5 examples of how VR technologies capture the world / Blog of Pochtoy.com / SurprizingFacts

So far, not everyone has realized this, but behind VR-technologies is the future. Zuckerberg was right when he bought anyone not known Oculus Rift for $ 2.3 billion. Let's recall the rapid development of the mobile applications market, and before that – social networks. On the threshold of the same avalanche-like development, virtual reality now stands. Some VR glasses now cost less than USB flash drives.

At the same time, everywhere you look, everyone talks about VR games. Yes, of course, horror movies in VR are a new word, and screaming people trying to pass Resident Evil 7, it's funny. About 200 thousand software companies make their projects under VR, and one of them will no doubt come up with the next hit and earn millions. But technology is on-am wider than just games. It has the potential to enter every aspect of our life, and in many areas it already successfully does it.

We collected 5 real variants of VR use, showing the prospects of this technology.

1. VR stories from the New York Times

If people tell you that virtual reality will replace television series or movies – do not believe it. If the director can not limit the area you need to look at, the effect is lost, and the script and characters become trivial. How many players, when in Half-Life 2 there is another conversation scene moving the story, jump in the corner and pray that the next door will open sooner? Attempts to remove VR movies failed miserably, and the best "VR" film – Hardcore Henry (from a guy from Moscow and Bekmambetov, by the way) is shot on a regular GoPro and does not require a headset for viewing. The fact that the camera always looks where the director directs it makes the film a film.

VR-cinema has a future, only in a different format – "experiences", "sensations". Like 5D-cinemas, which crawled across the country in 2010. The effect of personal presence makes every experience a thousand times more interesting. VR-event is shot on special 360-cameras. Already, such shots can be found on YouTube – that's a jump with a parachute, but swimming with sharks. Only instead of moving the camera with arrows or a mouse, the user in the virtual helmet simply turns his head. The full feeling that you're sitting with these guys is getting ready to go on a flight.

This is not a fantasy and not a distant future. Anyone with a VR-helmet can now watch hundreds of such "impressions" from a Yutuba free of charge. The technology is ready, it only remains to gain loyal users and become truly profitable. The leader in this regard is the New York Times. In 2015, the newspaper together with Google created a team of Virtual Reality, which makes "virtual" films for brands. The idea is very simple. You download the application on a smartphone with iOS or Android. Insert the smartphone into the cardboard box GoogleCardboard (or DaydreamView, if there is money). And that's it! You can spin on the spot, move your head up and down, turn around to the sound, bend over. And around you there will be some cool event. Most often – extreme, something for which in real life we ​​would hardly have ventured, and it's interesting to get impressions. Well, to somehow make money on this, every second New York Times movie is about a firm or a specific product. For example, about a trip in a MINI car or about a tour of the GeneralElectric factory in the USA

Here's how the NYT itself writes about the technology:

Find the boots of the Iraqi soldiers fighting against the IGIL army. Relax on the coast of California. Conquer the summit of the World Trade Center. Experience the stories in an exciting 360-degree video format, shot by our award-winning journalists.

The New York Times states that beyond such VR-stories the future, and with an enviable regularity, adds new videos to its mobile application. "It's time to make 360-video part of the daily news cycle, like text and TV reports." To achieve even greater coverage of films, the New York Times sends out VR-glasses to its subscribers for free. First a million, and then another 300 thousand – to those who have long been subscribed to the Internet version of the newspaper, but have not yet received their copy. Of course, cardboard glasses are not as steep as Oculus Rift and HoloLens, but VR-impression is still provided.

Another good (true, one-time) example of the video-impression in 2014 suited HBO Before the start of the new season of "Game of Thrones". In the mall there were 5 cabins with OculusRift. And in a virtual film showed how you, in the role of the brother of the Night Watch, on the lift climb to the Wall 200 meters high. For the schedule answered Framestore, the team that received an Oscar for "Gravitation." A good PR has turned out, albeit not with a millionth coverage, as in NYT.

2. Virtual fitting rooms

Shopping centers in the US and Europe are gradually moving to virtual fitting rooms – so that customers can try on things without touching them. The process goes faster, plus to check how it looks on you, you do not have to come to the store. Used in AR (augmented reality) and VR (with helmets).

