Transport yourself to another universe with the power of virtual reality.
Virtual reality, also referred to as VR is a technology that uses a headset to generate images and sounds and other cues that help to make the user believe they are in an imaginary environment.
It’s a technology that has come straight out of science fiction territory and into our very homes and workplaces, making the impossible possible without you even having to leave your home.
Think you know virtual reality? We’ve pulled together some of the top facts about the technology…
- Stanley Weinbaum, a reputed science fiction writer, depicted the virtual reality experience through goggles in the 1930s in his short story called Pygmalion’s Spectacles.
- The first VR Headset came out in the 1960s. Coined as the Telesphere Mask by inventor Morton Heilig. This device features 3D TV capabilities, wide vision, and true stereo sound.
- Jaron Lanier created a virtual reality device in the 1980s called the EyePhone 1/HRX that cost a whopping $49,000 for the goggles and gloves.
- It was not until the 1990s that Virtual Reality was commercialized and became one of the biggest flops in tech history. Despite gathering public interest, devices were significantly overpriced and failed to deliver the quality assumed in the media hype.
- Virtual I/O created a $1000 pair of virtual reality glasses called iGlasses in 1995.
- The main concept of virtual reality is to create an artificial world that gives the exact feel of the real world in terms of vision. It is possible because a startup named Varjo is creating Bionic Display that gives you the exact feel that a human eye gives.
- Some people say that Google Maps’ Streetview, which launched in 2007, was an early example of virtual reality.
- Virtual Reality was considered dead for all practical purposes until, in 2012, a small scale developer Oculus VR initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 promising to develop a modern yet affordable VR headset called Oculus Rift.
- Currently, the Samsung Gear VR is the most popular virtual reality headset on the market.
- One of the most popular VR headsets on the market today includes PlayStation VR. It was secretly developed by a small group of Sony engineers in a lab and supervisors didn’t know about it until it was complete.
- David Cox and Damien Henry, two Google employees, developed Cardboard VR while playing with the idea as a side project.
- Amazon sells around 200 different kinds of VR headsets.
- Virtual reality is being used in the healthcare field to treat depression, anxiety, autism, PTSD and even nicotine addiction with Mindcotine. It is also used to train doctors on conducting complex medical procedures.
- The Army, the Navy, and the Air Force have all used virtual reality in the past few years to train their soldiers.
- Virtual Reality is even playing a major part in the global space mission, with NASA currently testing the technology across multiple applications.
- In March 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle honored International Women’s Day by encouraging young women to study science and technology. In the process, they attended a school and tested out a virtual reality set.
- Markets and Markets report that Virtual Reality is expected to become a $34 billion industry in the next five years.
- According to Science News, 25 percent to 40 percent consumers of VR experiences some level of motion sickness when using VR.
- According to Statista Survey, 47 percent believe that the most interesting aspect of VR is the feeling of entering another world.
- With 2.87 billion smartphone users forecasted for 2020, smartphones are the biggest enablers for virtual reality.