Today’s adventure was filled with dinosaurs, space, robots, wars, paint, alien robots, and much much more; and the coolest part about it is that I never left the room! How can this be possible? Three words – Virtual Reality!
You might be saying that those are only two words, but you see the third is the word you can’t see, you just have to imagine it.
Virtual Reality, pretty much where the imagination and reality cross roads and if you don’t set your feet right you’re going to be swept off of them, quite literally too. For those of you who have no prior knowledge of what Virtual Reality is, it is basically experiencing things that are 3D and computer generated/altered through electronic equipment such as goggles. Today I dabbled with 4 little toys that are projected to be the most bought electronics in the near future.
The first piece of equipment we used was a 360 camera that has 2 lenses and yet it can take a full 360 degree picture. Confused? It’s okay so were we! And we still are! I would love to show you the picture, but unfortunately there are only a select few platforms that can sustain these kinds of photos. Little by little you will all start to see these pop up more and more; for now only Facebook, YouTube, and a handful of other websites have these types of images available. This isn’t quite Virtual Reality, but it’s a step in that direction. The next step from a 360 photo is a 360 video. You may have seen these pop up throughout Facebook and YouTube as well. For now these are the only two platforms in which you can see these videos, but you will start to see these on more platforms little by little.
Now for some real Virtual Reality! There was a total of 3 VR machines that I got to put my hands on and oh my gosh!!! I was like a little 4 year old at Toy’s R Us. The first thing the technician told me was “Try not to move” and I assumed we was just telling me that as he was adjusting the goggles, but as it turns out he was actually talking about something else. As soon as the goggles were adjusted all I could see was a black “screen” with a symbol on it, and then just 5 seconds later I was dropped into a war-zone with 8 soldiers and I stood right by them as they shot at a giant Robot Alien. The soldier behind me was shot, meanwhile the one to my right jumped in front of me to save my life. Next the car to my right blew up and all I could do was dodge the glass as it came in my direction. We ran together as a unit right up until we were face to face with the beast itself and we could almost feel its breath if it were to have one, and then the simulation ended. The experience was so real that I had to constantly tell myself that it wasn’t. The main thing that kept me from not believing in it 100% was that every time I would reach for my belt I didn’t have a side gun like the other soldiers did, instead I would just feel my phone as it stuck out of my pocket a bit.
After that, I jumped on another VR experience with the New Samsung VR Set which is basically goggles where you use your phone instead of a powerful computer. The video experience I was given was only about 4 minutes long, but it sure felt much longer than that. I started off in a space station looking down at earth; all I could do was gasp as the view was beyond astonishing. Oddly enough I kept trying to look down and reach for my phone to take a picture but then I remembered that it wasn’t real. After the space station I was suddenly in Southeast Asia in a small boat floating through a village. After that I was standing face to face with a dinosaur as it brought its head close and smelled me. I kid you not it was just like Jurassic Park back in 1993.
I felt… well to be honest I don’t even know what I felt, all I could really do was gulp and gasp for air. At one point I stretched out my hand to touch it, only to be reminded that it wasn’t real. The next experience was me in skyscraper overlooking a sunset, pretty amazing stuff, but let’s be honest, nothing beats a dinosaur. Then soon after I found myself in Africa with an elephant charging at me! The only thing that kept me from sprinting in the opposite direction was that I was only 1 step away from an actual wall! To end the experience I was placed in space and in every direction I turned all I could see was the milky way, and that was truly gorgeous! It almost made me cry, yes it was that good, and maybe a tad bit blurry.
The last piece of equipment was a ‘drawing board’ experience where I was given a ‘remote’ of sorts, one in each of my hands, and of course a headset with goggles. I started off in space painting the stars, and after a few minutes of getting accustomed to the controls I was able to switch my ‘canvas’ to other landscapes. I eventually opted for the “white room” which was literally a room with white walls, floors, and ceilings. My ‘brush’ if you will, was fire! Crazy right!? So I began painting everywhere, don’t ask me what I was painting because I have no clue. All I know is that I really really got waaaay to into my painting. What I found very interesting was that if I stepped back or stepped forward it was as if I was in an actual room where I could paint anywhere. I could even step behind my paintings!
By the end of the half hour VR experiences all I could say was “TAKE MY MONEY!” Without a doubt the experience sold me. I look forward to having these products on the market and being able to immerse myself into the ‘New Age’ as some are calling it. For those of you who are gamers, I have heard on the grape vine that PS4 VR Sets were being tested in the floor below us!
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the fact that pictures aren’t allowed in the super secret undisclosed location where we were taking a tour of. Even if the pictures were allowed it is impossible to take your phone out and take a picture of what you are seeing since it doesn’t exist, but hey who knows, maybe a few months from now you’ll be able to take a screenshot by blinking or something.