Over the last few years, especially throughout the year 2016, virtual reality has been talked about constantly. If you were to browse all the popular technology news websites, you’ll probably see some sort of virtual reality article every week. Without question, virtual reality has been a huge talking point in the technology world, especially with the HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and many more. After all these years, and the hyped year behind all these popular products, I have yet to get my hands on one to truly experience the world of virtual reality.
During the holiday season, I was unwrapping a present from my amazing mother which turned out to be a virtual reality headset. This wasn’t one of the popular choices I mentioned above, but it was certainly an awesome way to be introduced into virtual reality. To say I was excited is an understatement. Remember being a kid and unwrapping that one present you really wanted? I was that kind of excited, even if I didn’t show it. (Mom, now you know!)
For those of you who enjoy watching video, I made something special, just for you!
If you watch the video above, you’ll see how excited I was. In fact, I was so excited I made a lot of noob mistakes for being on YouTube for nearly 8 years. However, I wanted to talk more on the video, since I feel I missed out on a lot of key topics one should discuss when experiencing virtual reality for the first time. For a quick synopsis, I think virtually is neat. It has a long way to go, but definitely not a gimmick. There is no other way to describe virtual reality, other than neat.
When watching others experience virtual reality, I can’t help to notice how immersed they seem to be. I have watched videos where people have had virtual spiders crawl on their hands and what happens? They freak out! Even though they can’t physically feel the spiders crawling on their hands, they still freak out as if they are there. They try to shake their hands in an attempt to fling the spiders across the room. I have even seen people smack their own hands, injuring themselves!
Seeing this, I always knew I had to experience virtual reality. No WAY does it truly feel real.
After spending a lot of time with my virtual reality headset, I can honestly admit that I did NOT feel as if I was immersed in the content. Maybe it’s because I have a cheap headset in comparison to the popular products, but I definitely didn’t feel immersed. In fact, it was quite the opposite. When wearing my headset, I could notice the internal piece of plastic. Essentially, I could tell I was wearing something if all I was going off of was my vision (and not feeling the device on my head).
I went through a number of different applications, from dinosaurs to horror games, to looking around the room, to even just watching videos. I didn’t feel immersed. In all honesty, it felt as if I was putting a magnifying glass to my smartphone, then mounting that to my eyes.
After reading everything I just wrote about, there isn’t much more I could say. Virtual reality is cool, there’s not secret in that. The future is honestly going to be amazing, especially seeing how far virtual reality has come in just one year. It was fun for me to experience games in virtual reality, 360 video and photo how it was suppose to be experienced, and was even fun seeing my son look at dinosaurs through the headset.
Personally, I feel virtual reality is a very niche genre with gaming and such. If you don’t have the itch to feel like you’re there, then it really isn’t for you. I had that itch, but after experiencing it, I’m not 100% sold. While I would love to experience a better headset, such as the HTC Vive, I just can’t justify the price.
If you’re interested in purchasing the headset I experienced, click here. Also, have you experienced virtual reality? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!