VR Series- HTC is getting its Vive on

Virtual Reality on the HTC Vive is such an exciting new platform even the most artistic of writers are struggling to do its technology justice.

Fundamentally, VR projects images in 3D at 360 degrees to build a replica of how we see natural surroundings, and then allows us to interact with this in a seemingly real and physical way. The headset provides a form of universal transportation, quite literally technology magic.
Developed by HTC and Valve Corporation, the HTC Vive prides itself on being an entirely immersive experience, with the use of handheld controllers and precise motion trackers situated around the room for the most accurate and natural visual movement. The Vive efficiently utilises room space, enabling anyone to walk around their room without the risk of walking into walls or ending up in the garden.

The headset has adjustable straps which allow close comfort and a hands-free experience. Its ergonomics guarantee constant reassurance, access to view your real surroundings can be seen anytime with a front facing camera. Along with this the different apps and games can be opened without removing the headset. You can even wear your glasses and the VR head gear at the same time!

Some of the best software includes Fantastic Contraption, an entirely personable game where you design and make your own world and your own inventions.

Tilt Brush, recently brought by Google, lets artists of all abilities loose to paint and sculpt. It plays on the toddler-like desires to draw on walls, except the walls in this case, are not physical boundaries.

Audioshield is somewhat an update on the hugely successful iOS app TapTap. It tests your rhythm and coordination by touching speeding lights as they come towards you, in the beat with the song playing. If nothing else it is an excellent arm workout.

VR is far more extensive than just a gaming platform however, focusing on a more immersive experience, Wevr’s theBlu: Encounter allows you to come face-to-face with an 80ft blue whale without any scuba diving training.

For more industrial uses, the IKEA VR experience is as corporately useful as it is entertaining. Taking a new direction for our usual retail experiences, you can be placed into one of IKEA’s kitchens to get a feel for its actual size and space. You have the option to interact with components in the kitchen and the option to change the colours of the cabinets. Although the entire system is over shadowed by the ability to throw Swedish meatballs across the room (an undeniable and irresistible form of VR culinary rebellion) the concept poses an important question for the future of shopping. Will stores of the future hold physical products when they can instead be experienced from the comfort of our own living room?

NullJust launched this month, the HTC Vive is also adaptable for business purposes intended for people looking to use the Vive commercially. The Vive Business Edition comes with a 24 hour support line, a commercial license and a 12 month warranty. An instillation service is also possible to buy, with a 30-day workmanship warranty.

The HTC Vive is more expensive than other VR platforms, even before purchasing a compatible PC; it costs more than £500 just for the Vive. However its revolutionary technology and immersive potential is undeniable.

To learn more, keep yourself updated with our weekly feature articles on VR!

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