Virtual reality (VR) is a technology torn straight out of sci-fi books and turned into reality.
VR technologies promise to transform the surroundings of users into a virtual space of your choice. Since Oculus Rift was launched in 2012, tech companies and industry giants have been racing to develop the potentially disruptive technology. By 2016, hundreds of companies were developing applications and use cases for VR. In the last five years, tech giants Google, HTC, Facebook and PlayStation have all released their own VR platforms and external devices.
In fact, it’s estimated that the VR market reached USD 7.9 billion (RM 33 billion) in valuation last year. The industry is also projected to reach USD 44.7 billion (RM 187 billion) by 2024. Here in Malaysia the VR industry is growing with HTC releasing its VIVE Pro Starter Kit and VIVE Consumer Edition VR system last year. As VR applications continue to develop, more businesses and consumers are drawn to the potential of the technology.
Here are some of the best VR applications you must try that are available on the consumer market:
Nothing screams the future more than teleportation. Well, that’s the idea behind Google Expeditions. With the VR app, you can go to places like the Taj Mahal and the Colosseum from the comfort of your own home. The VR app offers virtual tours to iconic landmarks and attractions around the globe, including extreme environments such as Mount Everest and the Andes mountain ranges. So, instead of falling in line at museums, or spending a lot of money for transportation and accommodation, you can explore the world with Google Expeditions. Last year, Google included a new functionality called the Tour Creator which enables users to create custom guided tours.
While there are apps like Netflix VR, Hulu VR, and HBO Go VR, which let you sit on a virtual couch and watch shows, Penrose Studios took the concept one step further. This immersive short-story animation lets you watch a 3D stop motion movie in a virtual environment. The surrounding objects wait for you to look at them before moving, taking the term on-demand entertainment to the next level. The audio-visual storytelling is priceless as you explore the gorgeously drawn world. Without lags in the VR environment, the visuals are crisp and detailed.
For those into casino and table games, Poker VR, made especially for the Oculus Go, is changing how players look at the game. Mega Particle notes that Poker VR is a Social VR software, more than a gaming app, with an emphasis on interacting with other players. While there are a lot of table game apps available for mobile devices, Poker VR lets you actually sit and play with your friends in a virtual room. The posts on PPPoker’s LinkedIn profile demonstrate how strong communities and social interaction are big part of the game, something that online titles struggle to replicate. Until now. Much like real world poker, in-game social interactions are at the core of Poker VR. The transition of the classic game from the felt tables to the digital world has come full circle.
This app is the Instagram, YouTube, Chrome, and Files app of VR rolled into one. Fulldive VR hosts tons of VR ready content made by third-party content creators and users like you. Browse through some of the best VR environments posted by your friends. The app also lets you capture VR photos and videos that you can share with your network. Google also has a similar app called Google Daydream. But the amount of things you can stream in Fulldive VR today makes it the better platform.
VR devices and applications have only started to reach the mainstream market. As the technology matures and improves, more apps will populate this growing ecosystem in the not too distant future.