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Virtual

Reality:

How to Experience and Create Amazing VR


Content


Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: What Virtual Reality Means in 2016
Chapter 2: Current Virtual Reality Devices
Chapter 3: Current Must-Have Virtual Reality Experiences
Chapter 4: Creating Virtual Reality Content
Chapter 5: The Future of Virtual Reality
Conclusion

Introduction

I want to thank you and congratulate you for downloading Virtual Reality: How to
Experience and Create Amazing VR Content. This book contains all of the information
you need to know on the current state of the virtual reality development scene as it stands
at the beginning on 2016.

The virtual reality development space is poised to explode this year and the following
chapters will provide you with the information you need to get in on the ground floor of
your chosen virtual reality device.

Virtual reality is still an emerging technology so it is important to take all of the specifics
discussed in the following chapters with a grain of salt as many of them are still subject to
change. Likewise, until you know how your body responds to virtual experiences it is
important to take things slow until you are sure you wont experience any negative effects.
With that being said, have fund and enjoy the future!

Thanks again for downloading this book, I hope you enjoy it!

Copyright 2016 by Mauricio De la Orta - All rights reserved.



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Chapter 1: What Virtual Reality Means in 2016



Despite its lackluster performance in the mid-90s, the appeal of virtual reality has always
been obvious. Strap in, turn on, drop out, out of the city, world, even galaxy, all with the
touch of a button. Despite being a technological construct, the promise of virtual reality
has always been more of an organic prospect. Granted what is created is a technological
space, but it is experienced in the organic environment in the mind.

The concept of virtual reality began being thrown around almost as soon as computing
entered the relatively modern era of the 1950s. Technology was still light years from being
able to produce anything but the crudest simulations of reality however and, with the
notable exception of the United States government, virtual reality creation was on hold
until the late 1980s when the personal computer craze first started. While this period also
marked the creation of the first virtual reality arcade games, the technology was still not
advanced enough to simulate anything remotely approaching realism.

Finally, the current round of virtual reality development began in earnest in 2010 when
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey created his first prototype virtual reality headset.
While this initial device only offered a view of two dimensional images, it offered a full
90-degree field of view, a range far greater than anything that had appeared before. The
first demonstration he revealed allowed users to move through a cartoon version of Jerry
Seinfelds apartment and while the graphics were basic it was fluid enough to spark a new
wave of interest in virtual reality devices. While the technology still has some naysayers,
the fact that Facebook purchased Oculus VR for two billion dollars in 2014 means that
whatever happens the next few years will be full of devices trying to make virtual reality a
reality for the average person.

While products including the Oculus Rift have so far only been available to the public for
several years in the form of developer kit units, that hasnt stopped the marketplace from
already releasing a number of products designed to enhance the virtual reality experience.
These include products such as the Virtuix Omni which is an omnidirectional treadmill
designed to be used for walking around in virtual environments or the Gloveone, a pair of
haptic gloves that allow users to interact with virtual environments while also providing
real-time feedback and lifelike touch sensations.

Not to be outdone, Google introduced Google Cardboard in 2014. While widely seen by
the public as a joke, Google Cardboard headsets were designed by a pair of Google
Engineers as a low-cost way to increase interest in development of additional virtual

reality applications. While the idea was created by Google there is no official manufacture
and several companies have taken it upon themselves to create the goggles which are
available in a wide variety of styles and colors. When assembled, the Google Cardboard
headset holds a smartphone while an application splits the signal before applying effects
which generate a three-dimensional affect. In July of 2015 the company One Plus
launched their product the OnePlus 2 with a virtual reality commercial which was
compatible with Google Cardboard.

After years of hype and speculation 2016 does indeed seem to be the year that virtual
reality hits the consumer market in a big way with the Oculus Rift launching in March to a
high demand despite the relatively high $600 asking price. With the Valve-back HTC Vive
and the Sony VR device for the PlayStation 4 launching later in the year. In addition to the
big three, there are a number of other products being worked on by smaller teams which
are sure to shake the space up as well.

