By Virtual Reality (VR), we refer to a wide activity framework. It may be defined as the environments in which technology is used to generate realistic images, as well as to simulate our presence in such environments. Regarding VR, we have already discussed thoroughly one of its sub-categories in this blog: Augmented Reality. This technology is utterly associated with the world of Virtual Reality apps. However, it’s less complex than VR.
Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality
The difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality comes down to the complexity of the environments generated. The User immerses into entire environments and worlds of VR.
Augmented Reality, on the other hand, is a technology based on the real world that just adds a virtual layer to it. In many tourist AR apps, for instance, we’ll get a real picture on our smartphone to which Augmented Reality will digitally overlap a layer of additional information on the screen.
Virtual Reality generates entirely digital environments while AR only ‘augments’ them by adding digital information.
The appeal of Virtual Reality lies precisely in its ability to isolate us from the real world and to enable us to immerse ourselves in a completely new environment. Its appeal is such that films have been shot and books have been written revolving around this subject. Matrix or Tron are clear examples of this.
On the other hand, Augmented Reality lacks this attractive but can be extremely useful. Augmented Reality is especially useful for tourism or educational apps.
Virtual Reality devices
The limitation associated with the process of creating a virtual reality app is especially striking. Generally speaking, we must have specific VR devices to be able to enjoy this technology. We have several options at hand. Smartphones are generally not enough: we’ll often need more sophisticated devices.
Virtual Reality helmets and glasses
The most widely used devices among Virtual Reality app developers are helmets and goggles. This is due to the fact that sight is the sense involved, so VR gadgets and devices must focus on this sense.
Let’s highlight some of the devices that we have at hand to enjoy a Virtual Reality app:
- Cardboard. It’s a low-cost device launched by Google to bring virtual reality to smartphones. Officially “it’s a virtual reality platform developed by Google based on folding cardboard — hence its name — which works with an Android or an iOS smartphone.” To use it, we must download an augmented reality app, arrange the smartphone properly in the cardboard support, and enjoy.
- PlayStation VR. Specially designed to get immersed into PlayStation 4 video games. Therefor the device shines especially in action and horror games such as the newest game of the Resident Evil series.
- Oculus Rift. These glasses have been specifically created for Virtual Reality projects. Games and platforms must be purposely designed to be able to run appropriately with Oculus Rift. The gaming experience will otherwise lose quality and even present some technical bugs.
- The unsuccessful Google Glass. The commercialisation and manufacture of this device was discontinued. The entire project is currently on standby. Nevertheless, it meant the beginning of the popularisation of Virtual Reality and gave visibility to Augmented Reality.
Among other Virtual Reality devices, we come across gloves that enable us to perceive sensations in our hands. Other devices worth mentioning are CAVE Systems, which create a cube-shaped space for the experience, or Virtuix Omni, a device that’s complementary to the Oculus Rift glasses.
Examples of Virtual Reality Apps
Each Virtual Reality device has its own games and programmes. However, in Cardboard’s case there are some examples of Virtual Reality apps that are interesting for the general public:
Cardboard – Official app
Cardboard has some demos to start discovering Virtual Reality. Furthermore it has a video section where you can upload your own videos and enjoy new experiences
Within – VR (Virtual Reality)
This app enables you to enjoy VR contents coming from the very best VR creators: the company Within. It includes immersive content based on a series of top-quality stories of different genres.
VR Cosmic Roller Coaster
It’s not a game. As they put it, it’s “a way to relax and visit other dimensions. You don’t have to achieve anything. Just enjoy and explore your environment.”
Chair in a Room
Going back to scary things… The user of the the horror game Chair in a Room are stuck in the middle of a room with a chair. Our mission is to check out every single corner of the room to solve the mystery it entails.
In conclusion there are plenty other Virtual Reality apps running with Cardboard, and also many other platforms and games for devices like Oculus Rift. You may even have an idea for a Virtual Reality app that you would like to develop. If this is the case, we can help you carry it out: