Virtual Reality (VR), also sometimes called ‘immersive multimedia,’ as well as ‘virtual environment (VE)’ or ‘computer-simulated life’, is growing at a fast pace, with revenues from virtual reality products (both hardware and software) projected to increase from 90 million U.S. dollars in 2014 to 5.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
Through the use of specific hardware and software, VR can help replicate an environment, whether real, such as the moon surface, or completely imaginary, as in video games. For the time being, both sight and hearing are the only things available for the VR. We did hear a lot of news regarding the progress of VR development, where rather than just aiming for both sight and hearing, they also aimed to other sensory experiences such as touch, smell, and even taste. Even though I think we’re still far from that, I believe that can be achieved.
Back to the VR, I would like to talk here specifically regarding head-mounted VR, such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. These VR are on the top of the sale right now and mainly used for playing video games. Making gamers feel like they jumped into the world they’re playing. We saw a lot of this demonstration on YouTube, for example by the no.1 game commentator in YouTube; Felix Kjellberg AKA Pewdiepie. One of his famous video for VR gaming is where he have to play a horror video games with a VR mounted in his head. He commented that it feels so scary yet very immersive. But the longer he plays, he realised something wrong. He felt dizzy, he then discontinues using VR on horror gaming for a while and switched to the monitor.
So what happened? What made him feel dizzy? Our eyes are designed to only focus on the object we are looking and blurred the rest, and apparently because of all the objects on the screen inside the VR are all focused, it made the eyes to also focused on everything and worn them out. This is a big problem, even though it’s nothing serious enough to cause injury, resting our eyes and putting back the VR frequently can be really quite annoying and troublesome. Especially for us gamers. It would be nice if the next generation of these VRs to have a device inside that can track the movement of our eyes so that they can only focus on the part that we’re focused on.