In April 2017 at London Fashion Week, the public was given the opportunity to try on everything they wanted with Microsoft HoloLens. Things from the new collection, which are not even on sale! People could see how clothes looked at them, in a "virtual fitting room" that scanned their bodies with 64 DSLR cameras and moved them to virtual reality.

Famous Gap store chain in January 2017 Th released an application for the smartphone DressingRoom, showing clothes in the lighting of your house (AR). It is quite primitive, it has few options for the figure, but works as a confirmation of the concept. Now among the major American retailers there is a race for those who will be the first to make a full-fledged VR-version. With it, we can look at, understand that the things purchased online, just like we will. Let's look at the length of the sleeves, on the trousers, on the waist, on how the color looks in reality.

The same story and with the purchase Furniture for home. Count every centimeter – boring-oh! And if the closet or sofa suddenly does not fit, it will be a nightmare. IKEA in 2016 launched on the Steam toy for HTC Vive, where you can walk around the real kitchen, furnished with furniture and gadgets IKEA. Turn on the stove, fry the potatoes, open the drawers, throw the garbage into the bucket. Feel whether it's comfortable for you to get to anything, whether there is enough space. For the same purpose, Lowe's home network installed Oculus Rift glasses in its stores and launched the Holoroom project (what is the name, friends, how many letters are there "o" ?!). You sit in the VR helmet, look at the room, and tell the seller what you need. And he gives you in the interior the wallpaper, laminate, cabinets, shelves. "I want a color darker! And make it wooden! Two more there on the wall, please! "

In 2013, IKEA came out a good AR-application for smartphones – see how furniture looks in the interior of your house, with the possibility of an instant order . A few weeks ago, on June 19, the company announced that it was teaming up with Apple to release a new powerful version of this iOS app. The program should be out by the end of this year – probably along with the iPhone 8. Tim Cook, the head of Apple, said that while watching, he "was so shocked by the potential for" swelling "of reality that he wanted to scream."


3. Buying a property

The same story as with clothes / furniture. Why go somewhere to look at the house, if you can walk on it virtually, having received the same experience? There are already several competing solutions on the market. Perhaps the most impressive of these is the digitization of Matterport. The apartment models are combined with their real photos and recorded in the system. You can look at this space from the position of "god", and you can navigate through it. It turns out very impressive, especially if you look through VR. I'd like to order a picture of myself for an apartment.

The results of the work of Matterport can be seen, for example, on Apartments.com. More than forty thousand houses and apartments, available for removal, got 3D models there. According to statistics, ads with them are studied by users three times longer. Of course, who does not want to move to a rich (or poor?) House in a couple of seconds – to see how everything is arranged there. The purchase of real estate turns into a kind of entertainment.

The process is, of course, very laborious. Even Matterport resources allow processing no more than 1000 virtual rooms per day. And while she tries to take the quantity, others, not to compete with her, bet on quality. A very beautiful solution is, for example, the international realtor Sotheby's. The company offers virtual tours to luxury homes. You can and without the headset, in the old manner, as in Google Street View. To study everything you want in the elite apartments of Dubai, the States, the Bahamas … If you suddenly have a couple of extra million dollars – you can buy it. If not – you can let your mouth water, look at the beauty and improve your mood.

4. VR soldiers

Since 2012, the US Army has begun training specialists using virtual reality technologies. The idea seems obvious: people get as close to life experience, learn to respond in difficult situations. Tempered in VR, there is less chance of getting a "Vietnamese syndrome" after a real battle. In virtual reality, the infantry, pilots and military doctors are trained. Dangerous situations are practiced without risks to the lives of personnel.

During the battle, information communications of various parts may be attacked or interfered with. The time for decision-making is very limited, and the soldier must react quickly and competently, with the information that is in sight. Therefore, the US also sponsors the development of technology BARS (Battlefield Augmented Reality System). The idea is that soldiers will receive transparent virtual glasses like Google Glass. They will show where the enemy is, from which side the friendly troops, where the explosion was recently, will distinguish the drone from the bird, will display the map of the area. Such an AR system is created by the state military laboratory BEMR Lab.

In the next 10 years, the US Department of Defense plans to become the main buyer of virtual technologies. The cost of one military kit VR / AR will be $ 2 thousand, and all of them will be spent from $ 1.5 billion per year.

