We love to think about alternate realities and now we have found a way to experience them as well – virtual reality. Mount a headset and transform your world into something completely different. Technology is catching up fast to become the next mainstay at our homes and workplaces.
Here are a few VR facts you may not have heard:
First VR Headset Was Made in 1995
In 1995, a company named Virtual I/O developed head mounted VR glasses called i-glasses. The headset was lightweight, compact, comfortable, and featured head tracking. It wasn't really portable since computers powerful enough to make it work used to be unwieldy and bulky at the time.
The Secret about Sony's PlayStation VR Headset
One of the most popular VR headsets on the market today includes PlayStation VR (PSVR). It was secretly developed by a small group of Sony engineers in a lab and supervisors didn't know about it until it was complete.
Virtual Reality isn't Only Limited to Gaming
It is a common misconception that VR only belongs in entertainment and gaming industries but truth can't be further apart. Virtual Reality is being extensively used for medical science, space exploration and military applications. Moreover, most of the 3D content being created today is captured with VR cameras.
Oculus Rift Breathed Life into VR through Kickstarter
Virtual Reality, despite having decades of technological legacy, was considered dead for all practical purposes until, in 2012, a small scale developer Oculus VR initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 promising to develop a modern yet affordable VR headset called Oculus Rift. Following unprecedented success, Oculus was eventually acquired by Facebook for $2 billion.
Virtual Reality Has a Cousin - Augmented Reality
While Virtual Reality is all about creating an alternate universe completely detached from the reality, Augmented Reality (AR) basically overlays virtual elements onto the real world in your surroundings. You can interact with these elements just like in VR. Microsoft HoloLens is one of the devices specifically targeted at AR.
$49,000 Virtual Reality Device in 1980s
Jaron Lanier, an American computer philosophy writer and visual artist, created a VR device complete with goggles and gloves. The device was called EyePhone 1 / HRX and the price went up to a whopping $49,000.
VR is a Work in Progress
One of the most intriguing facts about VR is that it's a work in progress. It is not complete or finished by any means and yet the technology has seen multitude of real world applications in a range of industries. Government and military are one of the largest investors in Virtual Reality.
VR is Replacing Traditional Education & Training
Technical training can be quite an investment in terms of time and financial resources. Not to mention, it can also pose risks. With VR, it is possible to create simulated environments which can be used to train new employees. This has reduced a number of challenges and introduced a higher level of engagement and focus.
Sony PlayStation VR is the Top Selling Headset
According to a report published by Business Insider, in Q3 2017, VR headsets sold 1 million units for the first time in product's history. Out of those, almost half were Sony's PSVR as the company sold 490,000 units during the quarter. Oculus was able to sell 210,000 units while HTC's Vive took the third spot selling 160,000 units.
VR will become a $34 Billion Market by 2023
Markets and Markets reports that Virtual Reality is expected to become a $34 billion industry in next 5 years.
A Story Writer in 1930 Predicted the Invention of VR
Stanley Weinbaum, a reputed science fiction writer, depicted the virtual reality experience through goggles in 1930s in his short story called Pygmalion's Spectacles.
Google Cardboard Was a Side Project
David Coz and Damien Henry, two Google employees, developed Cardboard VR while playing with the idea as a side project. It's a product that came out of Google's Innovation Time Off program which encourages developers to spend 20% time doing what they want to do.
Amazon Sells Around 200 Different VR Headsets
When we think about VR headsets, only the most renowned ones come to our mind such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR etc. But on Amazon you can find almost 200 different VR headsets for sale.
Number of Virtual Reality Users
According to Eagle Eye VR, total number of active virtual reality users by 2018 is expected to hit the 171 million mark. Interestingly, YouTube 360 channel that hosts VR content has 3 million subscribers.
Most Valuable Brands Are into VR
75% of the Forbes’ World's most valuable brands have developed some type of VR or AR experience for their employees and/or customers or are in the process of developing the technology themselves.
People Love the Idea of Entering another World
Out of all the reasons to root for Virtual Reality. According to Statista Survey, 47 percent believe that most interesting aspect of VR is the feeling of entering another world.
No Universal Standard in VR
Whether you are using an iOS device or an Android one, there are many similarities in how you interact with your phone. Pinch to zoom is the same on all devices regardless of which company makes the phone or what OS it's running. However, when you enter VR, every company has installed their own solution and there are no universal standards as of yet.
Up to 40% Consumers Experience Motion Sickness
According to Science News, 25% to 40% consumers of VR experience some level of motion sickness when using VR. They say it makes them nauseous. However, good news is that there are many workarounds and many companies are working on finding a lasting solution.