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Virtual Technology


The Virtual world

Everyone has their own idea as to what virtual reality is. Hell it's got about 5 different names let's see if I can remember some; immersive multimedia, computer-sim reality, VR, funky goggle world. (Don't quote me on those) Usually when we think of virtual reality we often ask ourselves "Well what would we do with it" by the way things are progressing it looks like we could do VIRTUALLY anything.

.... virtual puns


The hardware

Let's talk about fashion for a second. You're probably not going to see this at the next fashion week in Paris. The stereoscopic 3D headset is bulky, you'll look like an alien, and you'll look silly using it. But then again it has to be, it's feeding your senses what it needs to be fed in order to fool you into thinking you're somewhere else. The perfect virtual reality would encapsulate all 5 senses. Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Hearing. 4/5 isn't too bad, touch would be extremely hard to do, and I mean this technology is just getting off the ground.

Sports Illustrated: Oculus Rift edition.


Specifications for your computer should look somewhat like this:

Video Card NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater

CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater

Memory 8GB+ RAM

Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output

USB Ports 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port

OS Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

Looking at these specs right off the bat tells me this product is for non casual people. Or kids with parents who like to spend money. Because, I mean the recommended specifications of a computer for games nowadays are really really low, even for extremely demanding games. Just for semblance let me give you the MINIMUM specifications if you want to run fallout 4 on your computational box.

  • Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 30 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
Abysmal, most of our computers will eat that up. But then again that's just the minimum so let's bump it up to the actual recommended specifications.

Here are the recommended Fallout 4 PC specs:
  • Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Intel Core i7 4790 3.6 GHz/AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz or equivalent
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 30 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB or equivalent
So I suppose the recommended specifications have more parity, but for virtual reality to be a go you need to be packing some heat in that box (and the necessary cooling to dissipate said heat). 

Applications

The applications for virtual reality are absolutely unreal. Anything done on a simulator can basically done with virtual reality. Off the top of my head here are some:

  1. Flight Simulation
  2. Surgery Simulation
  3. Immersive phobia therapy
  4. Gaming
  5. Education
There's probably a ton more for virtual reality and fortunately we'll all be here to see it unfold. Additionally, there are careers to be had in virtual development if that's something some of you would be interested in doing. In fact at the time this article is posted there are 22 Software openings, 12 hardware openings, 28 research openings, and 10 operations openings at Oculus Rift alone. 

Not only that but there will probably be some technical proficiency training for maintenance or developing other sorts of fun stuff for the device. 

Let's take a look at what kind of software is being developed for VR/Immersive multimedia.

Software/Ideas for VR

I've got to say I'm pretty impressed, and let me explain why. Have you ever wanted to be at a sporting event but didn't want to leave your house? You see what I'm getting at now? 

Well apparently Fox Sports wants to make that happen by streaming a game... in VR. This is something I can definitely get behind because I love sports and I love virtual reality, it's like a match made in heaven. 

If I could watch this in 3D I'd lose my marbles


Virtual touring is another idea that comes to mind. Imagine ordering a car and before even being shipped to you they give you a virtual tour around your car. How fantastic does that sound? Of course if you're buying a customized car you'd love this feature, and you'd have the money to boot.

Architecture and 3D Modeling would be fun especially depending on how they'd be able to integrate tools into the virtual workspace. I develop 3D models using AutoCAD / AutoCAD Architecture / Autodesk Inventor, and if somehow they can squeeze the interface for tools and shove me into that environment I'd probably be a lot more productive.

And now my Tech readers I'll leave with with a neat video on Virtual Reality. Remember how I said an ideal virtual reality would encapsulate all senses and touch would be the hardest one and blah blah blah. Well check this out: