Where will VR take us?
The latest trend in wearable technology merges the physical world with the digital world. A steady stream of Heads Up Displays, or HUDs, are entering the market paving the path to the new standard of entertainment -- Virtual Reality. A variety of industry leaders are at the forefront of this shift in technology, such as Facebook, HTC and Microsoft.
Oculus VR -- recently acquired by Facebook -- spent the past four years developing one of the biggest game-changers in immersive entertainment: the Oculus Rift. Released in March 2016, the Rift offers 42 different titles to experience through its HUD. Slipping the Oculus Rift over your eyes instantly submerges your senses into the world of VR. While the current iteration of the Oculus Rift focuses on gaming, the future of the VR promises to deliver a revolutionary upgrade to how you interact with multimedia and the physical world.
Facebook isn't the only company 'betting big' on VR technology. The HTC Vive, a direct competitor of the Rift, started shipping in April 2016. Vive features two VR controllers which add an extra layer of interaction to the virtual experience. The Vive system costs roughly $800 compared to the $500 Rift. Currently, the Rift ships with one standard Xbox One controller. The cost of the Rift bundle will likely increase when the Oculus Touch controllers are released this Fall.
The Microsoft HoloLens is taking a leap into the world of VR computing with high-definition holograms. Unlike the Oculus Rift and Vive, which immerse the user in virtual reality, HoloLens combines 3D holographic content with the physical world. When you strap on the HoloLens headset, you're able to fully see the world around you in conjunction with holograms. The HoloLens analyzes your physical environment creating designated spaces in your surroundings to display augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality. The $3000 price tag delivers all the computing power you need, whereas with the Rift and Vive you also need a high-end PC meeting the minimum requirements.
A few examples of professional applications for VR include workforce training, computer aided design and mechanical engineering. Where will VR take your business? The future starts today.