E3 2015 – the next frontier is VR
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Well E3 2015 is in full swing and the internet is awash with announcements from the top games and tech companies on the next big thing in entertainment. What's clear is that most of the publishers and producers of hardware or software are focussing on on the next frontier in experiential computing - Virtual Reality.

What's VR?

Virtual Reality (VR), which can be referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated life, replicates an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds.  

Wikipedia VR page.

So basically creating fully immersive worlds that feel completely real when you've got a VR headset on. We've seen lots of new headsets and peripherals being announced, the key ones being the Rift from Oculus, HTC and Valve's Vive, Magic Leap, Star VR and Sony's Morpheus, along with the already in place Cardboard from Google. 

 

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Images courtesy of Oculus, HTC and Sony

 

Then let's also not forget HoloLens from Microsoft, which isn't strictly VR but is projecting interactive holograms and frankly who doesn't want interactive holograms in their lives? 

 

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Image courtesy of Microsoft

 

Why is this exciting?

The gaming applications should be fairly obvious - creating a totally immersive experience within a video game has been the aim since the dawn of gaming. Gaming may be the first entertainment area that exploits this new frontier of experience, but it will soon become a more widely adopted technology for other consumer entertainment markets. Films are probably the most obvious one, but we'd like to think the applications in areas like museums and schools are equally exciting. Just think if you walked into the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum and slipped on a VR Headset - the famous diplodocus skeleton coming to life before you eyes or the 1,300-year-old giant sequoia sprouting greenery and emerging from its stone encasement. 

 

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Image courtesy of BBC Radio 4

 We can barely contain our child-like excitement about VR and will be doing lots of experiments with various bits of tech to see how we can apply this to the real world. 


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