming industry, has fought for years, before the Valve engaged in research and development, currently chairs the Oculus VR's chief scientist. In January this year, he describes the ideal virtual reality: "in virtual reality, there is a feeling in this world,. A lot of people will have a "send" feeling. There is a very strong feeling, for virtual reality, it's a unique feeling, but also any other media not to create a kind of feeling. "
In fact, this is the virtual reality of the "magic": users were quickly "send" to another world. You are not through a screen to watch another world, which you will live. In fact, the achievement of this goal is not easy, even like game Giants Nintendo and no success. Oculus Rift has the "magic", although their first demo a little sloppy, but overall still a bit rough, or even need a PC support, but prototypes of the effect is still very impressive. Also need hardware support the Sony Project Morpheus, it also needs to rely on a value $ 400 game machine supports.
Although these equipment demo doesn't work as well, but compared to the mobile processor support for the virtual reality helmet, they are more advanced.
Now with mobile virtual reality
Some people have tried to use Samsung's virtual reality helmet, and is said to have good results. This name "Gear VR" now also offers a virtual reality device development kit supports Galaxy S4. Rumored Gear VR listed the new version will support more powerful cell phones, may be Note 4. According to experienced demo some of the sources said the device, the device is very impressive. Samsung hasn't officially released this product allegedly Gear VR will be in the next few weeks Germany IFA consumer electronics exhibition debut.
Cardboard also received a positive evaluation from Google, of course, they also are more cautious. Foreign journalists believe Google this product is good, but it cannot compete and Oculus Rift. At present, such as YouTube and Google Earth application can be used on top of Cardboard, and can enable collaboration, Nexus 5 mobile phone. Virtual reality equipment does not seem to be positioned on Google provides "presence" experience, and they hope their own virtual reality equipment brings better viewing experience for the user. For example, users can watch YouTube when using a non-virtual reality interactive augmented reality App to watch video content. This practice is also good, because it can push virtual reality content quickly to a mass market. However, Google clearly and with "sense of place" virtual reality different.
The plight of virtual reality
Virtual reality industry's major manufacturers are represented, if there is no "sense of place", virtual reality will be useless. In order to create this feeling, Oculus VR founder and creator of Oculus Rift Palmer Luckey says, virtual reality technology has to have a certain quality, size have more than the most advanced Smartphone. Of course, it's not easy to achieve, because it needs to be super high resolution screen, 90 Hz or higher refresh rates, and high-speed processors in order to achieve this goal.
High quality virtual reality helmets need to rely on expensive, and high-performance graphics processing unit (GPU) support. But it will cause the device to overheat, issues such as overweight, and also increases energy consumption. Even if, as NVIDIA (NVIDA) so GPU manufacturers make processors smaller lighter, but they could not overcome the problem of energy consumption. Battery technology could not keep up with the development speed of processor technology, and it is the biggest problem of virtual reality equipment.
Google believes that now is the best time for the development of virtual reality, and without regard to any technical limitations. On their Cardboard official website reads, "we want everyone to experience virtual reality, easy, fun, and affordable. This is the goal of our Cardboard projects. "While this sounds naïve, but Google Cardboard and other mobile virtual reality solution also is expected to give developers and major technologies provide consumers with the most basic experience of virtual reality.
The question now is, your screen could not achieve 4k resolution, may soon have, of course, but at least up to now. When our mobile reach that standard, mobile virtual reality can seem less like a gimmick, but more like an actual product. When the processor is higher performance, greater battery capacity, mobile is it possible to go beyond the basics of virtual reality experience, give us real virtual "sense of place". So far, some equipment would like to provide a few basic virtual reality experience, such as Cardboard and Sony's Google Project Morpheus while some devices you want for the user "presence" experience, such as the Oculus Rift. But in the end, two development paths will come together, at least in part, be together.
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