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Tag Archives: VR

  • From Virtual to Reality: The Rise of 3D

    Pacman 3D

    Phones. Computers. Tablets.

    Many fail to realize all the years of innovation and ingenuity that go into everyday items. For instance, have you ever wondered how that little cardboard gizmo you’re holding in your hands came about?

    It has been said that those who know the past have the power to shape the future. By having a thorough grasp of the evolution of things, one gains enough insight to steer ahead. So to fully understand the Virtual Reality that we enjoy today, we need to see its roots. Let’s travel back through time and take look at the many permutations of VR devices through the years.

    VR history 101 is now in session.

    Insurgence and Resurgence

    One common misconception about VR is that it is “new”. While it does seem like a contemporary concept—thanks to innovators over the years—this isn’t exactly the case. In fact, it's been around for decades. Even though the term Virtual Reality was coined back in the 1980’s (By Jaron Lanier) the concept in itself was already around as early as the 1950’s.

    It was, however, unfortunate that much of its potential  when it was first introduced went largely unrealized—in large part due to the lack of technological advancements available. The oftentimes mediocre graphics were too much for users to ignore and to fully buy into a supposed “fully immersive” experience. Like many things in life, it’s all a matter of opportunity and timing. And the timing was just not right so much of the hoopla surrounding virtual reality died down, leaving it relatively out of mainstream culture.

    Thanks to better graphics technology, VR steadily built up steam until it gained enough of momentum akin to a runaway freight train the past few years.

    Evolution and Revolution

    Sensorama (1950s)
    Revolutionary cinematographer Morton Heilig pioneered this console that featured moving chairs, odor emitters, and stereo speakers as well as stereoscopic displays to upgrade the usual viewing experience. It was thus touted the “Cinema of the Future”.

    Headsight (1961)
    Headsight was a helmet that had a video screen and a tracking system and was used by engineers for remote operations in dangerous locations. It operated via a closed camera circuit system.

    Ultimate Display (1965)
    With the Ultimate Display, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland was able to place users in a virtual world. Being that hardware didn’t come in small packages as it does today, the computer connected to the HMD (head-mounted display) looked more like a contraption straight out of a sci-fi flick.

    Tron (1982)
    1982 was the year VR went to Hollywood. Though it didn’t make VR available to the public, it gave viewers a good view of things to come.

    Virtuality Group (1991)
    Virtuality Group brought virtual reality to a new generation in the form of special arcade machines. It took VR to a whole new level with upgraded graphics and 3D versions of classic games such as Pac-Man.

    Sega VR (1993)
    Major video game console maker Sega unveiled its VR wrap-around glasses at the Consumer Electronics Show. Strangely enough, it never hit the shelves. In a few years, however, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy did break through to the market but eventually crashed and burned due to lackluster reception.

    Project Morpheus (2014)
    With better graphics available, virtual reality received a new lease on life. Even the giants at Sony hopped on the VR bandwagon with their own VR headset for their PlayStation gaming console.

    Google Cardboard (2014)
    With other VR devices in the market wearing price tags that are a little too out of reach, the wonderful folks at Google took a radically simplistic approach and brought VR technology to the masses.

    Being one of the more accessible (and very much affordable) VR gadgets in the market, we can see why Google Cardboard has risen to prominence to become one of the top figures in the Virtual Reality game. And with I Am Cardboard, you need not worry about getting left behind in the VR revolution. By simply donning a visor, you can plunge deep and realize practically any alternative reality.

  • Putting Virtual Reality in Business

    A competitive advantage is essential to make it in the world of business. In this day and age, you have to come up with really creative ways for your company to bloom. The use of virtual reality is one such way.

    There have already been a number of companies—from auto makers to soda manufacturers—that have made use of virtual reality technology as a means to further success. Here are a few ways that VR can help you get a leg up when it comes to business.

    Product Viewing

    Potential customers can better appreciate what you can offer them when you give them a unique look at what you can offer them. Automotive giants such as Mercedes Benz and Volvo have already done so in virtual fashion by creating virtual test drives for buyers to get a 3D feel for their cars.

    Employee Training

    Training and orientation videos are usual basic tools in human resources—especially when there is high employee turnover. Having it done in an immersive way that only the VR medium can bring about is certainly a step up from the usual videos that newly-hired employees need to sit through.

    Virtual Meetings

    Business trips are almost a thing of the past. Technology affords us the chance to conduct business globally without even leaving the office building. That’s why conference calls are already the norm. Why not take it a step further and do it in a much more immersive setting?

    Marketing Campaigns

    It’s all about the right marketing campaign. By creating a unique experience for potential customers, you get to tickle their fancy so they come to you in droves. On this note, custom-printed kit services can up the ante, marketing-wise, so your business can soar to greater heights.