Perhaps more compellingly, the Open Source Virtual Reality open-source community
which connects likeminded companies interested in developing for a virtual space has
added at least one new organization every day since its launch in early 2015 and already
counts notable companies like Ubisoft and Intel among its ranks. This community is
dedicated to the goal that there should be a realistic virtual reality experience for
consumers at a wide variety of price points, not just for those who can afford a $600
Oculus Rift on top of a computer powerful enough to run it properly.

This in turn, the community believes, will allow for the broad-scale market penetration
that virtual reality needs to not only survive but thrive in a way that it determines the
future of digital design in a big way. Market penetration is key as the 3D craze of the early
10s showed, if enough people dont jump on the new technology at a fast enough rate then
it is liable to die on the vine. Virtual reality designers seem to be learning from 3Ds
mistakes however and are looking to engage with consumers in a wide variety of ways.

Education and Training

While still a nascent state, the possibilities for virtual reality in education and training
simulations is almost endless. Virtual reality already plays an active role in training
soldiers for military engagements where it is useful for the completely immersive and
relatively realistic experience it provides. The military is already used mobile headmounted displays, data suits, virtual-reality augmented weapons and haptic gloves to
allow soldiers to experience everything from jumping out of an airplane to crawling
through the desert.

Entertainment

Currently the greatest strides in virtual reality programing have been made in the
entertainment sector with the first consumer versions being released in the beginning of
2016 with software to follow. Each of the current generation of virtual reality hardware
includes a headset tethered to a curved lens which sits directly in front of each eye. Each
virtual reality device offers a different level of control with some tracking eye movement,
others favoring a traditional controller input method and still others allowing the user to
walk around in a simulated world and interact with it using controllers which are a mix of
the standard gamepad and a laser pointer.

Medicine

Virtual reality devices have gained popularity in recent years as therapy for soldiers who
have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This form of therapy uses specifically
created scenarios that let patients work through their issues in an environment that is at the
same time real enough to help them work through their issues while still being generated
in such a way that it doesnt seem so real that they cant disassociate themselves from the
events unfolding before them. It is also effective at helping patients who have not been
otherwise able to open up through traditional therapy.

Telepresence
With commercial virtual reality equipment not yet a reality, virtual telepresence tools are
not currently in use outside of test cases. Programs that utilize complete 3D simulations
while providing real time feedback are already in development at several major
productivity software companies including Microsoft who is currently working on the
HoloLens which, while not a virtual reality device, is an augmented reality device which
could easily provide a meetings worth of people with the same images at the same time.
Microsoft is also currently working on a product called the Anybot which is designed to
take teleconferencing to the next level.

Architecture

There are already functional versions of software available online that allow users of the
Oculus Rift to upload blueprints to create a functional model that an architect and his
clients can then virtual walk-through and critique the model from the inside. There are
also similar programs available for city planners which allow them to view a particularly
tricky development issue from literally all of the angles. It is again important to note that
this level of design and interaction is available in a world without commercial virtual

reality devices, which make the potential for future applications quite encouraging.

Chapter 2: Current Virtual Reality Devices



Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality device for use with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6
Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 and is available for purchase right now for
$100. It is worth noting that the Innovator Edition of the device is still currently available
for third-party stores and is inferior to the wide-release model in terms of looks and fit.
This is the first virtual reality device of its kind available for smartphones on the market
today and it has no equal when it comes to iOS or non-Samsung Android phones.

The technology behind the Gear VR is a take on the Oculus Rift hardware which means
this version of the technology will remain Samsung specific for the foreseeable future.
Stringent hardware specifications aside, the Gear VR provides an astounding virtual
reality experience given the technological hurdles it has to overcome in order to be
successful. It allows users to stream Netflix from the private screening room in their own
mountain villa and stream other movies in a private theater. The device also supports head
tracking so users do not need to worry about keeping their head perfectly still to ensure a
proper viewing angle.

The Gear VR is also wireless as your phone simply slips into the allotted space on the
viewing end of the goggles and you are good to go. Functionally the Gear VR hardware is
well made and it makes good on its promises, the only downside is that the graphical
limits of current smartphones mean that only so much can be done and using the virtual
reality mode greatly taxes battery life and can lead to overheating.

