Insane virtual reality innovations

Published on December 10th, 2018 by Debi Christensen

Virtual reality innovations are taking gamification and training to new levels.

Immersive experiences in virtual reality have long relied on visual images and sound to create an authentic environment design to simulate the real thing. When combined with other senses, such as touch, smell, and even taste, the visuals and sounds in VR are more believable. As a result, the brain receives enough sensory stimulation to assess and react in any situation.

Learning how to react in the moment is a critical skill in many fields. Pilots and surgeons rely on their senses, in addition to their knowledge. The same is true for people working in retail or manufacturing.

The sensations of VR simulations enhance training for real-world applications. Haptic feedback and mobile/standalone headsets are part of those enhancements.

Virtual reality innovations in haptic feedback

 

One of the more common complaints about VR simulations has been the lack of tactile sensation. Earlier applications didn’t give users a real sense that they were engaging with objects in the simulation. They could not feel what they were touching, and therefore, the experience didn’t seem real.

Haptic feedback makes a difference in how users interact with VR objects.

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Therefore, content synchronization is critical in VR, and new virtual reality innovations are improving the timing between what users see, hear and feel. Innovators like Microsoft Research have been experimenting with haptic feedback on multiple levels, giving objects weight, density, texture, and even temperature.

For example, the CLAW VR controller by Microsoft Research relies on vibration patterns caused by grasping objects and touching surfaces. Integrating multiple haptic sensations can be both costly and cumbersome, but their development is critical for VR applications used in not only gaming, but especially training.

Improved wireless headsets

Wireless headsets aren’t new, but they’re improving.

Most notably, VR headset manufacturers offer choices between tethered and mobile headsets. While tethered headsets may be more economical, the mobile headsets give users a sense of true mobility. Because they aren’t bound by cables, users have more physical freedom to move about. The result is a more believable experience in virtual reality.

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In addition, standalone headsets offer cordless experiences. There are several standalones that operate with a user’s smartphone. Some of the examples include the Oculus Go and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo with Daydream.

One of the most exciting virtual reality innovation is the new Oculus Quest headset. The device requires no external hardware, offers extending tracking, and supports gestures. This new headset promises expanded tracking, improved resolutions and better audio than any other headset on the market.

Virtual reality innovations to watch

Headsets and haptic feedback are virtual reality innovations aimed at creating an authentic experience. Companies like these are working to improve the experience.

Cevero Taclim VR boots

Your hands aren’t the only way to experience tactile sensations. That’s why Cervero is working on a prototype for VR boots. It’s haptic feedback for your feet. The devices give users the sensation of walking on different surfaces.

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Although the boots may be an exciting addition for gaming applications, the company is also marketing to businesses.

Tobii eye tracking

If timing is everything, then Tobii has it all. The company has recreated in virtual reality headsets the way the human eye reacts. For example, the eye uses “foveated rendering,” meaning that it focuses on an image rather than the entire peripheral area.

Project Alice

Businesses looking for immersive teambuilding activities turn to Noitom. Noitom provides simulated experiences in select industries, including education and training, amusement parks, marketing & sales, and manufacturing. Their VR software is a unique way to engage and entertain users.

Next steps in virtual reality innovations

VR is still an emerging industry, with plenty of promise for businesses wanting to use VR for training.

Sight, sound, and touch are just the beginning in creating authentic VR worlds. Olfactory stimuli can also enhance training for real-world applications. The added sense of smell will improve VR training for a variety of users, including medical professionals, first responders, and manufacturers.

Your training program will benefit your employees with improved VR sensory stimulation.


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