19 April 2016

The most original uses of virtual reality

Tech
Author
Francesca

It really looks like this is the year of Virtual Reality (VR), and the big hi-tech brands are working in order to make these technologies available to all. But what are the most original uses of VR? Let’s find out together!

McDonald’s, the famous worldwide fast food chain, collaborated with Google, for quite some time in the VR market, for the launch of Happy Goggles in Sweden: this initiative made it possible to transform the Happy Meal boxes into super cheap VR viewers. The Happy Goggles are very similar to Google Cardboards, the VR viewers launched by Google: you just have to fold the cardboard and own a smartphone to have access to virtual reality: the best part of the Happy Meal has always been the game inside the box, but in this case the showpiece is the container itself!

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[Photocredits: vg247.it]

This sweatshirt, developed by the technologies and design company Artefact, is called Shadow and allows the wearer to live a truly immersive virtual reality experience. The hoodie is worn over the head, shoulders and arms to make you experience virtual reality. Shadow is equipped with a camera that scans the environment and one that records facial expressions, whereas the sensors placed on the arms, wrists and shoulders allow for interpreting single gestures and taking them into virtual applications without the use of a controller. But the true innovative element is the external display that allows others to see what we are enjoying in our personal immersive experience: Artefact wanted to prevent the typical self-alienation of virtual reality.

For now Shadow is only a concept, but the project is developing and could become reality.

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[Photocredits: dezeen.com]

Virtual reality also debuts on social networks: in November 2015 the British company Starship launched vTime, the first mobile social VR network. With this innovative social network the users’ avatars can meet with up to three friends and interact with them in 12 virtual places, some of them really special, such as for example the International Space Station. While you are immersed in virtual reality you can talk, share multimedia content, take your own picture.

Initially vTime was usable with more costly viewers, such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, but recently Starship announced that the social network – which has now acquired more than 10 thousand users- will also be available for the less expensive Google Cardboards.

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[Photocredits: ibtimes.co.uk]

Even amusement parks have come to virtual reality, and the flying roller coaster Galactica, in the theme park Alton Towers, in the United Kingdom, is an excellent example. On Galactica, the visitors wear VR viewers, on a journey that lasts three minutes through the galaxies. Virtual reality will give the feeling of being real astronauts travelling on a galactic mission of great emotional impact.

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[Photocredits: express.co.uk]

Let’s finish with Playstation VR, Sony’s virtual reality device: this is a virtual reality viewer compatible with PlayStation 4. The device allows you to fully immerse yourself in the game: indeed, wherever the player looks, there is a parallel dimension surrounding him/her. Playstation VR will be put on the market in October of this year at the price of 399 dollars.

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[Photocredits: playstation.com]