Virtual reality (VR) is a virtual experience that can be similar or completely different from the real world. VR is commonly used for entertainment and educational purposes. Distinct types of VR technology include augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) that can be operated on similar devices.
How Does VR Work?
VR works similar to Augmented Reality (you can read about AR here) in the sense that both create items virtually and present them to users on their preferred viewing devices. However, unlike AR, VR creates entirely new worlds rather than placing select virtual items in the real world.
- Input hardware devices– including (but not limited to) a camera, sensor, and GPS –capture real content, which is then forwarded to the hardware processor of the system. This can help take into consideration the real world surrounding a user, and can help them identify if there is or is not enough room to proceed with the application.
- Usually, this step happens when setting up a VR camera that works with a VR headset to register your surroundings.
- The processor and software layer work together to send the input to the web and cloud servers. Additionally, this prepares the system for the VR application and its viewing.
- The VR system creates the virtual setting desired using VR content-creation software, then sends it back to the cloud and web servers for distribution.
- The virtual world leaves the server for the processor, which later sends the virtual content to the VR application and browser.
- Lastly, the virtual content is sent to the display devices (smart glasses, headsets, etc).
Why is VR Content Important?
Virtual reality technology empowers creators and users alike to do the impossible– things that would be considered too dangerous, too difficult, or too expensive to do in real life. This could range anywhere from taking people to the moon without the cost (too expensive), allowing users to interact in a horror setting (too dangerous), or building an entire city on your own (too difficult).
Available Software that Supports VR
Creating effective VR content can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools, but fairly simple if using any of these reputable toolkits, or others that are available:
- Unity 3D
- Unity is one of the more commonly used VR development toolkits that’s easy to use once you get the hang of it. Already, there’s a large community around this tool that provides various resources and documentations to get the help you need. Additionally, Unity allows you to preview your work in a Head Mounted Display (HMD) or headset, which can boost productivity by designing for VR within a virtual environment.
- Unreal Engine (UE4)
- UE4, similar to Unity 3D, is a gaming engine with VR integrations, assistive documentations, and an asset store. The graphics can, in some cases, be more advanced/realistic, and the learning curve is similar to Unity. UE4 also exports to most platforms that are available.
- Blender is a rapidly growing modeler that has a free and open source software written in Python. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, where a large community devote themselves to this software and its use. Similar to Unity, there are many resources that can help beginners learn the basics of this VR modeler; anything from lighting, rigging, UV mapping, modeling, to animation.
- Google’s SketchUp is a basic modeling app with a low learning curve that can get anyone up and running in no time. The tutorials on the website are great for learning the basics of the software, as well as 3D modeling concepts. Once you’ve grown comfortable with SketchUp, you can switch to more advanced tools, such as Blender.
- Three.js + WebGL
What’s Popular: Hardware That Supports VR
Since Virtual Reality applications deal with inserting a viewer into a virtual world, there’s specific equipment that is required to make sure the apps run smoothly. This includes VR headsets and VR-ready computers.
Some examples of a VR headset include: Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.
- Headsets allow hands-free interaction with your physical and virtual environments. They build a new world over the real world, letting you immerse in something specially developed for entertainment, training, or educational purposes.
As for VR-ready computers, there is a variety, including: HP zBook 17 G4 VR Workstation, HP Omen X 15t, HP EliteDesk 800 G4 Tower, and VR-Ready Desktops.
- These computers are high performance systems that are optimized for working with VR headsets, such as Rift and Rift S. These computers are more often than not used for VR gaming.
Planning on Launching Your VR App?
VR tools like the ones listed above can help build your virtual reality app to meet your expectations. However, managing and creating VR content can be difficult because quite a few things are required– finding the right VR developers, obtaining IT infrastructure, forming a development approach, and managing the projects, to name a few.
VR programming can be strenuous if not handled by the right people, so it’s highly recommended that you hire a reputed software development company for related projects. Skipfour is one of the fastest growing AR/VR development companies in the US. Our VR apps and the content we have generated for the customers is being used in retail, healthcare, gaming and many other domains.
Why Skipfour For Your VR Project?
Skipfour specializes in AR/VR ecommerce, realty, fashion, mapping and retail solutions. They have completed various VR related projects, all the while meeting customer requirements and completing the projects with utmost care.
Skipfour prides themselves with high quality performance that not only covers the bare minimum assigned by the customer, but also goes above and beyond customer expectations. Client satisfaction is a top priority for the company, followed by rigorous work and thorough project completion.
Whatever the project, Skipfour will make it everything you hoped for!
Ready to start working with Skipfour? Contact them here.