Nuvika VR Headset

The other major smartphone virtual reality headset currently available is the Nuvika VR
Headset which can be found online for $49.99. Unlike the Samsung Gear VR, this virtual
reality viewing device works with many Android and iOS devices currently on the market.
Unlike many smartphone virtual reality headsets, the Nuvika headset is extremely padded
and also offers a setting whereby it adjusts to the prescription of those with glasses to
ensure they are not needed whilst enjoying the headset. This headset also comes with a
Bluetooth controller.

What will really set the Nuvika VR headset apart however, is the additional options

presented by its optional wearable technology options which will be available later in
2016, the Nuvika VR Gloves and the Nuvika Hitrings. When connected, these devices will
allow users to interact with their smartphone specific virtual reality content in ways they
have never before experienced.

The Nuvika VR Gloves are a pair of haptic gloves which will let players quickly move
and interact with virtual worlds in one of the most fluid and intuitive of the control
schemes currently in development for virtual reality devices. These gloves offer one to one
control when it comes to using your hands in virtual worlds and will allow even nongamers to experience the wonders of virtual reality with ease.

Nuvika Hitrings are Bluetooth enabled devices that allow users to feel as though they are
part of the game by attaching them to different body parts which will then send out pulses
or other vibration according to what the player is experiencing inside the virtual world.
Depending on how developers choose to implement this technology, players can expect to
really feel it when they are hit in a first person shooter or experience the chills of a horror
game in the most realistic way imaginable without being limited to simply seeing it on the
screen.

Oculus Rift


The device responsible for the current wave of virtual reality support, is currently
available for preorder from Oculus.com for $599, with the first round of orders being
shipped March 28, 2016. In the box, the Oculus Rift includes a headset which includes a
built in microphone and headphones as well as quite a bit of additional technology. It also
comes with a head tracking sensor and an Xbox One controller. It also comes with a copy
of the platformer Luckys Tale and the space simulator Eve: Valkyrie. The touch
controller, which will allow for a wide variety of additional interactive experiences is
expected to be launched in the second half of 2016.

In order to use the Oculus Rift properly, users must also have a personal computer which
meets the following requirements.

A NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card equivalent or better
AN IntelI5 4590 processor or better
At least 8 gigabytes of RAM
AN HDMI 1.3 video output
2 USB 3.0 ports
Windows 7 or newer

While these specifications are rather stringent they are required in order for the Oculus
Rift to output two separate steams of 90 frames per second. For reference, the current
generation of videogame platforms generally run at 30 frames per second. The team at
Oculus believes that sending each eye a constant stream of data at 90 frames per second is
the only way to minimize the negative effects some people experience with virtual reality
including motion sickness, headaches and dizziness.

Of the non-smartphone virtual reality devices that will be released in 2016, the Oculus Rift
is currently the one with the most currently revealed videogame support with over 100
titles scheduled to be released before the end of 2016.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is scheduled to be available for preorder by the end of February and the
finalized version of the specifications for this device are supposed to be known before
then. In broad strokes it will be similar to the Oculus Rift though it offers a variety of
unique features as well. The interactive experience will be controlled by a pair of controls
that offer traditional forms of control as well as more interactive technologies. Whats
more, each HTC Vive will come with a pair of sensors which utilize what they are calling
Lighthouse technologies which use a pair of censors installed in a room to provide the
user the ability to walk around in a fully-realized three dimensional world. The HTC Vive
will also feature a camera on the headset which will allow the user to see the real world
while in the virtual one.

The HTC Vive is being created by a partnership between the Taiwanese technology
company HTC and the digital distribution company and software developer Valve. While
the amount of equipment it comes with and the fact that you need an entire room devoid of
furniture to make use of the Lighthouse technology, many experts are expecting the HTC
Vive to retail for between $800 and $1200 which leads them to question whether it will be
more than just a toy for the earliest of early adopters.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that Valve has been at the forefront of the last two
major changes to the traditional videogame model and has come out on top both times.
First, it used the release of its well-known videogame Half-Life 2 to launch its digital
software distribution system called Steam. This lead to quite a bit of blowback from its
customers at first but now Steam is the largest digital software distribution system in the
world. Likewise, they made a controversial decision to propagate a free-to-play model
with many of its games several years before it became the market standard. As such it is
important to not discount the HTC Vive until the virtual reality market really shakes out.

