Welcome to the Virtual Reality!
Today we will occupy ourselves with VR or virtual reality.
What is that: virtual reality is an immersive computer generated experience. More clearly : When we have a TV screen which is flat, we have 2 dimensions, we look at a movie and we cannot see in depth. Unless we get 3D glasses and then we can look at objects, or movies adding a different dimension- depth. VR is the next step...it brings you in the middle of the action with the help of special devices like VR goggles. So your environment is modified when you look around to resemble the one artificially created.
There are several options on the market:
1. from glasses where you insert your smartphone into and the smartphone screen becomes your lenses - but this is a bit far from a truly immersive experience - https://arvr.google.com/cardboard/ for just a couple of euros or
2. Or the advanced integrated versions like Oculus Quest ( done by Facebook) https://www.oculus.com. or HTC Vive Cosmos.
What you need to know if that these advanced versions don't need anymore powerful computers to be connected to. They are just plug & play. They have build in processors similar to some smart version smartphones and this is what they need.
If you think that VR glasses are only for tech nerds and videogame junkies, please read along. They are the best tool for cardio or strength exercises, as well as for " couch travelling" ( couch travelling = looking at youtube travel blogs) to get inspired on your next travel destination once this whole corona craziness is over . And I must say that looking at youtube videos of snorkeling or waterfalls in VR is almost as realistic as being actually there.
How does it work: you have a pair of weird looking glasses, that you can charge via a cable, like your laptop. They get to be connected to your wifi. Next to them you also get 2 controllers that you would be holding permanently in your hands, marked left & right. They have rechargeable batteries. The goggles battery lasts for 2-3 hours of non stop gaming and the controllers can last for a couple of days depending how much you play.
How do you play: all you need is a few meters in your livingroom free from furniture or fragile things and a good internet connection. You put on the goggles and virtually draw a perimeter with your controllers. This will be your playground, where you are immersed in your new world, once you step outside you can see your boring home again :). Once the perimeter is set you have a variety of games to choose from, some of them are free, some you need to purchase for an average of 15 euros, which is quite cheap for the gaming world.. My favorite is Beatsaber- for an amazing cardio workout : https://g.co/kgs/2ds8uC and an archery game : Elven Asassin https://youtu.be/D94cNMNyMy4 which is by far less morbid than it look, resembling the fairytale stories we read as kids.
Are they suitable for kids? Well if you are a mom with no screen policy, then NO :) If not, and you consider controlled screen time to be beneficial for your child's development then increasing motility and flexibility skills for kids with a Beatsaber or with a Dancing Game, I believe can be very useful and also future proof for the new generation. Especially on a rainy day on in lockdown. You must nevertheless password control the access to games, because there are available some pretty violent games which you don't want your son or daughter to have a look at.
How much does it cost? The Oculus Quest 2 is 350 euros , in the 64 GB version. If you want to store and play more games you should consider the 128 GB version which is 100 euros more expensive. But if you want a fun VR experience and dont want to pay that much you might look on Second hand selling websites in your country and get the Oculus Quest 1, which is the previous version with very similar capabilities just a smaller battery and lower screen quality, but good enough to enjoy. Important thing to know if that you need a facebook account for the Oculus Quest 2 but not for Oculus quest 1 ( apparently facebook thought of this cross selling opportunity only later:)) . Another option to test and see if its your thing are renting websites, where for a certain fee you can rent the gear for a few hours or a party :) ( simply google ''rent Oculus quest 2'' in your area. If such a service is not available, might be a pretty good start up idea for you with very little investment
So hop on into Virtual Reality for the adventurous version of You.