Do-it-yourself Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality V2.0
Virtual reality was going to be the next big thing back in the 80’s, chunky headsets and very rudimentary 3d graphics were going to change the way we interact with our digital world. Unfortunately the first age of VR was never to be, with expensive (and cumbersome) hardware and the graphics technology being nowhere close to where it needed to be, VR was sent back to the pile along with 3D movies (yes, they too are an old idea).
Fast forward to the 21st century, two major developments in VR are just around the corner. The Oclulus Rift (available as a dev kit already) and Sony’s upcoming Project Morpheus, look to cement VR back into the forefront of technology. Recent developments with next-gen hardware and big budget gaming titles, such as Grand Theft Auto V and Alien:Isolation, adding VR friendly modes, it’s only a matter of time before we don our headsets and step in to our virtual spaces.
Other than simple entertainment, which is one of the biggest factors in pushing digital technology (every recent format-war has been decided by games consoles), Health and Sciences will benefit greatly from the added freedom VR can give them. A surgeon would be able to look inside their patient in an inner-space like manner to help treat and diagnose issues. A Scientist can use his data to create a manipulatable analogue of their experiments. The uses of Virtual Reality go far beyond the living room and making our games more immersive.
Budget Virtual Reality
The Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are still nearly a year away from retail, and development kits are far from cheap, so what can you do to get a glimpse of the future without breaking the bank? How about a way to do it for practically next to nothing?
Thanks to tech giants Google, this is precisely what you can do. Employing your own smartphone as a screen, oddly similar to the Samsung Gear VR (Developed by Oculus), a pair of lenses, some bands, magnets and cardboard, then you can make your very own, and fairly decent, Virtual Reality headset.
Click here for the instructions and associated apps.
If you don’t want to built it yourself there are many kits available online from as little as £7.99