PlayStation VR


Unlike its primary two competitors, the initial buy-in required to enjoy the PlayStation VR
should most assuredly be under $1,000. In addition, those who develop PlayStation VR
software only have to worry about one set of specifications making it more likely they will
be able to do more with the PlayStation 4s limited hardware. Additional benefits include
that is the most comfortable of the headsets which have currently been shown to the public
and they work somewhat easier with glasses. Sony is also making it known that they will
be aggressively supporting the platform and has already announced fan-favorite Rez will
be getting the virtual reality treatment.

The downsides of the PlayStation VR are all related to the fact that it is by definition tied
to a videogame console. Currently what the virtual reality market needs is a wide variety
of applications which prove to the general public that virtual reality functionality is worth
the, cost, trouble and time of switching to an entirely different way of doing things. With
its limited mindset, it is unlikely that the PlayStation VR will see many different types of
applications besides just games.

This too is somewhat unfortunate as the PlayStation 4s specifications are nowhere near
what they would need to be to run Oculus Rift games based on that products released
specifications. In addition, if the current videogame console lifecycle is as long as the last,
the PlayStation 4 has more than five years left before the PlayStation 5. This means it is
exceedingly likely that the PlayStation VR games will peak in terms of quality and length
well before those of either the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift.

Chapter 3: Current Must-Have Virtual Reality Experiences



Despite the fact that commercial virtual reality devices are not yet available, there are
already a wide variety of truly excellent virtual reality experiences on the market.

Elite: Dangerous
Despite being still in its beta testing stage, Elite: Dangerous already offers virtual reality
support and is currently the most realistic way to experience the wonders of space travel
without having to worry about getting selected for a mission to Mars. Despite not yet
being released, this game has already sold over 500,000 copies and generated over 25
million dollars in sales. Much of these funds have been sunk back into the game and the
virtual reality version certainly shows it.

In this game players are given free rein to explore the Milky Way Galaxy in a true one to
one scale version of our own galaxy. Players exist in a persistent world interacting with
other players in real time. Players have the option to use a wide variety of ships from
heavy battleships to quick dogfighter-type crafts. Players will be able to experience not
just the vastness of space but the entirety of each ship realistic rendered and completely
viewable from any angle. Regardless of their feelings on science fiction in general, players
of all interests will always remember the first time they cruise through the rings of a planet
or swing to close to a major star. This game is available for the Oculus Rift and the HTC
Vive.


Euro Truck Simulator 2
At the completely other end of the spectrum is Euro Truck Simulator 2 a game which is
more interested in recreating an extremely detailed version of the world you see every day
when you walk outside than creating breathtaking examples of faraway worlds. This is
especially true if you happen to live in Germany as Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a game
about driving a semi-truck in Germany and successfully navigating routes and schedules
to get you deliveries where they need to go on time and without accident.

While the gameplay sounds dull, it is in reality surprisingly hypnotic which is in large part
to the excellent virtual reality presentation. The wide variety of trucks used in the game
each have their cockpit vividly reproduced in painstaking detail and that combined with
the way each vehicle moves translates into an extremely believable 360-degree space.

Look out the windows or the sunroof to see the sun shining or rain falling in real time and
your eyes will have a hard time convincing your brain that you are not in fact behind the
wheel. This game is available for the Oculus Rift.

Discovering Space
Despite being designed by a single developer in his spare time, this game is an amazingly
detailed recreation of the earths solar system which plants you in a spaceship which can
easily achieve light speed which means you can fly between the planets in a matter of
seconds. The distance between each planet is rendered realistically and that fact plus the
truly superb rendering of each planet combine to show the player just how tiny they
actually are in the grand scheme of things. While Elite: Dangerous offers a more active
experience, Discovering Space is aptly all about discovery and learning more about the
space reality close to that which humans call home, this means it can be a great
educational tool as well as a fun way to kill a few hours.

Discovering Space is currently available for the Oculus Rift and as of January 2016 is
considered one of the most immersive experiences currently available for virtual reality.
Whats even better, it is free and available now at TheRiftArcade.com, just search for
Discovering Space. There is even a version where you can choose from a wide variety of
popular space ships to make the voyage in.

