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Tech & Science The Main Problem With Virtual Reality? It’s Almost As Humdrum As Real Life

10:15  18 november  2019
10:15  18 november  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

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Real -world businesses such as Toyota and BMW opened branches in Second Life , allowing users to test-drive badly programmed versions of their Why would we prefer a humdrum virtual experience to a real one? No one needs a virtual Toyota. We need to give users good reasons to leave their reality

Virtual reality , or VR, uses special technology to trick the brain into thinking these experiences are real . (For people familiar with Star Trek: Next Generation, CAVEs are essentially a real - life version of the He observes what happens in the brain as real people talk to virtual diners in this digital eatery.

Image: Getty Images © Getty Image: Getty Images

Just a few years ago, virtual reality (VR) was being showered with very real money. The industry raised an estimated US$900 million ($1.32 billion) in venture capital in 2016, but by 2018 that figure had plummeted to US$280 million ($411 million).

Oculus — the Facebook-owned company behind one of the most popular VR headsets on the market — planned to deliver 1 billion headsets to consumers, but as of last year had sold barely 300,000.

Investments in VR entertainment venues all over the world, VR cinematic experiences, and specialised VR studios such as Google Spotlight and CCP Games have either significantly downsized, closed down or morphed into new ventures. What is happening?

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But it ’ s pretty humdrum . Rec Room has plenty of flaws, but it nonetheless shows the power of today’s truly immersive virtual - reality technology to promote connections between people in ways that past attempts at virtual socializing—remember Second Life ?—could never muster.

A Mysterious Organ, Virtual Reality Sickness and Practice Makes Whether it comes in bulky goggles that block out the actual world (the virtual reality of Oculus Rift, for instance), or in sleeker glasses that allow users to see The consumer electronics industry has taken note of the problems .

Recent articles in Fortune and The Verge have voiced disdain with VR technology. Common complaints include expensive, clunky or uncomfortable hardware, and unimaginative or repetitive content. Sceptics have compared VR experiences to the 3D television fad of the early 2010s.

As a VR researcher and developer, I understand the scepticism. Yet I believe in this technology, and I know there are “killer apps” and solutions waiting to be discovered.

Last week, Western Sydney University hosted a global symposium on VR software and technology, at which academics and industry partners from around the world discussed possible ways forward for VR and augmented reality. Among the speakers were Aleissia Laidacker, director of Developer Experience at Magic Leap; University of South Australia computing professor Mark Billingurst; and Tomasz Bednarz, director of UNSW’s Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre.

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In addition, Fox said, virtual reality groping or harassment adds a second level of shock by destroying the user’s sense of immersion in the virtual world. “The shock I felt from real life groping versus that first virtual groping was about the same. You wonder what kind of person thinks it ’ s OK to do that

Can’t make it to your dream destination anytime soon? Strap on a virtual reality headset for the next best thing. Reinventing the popular (and recently revamped) Google Earth in virtual reality , this is But the main feature is the detailed and accurate rock formations, cliffs, waterfalls, and animal life

Virtual reality, literal headache

One problem discussed at the symposium is the fact that VR experiences often cause health-related issues including headaches, eye strain, dizziness, and nausea. Developers can partially deal with these issues at the hardware level by delivering balanced experiences with high refresh and frame rates.

But many developers are ignoring usability guidelines in the pursuit of exciting content. Gaming industry guidelines used by Epic, Oculus, Marvel, and Intel recommend that games completely avoid any use of induced motion, acceleration or “fake motion”, which are often the main cause of discomfort and motion sickness.

Yet the vast majority of available VR experiences feature some kind of induced motion, either in the form of animation or by basing the experience on user movement and exploration of the virtual environment.

I have met many first-time VR users who generally enjoyed the experience, but also reported “feeling wrong” – similar to enjoying the clarity of sound in noise-cancelling headphones but also having a “strange sensation” in their ears.

Virtual Reality Is Too Boring

  Virtual Reality Is Too Boring Just a few years ago, virtual reality (VR) was being showered with very real money. The industry raised an estimated US$900 million in venture capital in 2016, but by 2018 that figure had plummeted to US$280 million. Oculus - the Facebook-owned company behind one of the most popular VR headsets on the market - planned to deliver 1 billion headsets to consumers, but as of last year had sold barely 300,000. So what's the main problem with virtual reality? In short, it’s almost as humdrum as real life.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real -world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information

Virtual reality (VR) headset technology – in the form of the Oculus and its main competitor the HTC Vive, both of which have just been launched on the It ’ s difficult to appreciate just how remarkable VR is until you’ve tried it. Although you know what you’re seeing isn’t real , your mind and body behave as

Killing creativity

Queasiness is not the only turnoff. Another problem is that despite the near-limitless potential of VR, many current offerings are sorely lacking in imagination.

The prevailing trend is to create VR versions of existing content such as games, videos or advertisements, in the hope of delivering extra impact. This does not work, in much the same way that radio play would make terrible television.

A famous cautionary tale comes from Second Life, the virtual world launched in 2003 which failed spectacularly to live up to its billing. Real-world businesses such as Toyota and BMW opened branches in Second Life, allowing users to test-drive badly programmed versions of their virtual cars. They lasted mere months.

Why would we prefer a humdrum virtual experience to a real one? No one needs a virtual Toyota. We need to give users good reasons to leave their reality behind and immerse themselves in a new one.

There have been some notable successes. Beat Saber, made by Czech indie developers, is the one of the few games that have explored the true potential of VR – and is the only VR game to have grossed more than US$20 million.

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We’re still a long way from from being able to provide timely treatment to everyone who needs it , but we could be on the brink of change thanks to VR.

In other words, the virtual reality market is fundamentally constrained by its very nature: because it is about the temporary exit from real life , not the addition to it , there simply isn’t nearly as much room for virtual reality as there is for any number of other tech products. Facebook’ s Head-scratching

The VR Vaccine Project helps to take the sting out of childhood needles, by combining a real-world vaccination with a superhero story in the virtual world, in which the child is presented with a magical shield at the crucial moment.

I really hope VR is on its way to becoming more mainstream, more exciting, and less underwhelming. But we scientists can only present new technological solutions, to help make VR a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Ultimately it is down to VR developers to learn from existing success stories and start delivering those “killer apps”. The possibilities are limited only by imagination.

Tomas TrescakWestern Sydney University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Apple has an idea for futuristic headphones that could make it feel like people are in the room with you during phone calls .
Apple has been granted a patent for headphones that could position audio signals in the room around you, making conference calls feel more realistic and natural. The technology would create a virtual room and digitally place the voices of participants on the call in the room around you so that you can more easily identify the person speaking. It's unlikely such a product will come to fruition anytime soon. But it provides further evidence of Apple's interest in augmented reality. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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