The creation of virtual MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) environments such as Second Life and World of Warcraft are partly responsible for the motivation behind the genius of new VR (virtual reality) technology. Consumers in the gaming community are craving a new type of reality that takes things a step further. Current industry trends include:
Full sensory immersion: A new technology in which every body movement is slowly becoming a reality with growing technology for virtual movement replication.
Cause-and-effect results: Something as simple as grabbing an object and causing a reaction was foreign to virtual reality a decade ago. It is now a functional technology that looks to become more integrated into video games as the technology continues to progress.
How is this possible when just over decade ago, virtual reality was limited to low-bit graphics and straight-ahead motion? The answer is in the ability to track and imprint remotely to software. It’s not so much what you are seeing as it is how you are seeing it.
A “rift” in gaming technology
One of the players in the virtual reality market is the Oculus Rift, which uses highly sensitive goggles and sensors to direct panoramic vision to users for a fully immersive experience. It could be the game changer in the industry; it brings video games to life.
The developer community has focused on the Oculus Rift, recognizing its potential and popularity at industry trade shows, and they’re already devising with new applications for console devices and smart phones. The start-up company is part of a growing trend in venture capital marketing in gaming. Sensor and tracking technology is being built right into the goggles of these devices.
Full body motion and immersion
The days of limited graphic display and obtrusive motion devices for simulation are quickly coming to an end. Sensor and tracking technology at the 2014 Consumer and Electronics Show gave a preview to omnidirectional technology and content mapping for a truly GPS-like characteristic. The result is the feeling of actually being fully involved in the game itself.
Virtual gaming suits are a part of the growing trend toward achieving full-body immersion. The PrioVR technology developed by YETI Technology adds additional movement and interaction through the legs and arms. Real-time walking and bodily movement is tracked in the game. The result is an influx of beta users waiting to take a peek at a technology that can be coupled with VR omnidirectional goggles.
The collapse of the virtual reality gaming craze of the 1990s is not that far-off from the memory of most consumers. However, many consumers are excited about the growing reality of the new VR technology. The convergence of real world and fantasy is one of the major differences between then and now. Costs continue to go down and startup companies are teaming up with consoles to keep those prices low. As time goes on, virtual reality may become more widespread in the home and remotely as consumers make the decision to ‘go virtual’.