The past few years haven’t quite delivered the hype for VR technology, but 2018 may be the year we’ve all been waiting for. After all, the technology has improved, there are more games and apps available, and the industry has made some amazing advancements with a continued focus on developing new ideas.
So if you’re looking for a change to your perspective in 2018, VR might be right up your street. Regardless of whether you want to be completely immersed in a video game or visit the largest museum in the world from the comfort of your own home, VR technology has the potential to alter the way you perceive the virtual and physical world.
Here’s 6 ways we expect VR to deliver new and mind blowing experiences this year.
An immersive gaming experience is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about VR. However, the technology is not as evolved as we would like it to be – you still need cables attached to your VR headset and the most advanced goggles are still relatively expensive for most of us – but this is changing rapidly.
For 2018 there will be more games, such as Resident Evil 7 and Batman: Arkham VR, with big improvements in quality expected. It should be noted that some games are exclusive to certain platforms and headsets – such as those that are only available on Oculus Rift or HTV Vive – so make sure to do your research.
Sense of Smell
VAQSO VR was showcased last year in Tokyo and is a device that can be attached to any VR headset to create an advanced scent experience. The experiment unveiled foods like ramen noodles, sizzling gyoza and even burnt food if the user messed up.
The current version of the device can hold up to three odour cartridges but it’s expected that this will increase to five or possibly ten when the product is ready for mass distribution. This technology has amazing implications for how we’re beginning to include all of the senses into virtual reality.
A Better Virtual Experience
Online gaming and social media allow us to meet people from all around the world, but unless you connect with them in real life, the experience may not be complete. With VR, you now have the chance to create a common virtual space to meet your friends.
But it’s not just about this; it’s also about improving the experience in games where you play with other people. Imagine using VR at a poker table in an online game – not only could you choose an amazing setting, but you’d have the opportunity to pick up on your opponent’s mood and read their moves similar to a real-life scenario.
Eat Food Guilt Free
What if you can eat anything without feeling guilty? That’s the goal of Project Nourished, who are reexamining the modern methods of dietary consumption by allowing us to experience fine dining without worrying about calorie intake or other health concerns.
The technology uses an ‘aromatic diffuser’ to dissipate the smell of various foods using ultrasonic and heat, a ‘bone conduction transducer’ to mimic chewing sounds that are sent from the diner’s mouth to their ear drums, 3D printed food and a headset to provide visual simulation of the environment.
This requires the integration of all of our senses to create an authentic experience and could be used to help with weight management, forming healthy eating habits, remote dining (for example being able to eat with a friend living in another country) and much, much more.
VR technology can be scary sometimes, and Looxid is featuring a prototype headset which is a very accurate emotion recognition tool. The headset tracks your eye movement and brain activity at the same time and then extracts what it calls ‘human perception data’ into a more readable format.
Such information could be very valuable to various groups such as game developers and advertisers who want a better way to analyse our emotional response to certain content. It will be possible for them to adjust the content through trial and error to achieve the desired emotion from a wider range of people.
The applications are limitless. It could help content creators improve their work or it could help people who are not great at communicating their feelings.
Watch Sport from the Stadium
This year we’ll have another FIFA World Cup, and many of the big companies involved in promoting the event want to offer the experience live to fans everywhere. The best way to do so is with VR technology as viewers can enjoy the game as if they were sitting in the stands.
The cool thing is that the prices are coming down on advanced VR technology so most people will be able to afford a headset. And with large companies endorsing the niche, we may as well watch the FIFA World Cup live from our couch.
Overall, the VR niche looks promising for 2018 and we can’t wait to see which of these trends will catch on. It’s impossible to deny that the technology is impressive and we’re one step closer to exploring virtual worlds like we were actually there.