UE4 Rollercoaster
The premise of this experience is extremely simple while at the same time being
extremely effective at creating a realistic sense of speed as well as scope and size. As the
name implies this demo takes you on a rollercoaster ride, with the twist being that you are
riding through a modern-living room rendered at a colossal scale. While there isnt all that
much to do during the demo, it does show off the technically impressive head tracking that
is part of the Oculus Rift and looking around from the highest point of the tracks many
peaks is guaranteed to cause some people to experience real-life vertigo.

While short and sweet, this demo can quickly and effectively show hesitant gamers and
non-gamers alike all of the things that virtual reality is finally able to do so well, create an
experience that is vivid enough that, even if just for a second, it can trick the brain into
thinking it is real. While that feeling isnt there all the time quite yet, it is enough to show
why the promise of virtual reality is so limitless. This demo is available for the Oculus
Rift

Minecraft
The most downloaded game in the entire world is already running in virtual reality and the

familiarity many people already have with that world, combined with its unique look
which translates well into a 360-degree space combine to create an experience that is so
lifelike many users find that their brains consider the time they spent inside the world in
the same way they would any other trip to a foreign land. Even better, Minecrafts unique
visuals help the brain skip over the few incongruities that technology has not yet been able
to completely erase from a digital experience.

An official virtual reality version of Minecraft is currently being created by a team at
Microsoft and whats more the project is being headlined by none other than noted game
developer John Carmack. Anxious players couldnt wait for the official version however
and there are already a number of different virtual reality enabled versions currently
floating around online. The current consensus says that the best is the Minecrift
modification which can be found online at Minecraft-VR.com and supports both the
Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

Dont Let Go
This fun little demo gets a lot of things right about virtual reality right out of the gate. It is
an ingenious game that also serves to show how effective virtual reality experiences have
already grown when it comes to creating realistic stimuli. The premise of the game is a
simple one, you are sitting at a desk in front of a laptop and the goal is to keep two fingers
on the keyboard. Take your fingers off the keys and it is game over. While this sounds like
an incredibly easy task, Dont Let Go throws a wide variety of situations at you with the
goal of making you move, just a little bit.

While again the task seems easy, the events the game throws at you including, a hail of
knives falling from the ceiling, a swarm of bees surrounding you and even a velociraptor
breathing down you neck appear realistically enough that your brain can easily be tricked
into reacting to them, if only for an instant, which is all the time you need to move your
fingers from the keyboard. Dont Let Go is available for the Oculus Rift and can be
downloaded for free at Share.Oculus.com
Job Simulator
This game is available for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and is without a doubt the
funniest experience you can currently have on any virtual reality enabled device. The
premise of Job Simulator is that robots have taken over the world and have maintained a
number of humans to recreate job simulations so that their robot children will know more
about the past. This broad premise allows the game an excuse to put the player through a
number of different job sets which are each packed with items to interact with in
surprising ways. The world can be poked and prodded in a number of inventive and
hilarious ways while a bevy of secrets and some objectives should keep players invested
past the first 15 minutes or so. The CRT monitor you are initially placed in front of even
has its own working game with the game as well.


Unlike most games, this experience shows a new potential avenue for virtual reality
experiences in the future. They need not be simple rehashes of familiar videogame
experiences, they can instead offer up a much wider variety of options including those for
humor and horror in ways that interactive experiences were rather limited in before.

Chapter 4: Creating Virtual Reality Content



There are currently two mainstream ways for creating content with a virtual reality
playback experience in mind. The first is to take a 360-degree immersive video and the
second is to create a fully 3D product in a digital space.

360-DEGREE VIDEO

The cheapest and easiest way to currently produce virtual reality content for use in virtual
applications is a method of capturing video footage of the real world footage when the
view from every single angle is recorded all at once. When played back it allows the
viewer additional control when compared to traditional video playback as they have full
control of the viewing space.

In order to record a 360-degree video you will need a spherical camera equipped for the
task. Some of the best 360-degree cameras currently on the market are listed below along
with their strengths and weaknesses.

