Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Developments That Could Change VR


Virtual reality has come a long way in the last few years. In 2015 we saw hints of the best headsets to come, and in 2016 these and others were rolled out to the public. So far in 2017 we’ve seen the expansion of the entertainment options that are available for these headsets, and we’ve seen the general public becoming more comfortable with the idea of VR. That said, the full “VR revolution” we've expected has happened just yet. These are still fairly new gadgets, and their emergence has been slow and steady rather than sudden and explosive.

That means that there are still a lot of improvements and changes that can be made to take VR to the next level. Here are just a few that could conceivably be around the corner.

Motion Issues Can Be Ironed Out

As impressive as some existing VR experiences already are, there are still some issues that players experience on a regular basis. The tracking of eye and head movements doesn’t always line up flawlessly with what’s happening on the screen, and some have even experienced motion sickness problems. Naturally, these are things developers will be looking to iron out, and it’s probably a matter of when, not if, more precise VR rolls out. A headset called FOVE VR, not as well known as the likes of Oculus or the HTC Vive, is already boasting about making eye tracking the next big thing. Expect to see more headlines like this in the coming months until VR becomes more reliable where motion and eye-to-screen interaction are concerned.

Apple Could Launch A System

Rumors about Apple’s VR ambitions persist, despite the fact that the company has revealed almost nothing. What we know (or think we know) is that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses, and that CEO Tim Cook has suggested he sees a brighter future for AR than VR. But it still feels like a stretch to assume that Apple will simply voluntarily withdraw from VR competition. More likely, the company is biding its time and attempting to come up with a product that can become an industry leader. We may find out later this year, in what’s expected to be a busy fall for Apple.

Casino Developers Could Tweak Their Software

The online casino industry is actually pretty intricate when it comes to how it operates on different platforms. Recent years have brought about significant growth in app-based casino games, and reading into how they’re built and operated it becomes clear that companies design apps specifically to take advantage of operating systems they run on, whether that's Android, iOS, Windows, or whatever is available. However, the underlying framework of the gaming options remains consistent, because it’s always popular. It seems like we won’t have to wait long for similarly adapted games to be built for VR operating systems, which means big business for the developers.

Price Ranges Can Be Clarified (And Lowered)

Right now, VR systems come with a somewhat problematic range of prices. Low-end options exist for $100 or less but are fairly limited in what they have to offer. Meanwhile, the top VR systems can cost $700 or more. PlayStation VR is somewhat in between the two, but it operates alone in this middle ground, and many might still consider it to be on the pricey side. One article from Tech Radar suggested that there need to be good/better/best solutions, offering clear tiers for different customers and preferences. This should come naturally as more systems are unveiled and perfected over time, but until then price remains a stumbling block for many consumers.

VR Accessories Will Emerge

As one post on the potential emergence of “VR Ecosystems” pointed out, CES indicated that some were already betting on VR as the next accessory market in tech. It’s hard to say exactly what this means beyond different types of controllers, but one can begin to imagine various treadmill-like stands or apparatuses meant to facilitate movement within VR games. We’ll have to see how far machines like these are ultimately taken for the home market, or if such an application would even be feasible.

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