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Understanding Virtual Reality

Understanding Virtual Reality

Understanding Virtual Reality
Jesse Penning
Head of Quality Assurance
 July 2017

What is VR?

Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience.

Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. This immersive technology makes gaming, concert experiences and sport experiences heightened to an unprecedented level. It’s the technology platform that really puts you where the action is.

So what’s the difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality simulates artificial objects in the real environment; Virtual Reality creates an artificial environment to inhabit.

In Augmented Reality, the computer uses sensors and algorithms to determine the position and orientation of a camera. AR technology then renders the 3D graphics as they would appear from the viewpoint of the camera, superimposing the computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real world.

In Virtual Reality, the computer uses similar sensors and math. However, rather than locating a real camera within a physical environment, the position of the user’s eyes are located within the simulated environment. If the user’s head turns, the graphics react accordingly. Rather than compositing virtual objects and a real scene, VR technology creates a convincing, interactive world for the user.

Virtual Reality’s most immediately-recognizable component is the head-mounted display (HMD).

With a multiplicity of emerging hardware and software options, the future of wearables is unfolding but yet unknown. Concepts such Google Cardboard, Samsung GearVR and Epson Movario are leading the way but there are also players like Meta, Avegant Glyph, Daqri and Magic Leap who may surprise the industry with new levels of immersion and usability. Whomever comes out ahead, the simplicity of buying a helmet-sized device that can work in a living-room, office, or factory floor has made HMDs center stage when it comes to Virtual Reality technologies.

Your VR headset is your portal to another world.

How to set up

It’s important to remember that even though your VR takes you to another world, you are still in your own home! It’s important to make sure that you aren’t going to hurt any of your furniture. Or yourself, of course.

So, Step By Step:

Select a room with some free space for roomscale VR.

Escort unpredictable, untracked objects from the space. (Sorry Mr Whiskers!)

DEVELOPER EDITION ONLY – Mirrors and reflective objects may have adverse effects on tracking. So, for now, remove or cover them up.

Clear the space that you will make your tracked area for VR.

Carefully unpack the content out of the box(es).

Do not attempt to pry open basestations. This could result in injury to hardware.

Have a read through the instructions below to get a better idea of what we mean.

The box

The box contains all those amazing goodies you’ve purchased. This blog should help shed some light on what it is you should expect to be in there. We’ve compiled lists to give you the best idea.

The headset box

In the headset box comes the most important part of VR – The literal portal into another world!

You should find,
An interference box
An interference box pad
The VR Headset
3in1 Headset cable
A Short HDMI cable
A short USB cable
And an AC adapter

The basestation box

Here’s where you should find all the nitty gritty stuff.
Power Adapter X2
Base Station X2
Mounting Hardware
Mounting Plate X2
More Hardware
Shelf adapter X2
50ft Sync Cable

The controller box

Take good care of these, everyone loves their controllers.
VR Controller X2
Lanyards X2 (Don’t want them flying out of your hand!)
Wireless Dongle X2
Extra Batteries X8 (US ONLY CR123A)
Battery Charger X2
AC Adapter X2
USB Adapter Board X2

Setting up your space!

Now VR is amazing – but only when it’s done right.

In the first section of our blog we talked about why it was important to clear a proper space, and now we will explain why:

Setting up the basestations is an important step in starting your VR. Here’s the way we recommend you do it:

Find locations for the basestation that are at opposite corners of the tracked space.
Mount the basestations above your head and angle down 30-45°
The Basestation field of view should be 120° in both axes

The MAX distance between the two units is 15ft/5M.
The area doesn’t have to be the perfect square, in fact the rough linear dimensions of playspace is: 12X9ft/ 4X3M
Tip: Measuring and taping off the play space can be useful

We DO NOT recommend mounting on surfaces that are unstable or prone to vibration.

Tip: The included hardware means that basestations can be mounted to walls, ceilings, shelves or directly to a standard tripod. A braced floor to ceiling pole makes a good alternative.

Develop edition only

Be sure to attach a power cable to each basestation. Connect them together with the 50ft sync cable provided, plug that in and then switch the units on from the back. Later, attach the sync cable to the ceiling.

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