Ricoh Theta: This 360-degree camera is generally considered to be the best on
the market right now. It retails for under $400 and offers users the ability to shoot
HD footage at 30 frames per second for nearly 30 minutes per charge. Whats
more it allows for the option to livestream footage as well as to upload
automatically to the cloud where you can then view if from a smartphone or
other mobile device or upload it straight to YouTube.
Bublcam: This spherical 360-degree camera offers up the benefit of having zero
blind spots while at the same time offering up 1440x1440p footage all at 30
frames per second. It also includes a specific virtual reality panning option to
ensure you get a full look at whatever it is pointed at.
Nokia OZO: This professional 360-degree spherical camera features eight spate
2,000 x 2,000 pixel cameras, each with its own microphone. Whats more each
camera offers its own set of controls and the resulting file is compressed into one
data stream for easy transfer.
CENTR: The CENTR 360-degree camera was a product that Kickstarter
successfully brought to life which can essentially be thought of as a 360-degree
camera version of a GoPro camera. The CENTR takes 4k video and allows for
real time viewing from a connected smartphone. It is also splash proof for
adventurous filmmakers.
Giroptic: This 360-degree camera offers a standard suite of features including the

ability to shoot 360-degree video with a 2k resolution or use it to take 4K


panorama pictures but where the Giroptic really shines is the software it comes
with which translates the file into something your current image editing software
can totally handle.
Freedom360 GoPro Mount: If you already have a GoPro camera that you
regularly use then this option might be your best choice when you are looking to
start creating 3D video. This mount allows users to strap a total of six GoPros
together in order to create a complete 360-degree image.
V 360: This 360-degree camera is designed for the toughest of adventure shots. It
is dust, shock and water resistance at a depth of three feet for up to 30 minutes. It
also features two microphones, an accelerometer, altimeter and barometer though
it only shoots video in 1080p.

After you have chosen a camera, here are a few tips for ensuring the highest quality
footage possible. Shooting in 360-degrees is very different from shooting with a
traditional camera which means it has its own set of rules to follow to get the most out of a
shoot.

Remember that everything will be in the shot: This includes static objects
behind you, lights, equipment, crew anything. This means the person filming will
be in the shot as well so you should plan for this accordingly.
Think about the role the person in the virtual reality headset will take on:
To create engaging 360-degree content it is important to consider where and how
the person experiencing the content will interact with the scene and in turn shoot
accordingly. Ask yourself if they will be participating the scene or observing it.
Take camera movement into account: This is perhaps the most important thing
to remember and the coming years will no doubt be full of experiences that do
this poorly. That is unfortunate as movement that is too fast, too shaky, or too
varied is likely to cause the user to feel disconnected from the experience at best
and nauseous at worst. As a result, it is important to ensure that every movement
of the camera is well calculated and intentional.

After you have filmed the content you will then have to use a 360-degree video editing
software tool, VideoStich is one of the few currently on the market, to translate the data
into something that can ultimately be played back on a virtual reality viewing device. As
this is a nascent market it is difficult to say what form content like this will take in the
future, if it takes off, it could completely change the way the public watches movies in
theaters.

360-DEGREE ANIMATION

The other option currently on the market when it comes to creating 360-degree content is
3D virtual reality animation software. Unlike with 360-degree video which allows viewers
to pivot in place and see a complete scenario, 3D virtual reality animation software allows
users to interact and manipulate the virtual space. Like the rest of this field the technology
required to complete such tasks is in its early stages but there are several options currently
available.

The best choice when starting out is to acquire an Oculus Rift development kit as they are
the cheapest and most readily available for non-official developers to acquire. After you
have the development kit Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 3D are two common programs which
offer plenty of tutorial as well as demo content to see what is currently going on in the
world of virtual reality entertainment development. Tutorials for 360-degree degree
development for Unreal Engine 4 are available at UnrealEngine.com and tutorials for
Unity 3D can be found at Unity3D.com.

In addition, the Unity3D.com forums offer detailed tips on designing for both the Oculus
and the Samsung Gear VR headsets specifically. Unity 3D can also be used to create
content which can be viewed using Google Cardboard or a similar device. If you are
looking for a way to capture 3D models based on objects in the real world, then a product
known as Structure Sensor might be just what you are looking for. It is a camera which
attaches to a tablet or smartphone and creates 3D scans of images based on the pictures
you take. It works for almost anything including, furniture, rooms, even people who are
standing still.

