Hello dear readers. In this article, we will talk about how to use virtual reality glasses, what scenarios for their use exist, how to set up and connect VR glasses. Games will not be left without attention, because virtual reality devices are most often bought just for the sake of entertainment.
What is virtual reality
Speaking in technical terms, the term virtual reality refers to an artificially created world, broadcast or transmitted to the user through his sensations (primarily visual and auditory perception, less often tactile sensations). The actions that take place in VR are synchronized with certain actions and movements performed by a person in the real world. For example, the tilt of the head in reality is also reproduced in VR.
There is no single VR world, at least not at the moment. Each of its versions is a separate computer program, a game. In order to be inside virtual reality, you need special VR glasses or a helmet.
What are VR glasses for?
Without special glasses, you can see virtual reality, but the effect of presence will not occur. Glasses are needed in order to “deceive” the human brain, to create a three-dimensional picture from a flat image, synchronized with the actions of a person in the real world.
Principle of operation
Each pair of VR glasses is equipped with eyepieces, while the smartphone screen plays the role of a display – a mobile device is installed inside the glasses. This is one of the fundamental differences from helmets for computers. The helmets are equipped with their own displays with higher image quality.
In front of the display are eyepieces with a partition between them. A separate picture is formed for the left and right eyes, that is, each eye sees only that part of the image that is intended for it. As a result, both parts of the image are combined into a single image, which acquires depth and volume. Due to the fact that the picture on the screen changes depending on the rotation and / or tilt of the head, the user has the feeling that he was in virtual reality.
Problems of VR devices
There are several hurdles that prevent VR devices from truly revolutionizing the world of digital mobile entertainment. Firstly, there are unpleasant sensations (dizziness, nausea) that many users experience while watching 3D content. The feeling of discomfort can haunt you for several hours after the end of the game.
Secondly, a relatively small range of gaming applications. So far, major gaming companies are only eyeing the new market.
How to connect and set up VR glasses
Setup and connection depend on what type of VR glasses you are dealing with. However, in any case, no complicated actions will have to be performed.
A huge number of VR glasses have been created for smartphones, the most famous of which are, perhaps, Google Cardboard and VR BOX. The setup is extremely simple. It is necessary to launch an application on the smartphone (this can be a game or a video) that supports the VR mode, install the mobile device in a special compartment in the glasses and put them on your head. With some glasses, you can calibrate the image by turning the eyepieces.
Not all games are capable of working in VR mode. As a rule, compatibility with virtual reality devices is indicated by the VR icon.
Glasses for Android
A growing variety of standalone VR devices equipped not only with displays, but also with their own processor, flash and RAM, the Android operating system, and a battery. The recently released Oculus Rift Go is a member of this family.
The setup is simple. The device’s memory is already loaded with special software that provides access to VR content. As a rule, a small set of games and 360 video is installed by default, other applications can be downloaded via a Wi-Fi network. You just need to turn on the glasses, put them on your head and choose a game.
In some models, the initial setup is carried out using a smartphone. The device connects to the phone via a Wi-Fi network, after which it is initialized and becomes available for full use.
Computer VR helmets are considered the most promising, high-quality and convenient. Such devices are equipped with high-resolution displays with an increased refresh rate. The division of the screen into two areas in computer VR helmets is not so noticeable, since the total display resolution is large and a clear and detailed picture is formed for each eye.
The instructions for use that come with the kit can contain dozens of pages, but the setup cannot be called complicated. Special software is installed on the computer, with the help of which automatic adjustment of parameters is carried out.
The helmet is connected to the HDMI output of the video card and to the USB port / ports, after which the utility for configuring it is launched. It is necessary to put a helmet on your head and perform certain movements (turn your head in different directions, perform tilts, and so on).
Modern models are increasingly equipped with external IR cameras, which track the user’s position in space. The adjustment of such a camera is carried out simultaneously with the adjustment of the helmet. It is important to correctly position the camera in the room where the game will take place. It should be at some distance from the user and be approximately at the level of his head.
Setting up a VR headset for a console is fundamentally no different from setting up for a computer. The helmet and camera are connected to the game console, after which you can launch a special application for VR devices (if it is not installed, you need to download it from the application store), which will guide you through all the steps.
