Background

Virtual Reality with the Playstation VR

If you were born in the 80s, you probably remember seeing the music video by Aerosmith called ‘Amazing’ which features a teenager using virtual reality for the first time.

He rides on a bike and impresses a girl (Alicia Silverstone) in a virtual world. Back then it looked like something way into the future. But it looks like that time is finally here!

Senior Software Engineer

Testimonial Author

Sanjay Fernando

In a nutshell, virtual reality is where a person is shown an alternate reality by the use of a special pair of goggles.

Image source : Virtual Reality Society. (2018)

In a nutshell, virtual reality is where a person is shown an alternate reality by the use of a special pair of goggles. The goggles allow the user to see an immersive world in 3D. The vision changes when the user moves his/ her head, similar to real life. Earphones will allow you to hear things related to what your goggles are showing you making your virtual experience complete.

Some of the most popular VR headsets are (Source : Greenwald, 2018 )

  • Auto level and stable hovering

I’m not going to elaborate on these as this will make the article more longer, But as drone enthuses you can search for those on internet.

Why a quadcopter
  • PlayStation VR
  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Rift
  • Google Daydream View
  • Samsung Gear VR

When I first heard about it, I didn’t think the experience can feel that realistic. But then I purchased a PlayStation VR (PSVR) for gaming. The first few (demo) games were quite nice and I was hooked. This is what the device setup looks like.

  • PlayStation 4 (PS4 Pro preferred)
  • PlayStation camera
  • PlayStation VR
  • PS Move controllers (Needed only to detect motion of hands)

Image Source : (Playstationvr.us, 2018)

One of the biggest disadvantages of this is perhaps the amount of wires. I’m sure wireless VR headsets will come soon (if not already in the making) but right now, this is what is available.

The VR experience

Driveclub VR is a virtual reality racing game that I tested. It seemed quite nice, but tends to cause motion sickness in some people, as it’s rather fast paced and your brain needs to adjust to the disconnect between the visuals when you’re actually seated/standing still. Also, you still need to use your game controller to control the vehicle.

Image source : (Romano, 2018)

Image source : Robillard, A. (2018)

If you aren’t a driving simulator fan, then perhaps being Batman will appeal to you! Here you get the added advantage of being able to use PS Move controllers (pictured below) which represent your arms, which can be particularly interesting if you have games with combat like this. The PlayStation camera is able to track the move controller.

Image source : QTX. (2018)

Resident Evil 7 (BioHazard in Japan) is probably one of the best games I’ve played so far, and yes it’s a horror game – meaning, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Image source : BigW(2018)

PlayStation Move controllers - non-compulsory, but enhances the experience.

I have had a virtual tour of climbing buildings in New York. Similarly, there are several such tours to inaccessible places (e.g. underwater) or places less easily accessible to some (e.g. roller coasters) or places of general interest (e.g. Eiffel tower). These usually give you a 360 view and require a special camera to capture.

Another interesting combination has been VR and Drones. DJI has developed DJI goggles, which allow the pilot to get the drone’s point of view, in real time.

Image Source : Dmswire.com. (2018)

Problems with VR

VR is most certainly entertaining and is something that we will use much more in the future. However, it’s not with its disadvantages. Firstly, it can make people nauseous after usage for periods longer than 30 minutes. This differs from person to person. Some people are more susceptible to it. But the good news is that you tend to get used to it after continuous usage.

The VR solutions available right now tend to be a bit clunky with a lot of wires. Perhaps solutions like Samsung Gear VR are wireless, but its applications are a bit limited.

In conclusion

Virtual reality is great and no amount of words can explain how realistic it feels. You can try Google Cardboard if cost is an issue. But the applications of VR are only limited to one’s imagination and will certainly be part of our life much more in the future.

Get in touch