Another option if you are interested in creating content but dont actually want to do all of
the work yourself there are already a number of companies on the market which are
willing to do all of this work for you. Taking this route is not cheap however as an
example from the company Matterport will show. For starters, you need a Matterport
specific camera which they are currently offering for $4,500 as well as a monthly
membership for $50. This doesnt include the actual content creation process which is
quoted as varying based on the requests of the client.

Additional Education

If you are interested in an education that is a little more formal, there are a wide variety of
universities both physical and online that are already offering courses in 360-degree 3D
virtual reality programing. While physical university classes tend to be more expensive,
you can find a class that will teach you the basics of either Unity 3D, Unreal 4 or courses
on specific versions of virtual reality hardware for usually around $50. In addition to
these, the design options offered in programs such as SecondLife and OpenSim provide

new creators with a plethora of easy to use world building tools.



For those looking for a more formal education, starting with the basics of 3D rendering
and common code languages including Java or C# is considered a good place to start.
Learning to manipulate objects in a 360-degree space is only going to become more of an
in demand skill as virtual reality continues to take off. There will soon be a demand for
those with virtual reality development skills to create content with a wide variety of
applications including things like real estate, tourism, education, law enforcement,
manufacturing business, medicine and more.

Chapter 5: The Future of Virtual Reality



Mainstream concerns

While a number of virtual reality devices exist for use with smartphones or tablets, the
first of the true virtual reality devices, the Oculus Rift, will release this spring with a retail
price of $599 plus the cost of a fairly robust computer to run it one. This raises concerns as
to virtual realitys ultimate market penetration which is key when attempting to convince
companies to create content for them. With that being said, Facebook spent 2 billion
dollars to acquire the Oculus so it is safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg at least expects
virtual reality to take off in a big way.

The Oculus Rifts creator Palmer Luckey knows the challenges VR will face in the
coming years and has gone on record as saying that he believes it will take roughly five
years for virtual reality to gain a real foothold among middle America. Just because it will
be a niche market for the near-future doesnt mean the early adoption rates will necessarily
be small however as industry giant NVidia estimates that there will be 13 million personal
computers worldwide that are capable of comfortably running the current round of virtual
reality devices by the beginning of 2017.

In addition to these numbers it is important to remember that Sony already has a
worldwide user base of 35 million PlayStation 4 videogame systems and each of those is
already ready to use the PlayStation VR estimated to be launching in the Fall of 2016.
Likewise, analyst firms are already predicting a spending spree on smartphone-centered
virtual reality devices to the tune of several billion dollars in 2016 with the Samsung Gear
VR already leading the charge. At the other end of the spectrum for the Gear VR is
Google Cardboard and its host of competitors which means that virtual reality
augmentation will range from $30 to at least $600 in 2016 which means the length and
breadth of the current technology market will be shilling virtual reality in the short term at
the very least.

If virtual reality is to be successful, high-end concepts will have to succeed in such a way
that they become cheaper with future versions, much like how smartphones caught on
despite the original iPhones steep-for-the-time price. In addition, however, there will need
to be a relatively cheap and effective product that brings virtual reality to smartphones in a
way that makes it easy for mainstream society to understand and begin to use the product
for everyday tasks. This is the most likely scenario for the current infatuation with the

technology to last long enough to create true adoption some five years down the road.

Multi-tasking

When the original Oculus Rift appeared on Kickstarter (and succeeded to the tune of $2.4
million dollars, a sum unheard of on the website at the time) it was billed as a videogame
device. It ships with two games when it releases in March and promises a wide variety of
titles, 100 in all, by the end of the year. Likewise, Sony is pushing PlayStation VR and
countless other game developers are hard at work on new content with new virtual reality
demonstrations taking up space at the yearly E3 videogames industry conference for the
past three years. And yet, if virtual reality is going to ever break into the mainstream it is
important that other types of content which use the technology start coming to light, and
soon.