Is it possible to connect glasses to a computer through a phone
On the phone screen, you can broadcast the image of the desktop of a computer or an application running on a PC. There are special programs designed for this.
There are applications for working with VR content. For example, if you have long wanted to play some kind of 3D shooter, but you do not have an Oculus Rift, you can use the Trinus VR application. With it, streaming from a PC to a mobile device is organized. There is a version for both Android and iOS devices.
The Trinus server is installed on the computer, while the client is running on the smartphone. The mobile device is connected via a wireless network to the PC, after which the image from the computer starts to appear on its screen.
The application itself has a step-by-step guide for setting it up. The software is paid, but a trial version is available. We recommend that you read it first. PC performance requirements are quite serious, which is not surprising, because computer games will be launched. Without a modern video card and a powerful processor, it will not be possible to achieve normal operation. Another requirement is a fast and stable Wi-Fi connection.
How to play
After the connection and setup is completed, you can finally play. In fact, the user most often receives the first impressions of the 3d world during the setup process, by launching the demoscene. However, in the demo, the set of features is not particularly wide and there are no exciting tasks, just as there is no plot, additional levels, other characters.
Despite the unusual sensations that arise from virtual reality, the gameplay is not too different from what we are used to. In shooters you need to shoot, in racing you need to deftly drive a car, in adventure games you need to explore the world. Turns and tilts of the head lead to a change in the picture, and this is unusual. You suddenly find yourself in the center of the 3d universe.
Games that run on Android and iOS devices are noticeably inferior to desktop applications. As a rule, these are ordinary platform games with a limited set of actions, not the highest quality graphics. In addition, mobile devices run out of power quickly, and a phone call or message can disrupt the gameplay.
The effect of complete immersion in VR is unlikely to occur, because the power of modern mobile processors is still not enough to produce a realistic picture. But on the other hand, small and light VR glasses can be thrown into a backpack and taken with you without thinking about how to use them away from a PC.
Computer helmets offer a different level of experience. The latest models are equipped with IR cameras, thanks to which the movements of the helmet (and therefore the user) in space are monitored. There are games where you can walk, jump and even run.
Virtual reality glasses create the illusion of a three-dimensional space, and external accessories are required for control. The simplest and most familiar are a mouse with a keyboard. On Android devices, it is more convenient to play with a bluetooth gamepad or remote control.
In some games, some of the actions are activated after the user fixes their gaze in one direction for a few moments. For example, in shooters it can be shooting at enemies. However, a regular joystick or mouse does the job better.
A more advanced accessory is gloves. In gloves, not only hand movements are monitored, but also finger movements. This takes the level of virtual reality experience to a new level.
Sound matters a lot. In the first few minutes or hours of the game, all attention is focused on the picture and on the sensations arising from the three-dimensional image. A good headset will allow you not to be distracted by extraneous noise. The same Oculus Rift is equipped with built-in headphones, but you can use any other headphones.
The main thing is that they reliably isolate the ears from external sounds.
Top games and programs
We have created a small selection of the most interesting applications for different categories of VR glasses. It included not only games, but also several programs. The range of available applications is increasing and you will hardly be bored with a VR headset.
On a smartphone
- AAA VR Cinema (media player)
- Trinus VR (streaming app)
- Vrse – Virtual Reality (video 360)
- Dive City Rollercoaster
On the console
- Robinson: The Journey
- Star Trek: Bridge Crew
- The London Heist
- Wayward Sky
- VR Worlds
On the PC
- Elite – Dangerous
- Assetto Corsa VR
- Eve – Valkyrie
So far, VR glasses for Android devices are nothing more than a curious accessory. They are inexpensive, easy to set up and use, capable of creating a 3D image, but you should not expect high image quality from them. Perhaps the situation will change with the further development of Oculus Go and similar models.
The most promising are VR devices for computers and set-top boxes. In this direction, the leading manufacturers have already done a huge amount of work and, it seems, are not going to stop there. Just compare the first developer model of the Rift with the latest consumer version.
And yet, VR glasses are gradually getting rid of childhood diseases, becoming more and more high-quality, convenient. Prices for them do not break records, especially when it comes to models for smartphones, and connection and setup usually does not take much time. With the help of additional accessories, you can enhance the experience of virtual reality.
This concludes our article. Do not forget to subscribe to new reviews and share useful comments on social networks. See you again.