    While not too many businesses these days make use of the VR medium, it certainly is a tool with much potential. No business, after all, flourished by taking the conservative mindset. And with a tool like Google Cardboard, you’ve got a low-cost tool that comes with high gains for you to make it in business.

  • Virtual Becomes Reality: Pop Culture References that Predicted How Virtual Reality Can Affect Lives

    From movies to music videos, the world of pop culture has always dabbled with the ever-fascinating possibilities brought forth by the technology of Virtual Reality. It is, after all, in human nature to want what’s beyond our reach and that—to an extent—is what VR does.

    As such, we’ve gathered some instances in pop culture as seen on film, TV, and heard through music that showed how virtual reality can affect lives.

    Tron & Tron Legacy

    There’s no denying that the entire gaming experience can be amped ten-fold if done in the 3D setting. Of course, there’s no sign that we’ll be able to literally jump into cyberspace in the near future, it still gives us a glimpse into what VR can do—and is already doing—to the world of gaming.

    The Lawnmower Man

    This Stephen King classic delved at the possible negative side effects of VR. As with everything else, there is a thin line that can easily be crossed. It’s really up to people to make use of technology for just the right reasons.

    Demolition Man

    VR makes fantasies as true as can be. And where else do fantasies run the most amuck than in the bedroom? Demolition Man predicted a not-so-intimate take on the most intimate of moments.

    Music Video for “Amazing” by Aerosmith

    Scene from Aerosmith's "Amazing" music video Scene from Aerosmith's "Amazing" music video

    Two decades ago, Alicia Silverstone was every red-blooded teenage boy’s fantasy. The music video for “Amazing” brought one on-screen boy’s fantasies to life via his Virtual Headset. Only it turns out, he was living in her virtual reality instead.

    Music Video for “I Got You Babe” by Cher featuring Beavis and Butthead

    Virtual dating is a decades-old concept. Generation X’s favorite hilarious dimwits got to go on a dream date with Cher back in the nineties.

    “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai

    There’s no doubt that VR offers a lot of good possibilities. But with vicarious existence being so enticing, it’s not far-fetched to assume that it can get twisted or that some folks just might end up spending too much time in the virtual world and not nearly enough in the real one.

    With the availability of just the right apps, any experience can be yours virtually. And as cliché as it may seem, the future really is now. Yet at the same time, something tells us that we have barely begun to scratch the surface of what virtual reality can bring.

  • First Things First: 10 Must-Have Apps for Google Cardboard Newbies

    They say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. With these 10 apps, new I Am Cardboard users can start a wonderful journey into the VR realm and enjoy hours of fun in 3D.

    1. Cardboard (Google Inc.)

    Cardboard gets you off on the right foot as you delve into the 3D world. Simply download it and you’re all set for hours of fun—virtual style.

    2.  Lamper (Archiact Interactive Ltd.)

    Let us tell you about the birds, the bees, and the app called Lamper; it’s fun! You make like a bee and buzz around avoiding obstacles along the way.

    3. Zombie Warfare (Fibrum)

    It’s the zombie apocalypse and, of course, it’s up to you to save humanity. Load up and get your game face on as you shoot your way through.

    4. Sisters (Otherworld Interactive)

    Looking for a spine-tingling VR experience? Sisters is one creepy game that’s sure to get your spook on. You’ll feel like you entered the Twilight Zone once you strap on your VR headset. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

    5. Dive Deep (Durovis)

    No need to hold your breath for this deep sea dive. Although it doesn’t offer much in terms of graphics, Dive Deep still makes for a great introduction to the wonderful world of virtual reality.

    6. Orbulus (VR Craftworks Limited)

    Who needs visas, passports, and plane tickets? All it takes is a VR cardboard headset and you’re off to see the world and beyond.

    7. Cosmic Roller Coaster (Raiz)

    With the number of roller coaster apps available, it’s imperative that new users try at least one. This particular roller coaster ride stands heads and shoulders above the rest as, instead of being a “normal” virtual theme park ride, users get treated to a ride around the vastness of the cosmos.

    8. AAA VR Cinema Cardboard 3D SBS (Candlify Technologies)

    Put some magic in your cinema-viewing experience by downloading this app. This way, you get to enjoy videos in full cinematic virtual reality.

    9. Reality Hacker (VisoR)

    Aptly named, this app lets you hack the real world around you and allows you to see things in a different light.

    10. Paul McCartney (Jaunt)

    There is no reason to settle for an ordinary concert video experience when you can get right in the middle of 360-degree concert. This one features none other than Sir Paul McCartney himself.