Of its acquisition of Oculus Rift, Facebook announced plans to focus on games to start but
also plans to create a platform whereby people can watch televised content, interact in
classroom setting or even see a virtual doctor. These types of experiences are already
available to some extent and can be seen in several training or educational contexts. Early
adopters have also begin taking the first steps into virtual reality movies, with sporting
events, music performances and even pornography being recorded with 360-degree
viewing in mind.

Luckey Palmer also envisions a future where children are given the opportunity to go on
field trips far beyond where the local school bus could take them. Kids dont learn the
best by reading books, he noted at the 2015 Web Summit. Along these same lines,
Google is already working with schools to implement its Expeditions software which
simulates real world locations with the help of smartphones and Google Cardboard.

A number of additional educational virtual reality experiments are coming online in 2016
including the British Museums virtual tour of the bronze age, a virtual recreation of the
Apollo mon landing and a program used by NASA and running on the PlayStation VR
which trains its operators to use the robotic arms currently in use on the space station.
These are all steps in the right direction but getting virtual reality devices into the
education system around the world on a large scale is an important step into creating an
understanding that virtual reality has uses outside of niche gaming opportunities for the
well to do.

Another promising area of growth in this arena is the recent string of films that have been
released with virtual reality or 360-degree views in mind. The New York Times has

already launched a virtual reality application as has ABC News and the Traverse City Film
Festival awarded the virtual reality warzone film Welcome to Aleppo with its highest
honors in late 2015.

Oculus Rift has already founded a films division for work on narrative works in the fiction
space and while Lucasfilm released a number of short videos in a 360-degree format to
relative acclaim prior to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ed Catmull, cofounder of Pixar is doubtful the public will be enjoying virtual reality movies anytime
soon. He believes that virtual reality experiences will inherently be more like videogames
and as such largely be opposed to linear storytelling. Its all for a very clear purpose, you
arent just wandering around in the world.

Physical concerns

While it is clear that many people are extremely anxious for virtual reality to take off in a
big way, there is still a very real question as to just how much virtual reality the average
person can take. While the technology and development framework when it comes to how
movement in virtual reality is handled, some people still seem to find themselves violently
ill with motion sickness whenever the camera so much as twitches and the reasons behind
this still are not entirely clear. Currently the experience is also known to cause eyestrain
and headaches in some people and both the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR recommend
taking a break for 10-minutes after every 30-minutes of use.

Whats more there is a warning on each that warns user not to ride a bike or drive a car or
operate heavy machinery if the feel odd after a usage session. If the specific negative
effects of the device are still listed as something as vague as odd then there is clearly
more to this whole virtual reality question than doctors and scientists have quite been able
to crack. Even among those in the virtual reality and augmented reality fields there is
some debate as to the effects of technologies that are already seeing relatively widespread
adoption. For example, Google Augmented Reality firm CEO Magic Leap recently went
on record as say he believes that stereoscopic 3D headsets (think Google Cardboard and
others) has the potential to bring on neurologic changes in its users.

Currently scientists like Jeremy Balienson from Stanford University points out that there
is not yet any real-word data that shows how virtual reality experiences, especially
extremely lifelike ones can affect the brain patterns of those that view them. He wonders
what will happen when simulations of this like sex and violence become lifelike enough to
alter brain chemistry. How will that alter the way human society functions and interacts,
he wonders.

In addition, the isolation factor may come into play as many of the day to day actions with
other people we take for granted are slowly erased. Determining how virtual reality affects
the way that people interact with one another is another key factor in determining the role
that virtual reality has in society ten or even five years from not. The potential for virtual
reality can do much to alter the future but is responsible use will be marked by a careful
consideration of its costs as well as its benefits.

Conclusion

Thank you again for downloading this book! I hope it was able to provide you with all the
information you need to know about the burgeoning state of virtual reality development at
the first half of 2016. The remaining months of this year seem likely to unleash virtual
reality on the masses in a way that was previously only dreamt about in science fiction
stories.

Regardless of which version of virtual reality you intended to back it is most likely best to
wait for the product to become available on the market before making your choice rather
than pre-ordering ahead of time as with a nascent technology such as this you never really
know what you are going to get.

Finally, if you enjoyed this book, then Id like to ask you for a favor, would you be kind
enough to leave a review for this book on Amazon? Itd be greatly appreciated!

Mauricio De la Orta