5. Parks of virtual reality

Circuses and zoos are not very impressive, especially after video games. But there are new cool VR-parks. In the US, they can be found in every big city, in other countries they also actively appear. Still: instead of making rides or making realistic figures of dinosaurs in full growth, it is enough to buy a pair of Oculus Rift or Microsoft HoloLens. The whole park, in fact, is a single room, in which there is a small labyrinth or a couple of obstacles (it happens that the room is generally empty). The rest "dorisovyvaet" VR-helmet. Traps! Cockroaches! Portals to other worlds. Enemies, friends, Saurons, Vaders, Batman, flying on the magic carpet of Aladdin … People arrange everything they want.

The most famous and ambitious project of a virtual amusement park is The Void. Its territory consists of premises 20×20 meters, in which there are cameras for capturing traffic. Players move around the room, behind them – a backpack with a gaming laptop, on the head – a helmet of virtual reality and steep headphones. For a complete immersion in the room there are mobile platforms, fans, smoke machines, climate systems that control the temperature. On the body – vests that provide a "kickback effect" if a bullet hit you or a car crashed.

In the rooms you can go in together, and three of us: the sensors track where your partners are, and reproduce them in your helmet. A 30-minute game session costs $ 25- $ 35. And here is their latest project – "Ghostbusters". Very cool also because a laptop with a battery that feeds VR, then acts as a backpack hunter with all his gadgets. The illusion of the virtual world is not violated in any way.

This is far from all the options for using VR, of course) And not even the most common ones. But about VR-porn, we will not talk, under this special sites and so already dozens). Those interested will find. The point is that virtual reality is much wider than entertainment in the form of games or porn. This is a big trend, which needs to be included as early as possible, and even better – to lead it, following the example of Zuckerberg.

What's in Russia?

Not so bad as you can It would be wise to think. We also have enough enthusiasts. For example, there are programs in the field of education. The Academy of Realities School has been training AR- and VR-specialists since 2015. And in St. Petersburg, they conducted a history lesson in virtual reality, where senior pupils were shown a historical reconstruction of the events that took place on Lake Ladoga in the winter of 1941.

At least five VR clubs work in Moscow. They can ride behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, shoot off space drones, fight with an army of zombies or just walk through virtual museums. Artemy Lebedev describes his impressions from one of these clubs rather brightly – about how he tried to walk on the board over the precipice. Spoiler: he came very close.

Of course, we have almost no development of our headsets (yeah, tell us about Fibrum). There is no competition, and gadgets in stores are very expensive, which additionally repels those who would like to try with the new technology. But over time, the trend will inevitably come here – as it happened with all other technologies, from the Internet to the blockbuster. So, you can go ahead and start developing VR products today, which the whole world will soon start to use.

Where to get VR?

In Russia, VR headsets are sold, but At a completely crazy price. People just do not know how much in reality it should cost, and the VAT for stores is too big, as we said.

But you can stock up on everything you need in US online stores. This is Mecca VR, here all the developers and the latest technology. Electronics in the States always buy less, but there is still a special case. Let's just compare the prices:

Oculus Rift + Touch . The new kit, which comes out on August 7, is now 20% off on Amazon with pre-order and costs $ 399. In Russia, the standard Oculus Rift without Touch Controllers is sold for $ 730 (42-44 thousand rubles).

Google Daydream View – base hedd, In which you need to insert a smartphone. It costs $ 79 in the States and from $ 110 in Russia (6610 rubles)

Microsoft HoloLens . The kit for developers on Amazon is for $ 3734, in Russia it costs $ 5000 (290-300 thousand rubles)

HTC Vive – $ 750 in America, in Russia – $ 1050 (57-69 thousand rubles)

PlayStation VR – from $ 376 in America, from $ 420 for the complete set with the camera, In Russia – $ 500 (27-36 thousand rubles)

Samsung Gear VR – from $ 37 to $ 40 in the United States; $ 116 in Russia (6400-8500 rubles)

It is worth remembering that the devices themselves do not work. For the PlayStation VR you need PS4, Samsung VR and Daydream View require a modern smartphone, and for Oculus and Vive, and – a computer with a good processor and video card. Only Microsoft HoloLens works by itself, but it also has a corresponding price.

For attentive!

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