    Finding just the right apps can unleash your Google Cardboard’s potential. And as far as getting things started goes, these ten apps are definite must-haves for any new user. With simple tilts of the head, you can enjoy fully immersive reality the virtual way.

  • Daddy Apps: VR Apps to Introduce to Your Dad

    For every type of dad, there’s an app that’s a perfect match. This Father’s Day, we take a look at the different types of dads and which VR apps you can introduce them to.

    The Geeky Dad (AKA The Pal-Dad)

    He’s the type of dad that everyone wants. He’s got more fandoms and collectible memorabilia than anyone else—and you’re crossing your fingers that you’ll get to own all of them someday.

    The app: VR Cinema for Cardboard (Mobius Networks)

    With this, he can watch all the best movies on a VR display—a fresh way to see old favorites. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a hard day of adulting.

    The Handy Daddy (Sometimes Known as the Mom-Dad or Helicopter Daddy)

    This dad’s a veritable Superman around the house. He’s chore-happy and can fix anything from the family car right down to the plumbing!

    The App: The Mercedes VR for Cardboard (Visualise)

    Mercedes Benz VR

    Reward your Superdad with a virtual ride on one of the most prominent luxury cars in the world. With this app, he can enjoy various Mercedes Benz models such as the new AMG GT.

    The Business Dad

    No-nonsense. He’s all work and no play. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pique his interest and turn him on to VR.

    The app: The VR Banking app (Fiducia IT AG)

    Tickle his fancy with this helpful app where he can handle the family finances whenever, wherever. There's a catch though. It’s in German—which presents a problem for the rest of the non-German speaking populace. Still, it is a great idea that should be picked up by app manufacturers.

    The Artsy Dad

    Life is art and this type of dad is fine-tuned to it.

    The App: VR Gallery (Holumino Ltd.)

    A great app for dads who happen to love the fine art of capturing perfect images. With the VR Gallery, he can upload his own photos (panoramic or spherical) and enjoy them afterwards on his headset in an immersive way.

    Most people find it difficult to turn their parents on to techie stuff. But with these uber cool VR apps, you won’t need to exert that much effort. Get your dad out of the Stone Age and into the Digital one. It’s a great Father’s Day gift for the man of the house.

  • I AM Cardboard's Top Five Favorite Apps

    Now that you've got your VR kit set up and ready to use, it's time to get some apps for your smartphone. With a Cardboard and the right kind of apps, you can be virtually anyone and be anywhere you want to be! Let's take a look at some of the most awesome apps available for Cardboard, and why they've become favorites with the I AM Cardboard team.

    1. Stereogram for Cardboard 2.0

    History buffs, this is the app you've been waiting for. Imagine a truckload of vivid 3D images from history before your eyes! The Stereogram for Cardboard allows you to control the app using just your voice. Search over 40,000 historical stereographs, curate a list of your favorite images, and just generally feel like you've made a trip to the Library of Congress or The Smithsonian Institution.

    Stereogram app

    The Stereogram for Cardboard app works best with 1080p smartphones.

    2. VR Roller Coaster

    You can experience the thrill of a roller coaster ride in the comfort of your armchair with this app. It's a hands-free thrilling virtual trip that lets you go through the loops, dips, and dives of a roller coaster – complete with ambient sounds of birds, a lively amusement park crowd, and the screams of other passengers!

    The VR Roller Coaster app works with any mobile stereoscopic headset with a built in accelerometer. Your Cardboard kit powers the app's stereoscopic rendering and head tracking for mobile VR.

    3. Paul McCartney

    If you aren't one of the clueless who actually believed Kanye West made Paul McCartney famous, then this app's for you. True fans of the Beatles legend will get a chance to view Sir Paul in concert via a cinematic VR experience. This app provides the sensation of being right next to the stage, witnessing an awe-inspiring performance of Live and Let Die in 360 degrees. You can also view minute details such as the audience, ceiling, and even the cameraman!

    Paul McCartney app

    The Paul McCartney app is currently going through some bug fixes. It works best with recent 5-6 inch model smartphone models for your Cardboard kit.

    4. Tokyo VR Cardboard

    Ever wanted to visit Tokyo but couldn't afford it yet? The Tokyo VR Cardboard app is the next best thing to booking a flight and a tour package. It offers a visit to 26 different locations in Tokyo, all with a 360 degree view. It's truly an immersive experience that is compatible with and fully optimized for your I AM Cardboard kit.

    5. Cardboard VR 3D Environment

    If you're looking to test your I AM Cardboard setup for the first time, then we highly recommend the Cardboard VR 3D app. You can experience a true 3D environment with illuminated trees, rocky landscapes, and other details of bucolic scenery. You simply have to move your head in 360 degrees to enjoy what this app has to offer.

    This app works with smartphones that have a gyroscope feature.

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