With recent news about the Microsoft HoloLens which was released back in March, progression is being made rapidly within the holographic world. Previous products such as the HTC VIVE, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard (More on that later) and the Oculus Rift have been recently outshone by Microsoft, which creates speculation that they are all going to have to kick start their VR programs to get the lead in soon to be VR Headset Wars.
Projects from smaller companies are always continuing. However, the tech giants behind these products are almost certainly going to be expanding their research over the following years to ensure that if you buy a VR Headset, it is their product you pick up. With these advancements, comes a lot more possibilities and opportunities to make applications to run on them. Currently, existing programs are being ported to these gadgets, with new creators soon jumping on the band waggon to join in.
The Microsoft HoloLens, even though has a limited field of view, and the development version costs $3,000, has what others don't, almost perfect tracking. During the development, Microsoft focused primarily on getting the tracking as close to perfect as possible, and this makes up for the fact that it lacks a few features, and that it is a lot more pricey than it's competitors. Microsoft has also has created some pretty neat features, such as, you can open a browser tab, and leave it in a particular place in the room for you to come back to later, which can majorly increase multitasking and organisation.
Google Cardboard, isn't technically a VR Headset, as all you are doing is placing your phone in some cardboard. Nevertheless, if you want to get an experience of what VR could be like or want to have some fun, the Google Cardboard would be a nice cheap gift.
So, what does the development of these VR products mean for the business world? Currently, these products are just delightful fun gifts for family members and colleagues to mess around with. The progress over the last year in the field indicates that it may not be too long though until these headsets are being mass produced for companies and individuals to use in everyday life.
Presently, a large section of the industry is gaming; you can't escape it if you are on the internet. Gaming is a huge part of the web, which is why game developers jumped at the chance to create games for these virtual reality environments. Pair that with the bonus that YouTube Content Creators showcase these games, it allows these companies to get a tremendous amount of feedback and publicity very quickly, which will lead to better quality games for the future when a larger number of people own one. Here at n-Coders, we don't tend to develop game applications, but things can always change, only time will tell with the continuation of evolution. Playstation accepted change, and developed a headset for their console, making their games more immersive.
Other applications include Google Street View (just imagine being able to explore a city from your living room!), classroom activities, vehicle dealership showcases from your home, and of course activity emulation. People can use motion, sound and touch to trick people into thinking, and feeling; they are actually in the place being shown to them. Projects are currently being run where you can feel that you can fly like a bird, drive a car around a rally course and cycle or ski around mountains.
With development libraries being created by companies to allow the development of games, apps and video creation, but not general applications or programs, there isn't the ability to be able to jump in instantly to create software for these devices. VR Headsets are, for the present, mainly targeted at the gaming community and the VR travel industry. Shortly, however, expect to see libraries being released for program development, which will allow companies, like ourselves to be able to create software for these products with ease. Just imagine having a business panel which you can control every aspect of your business from just one place - billing, invoicing, product monitoring and customer support - which you can either take with you on the go or put somewhere in the room to come back to. You could set up a wall in your office to monitor every aspect of your business at a glance, or turn your desk into a Sci-Fi control panel to manage factory robots.
This could mean a whole new chapter to n-Coders, developing VR applications. The possibilities for programs in VR are endless, but won't be for a few years to come. The progression of the industry is expanding and growing daily, so the technology for these applications become more and more advanced.
Thank you very much for reading, stay posted for more content soon!