Virtual and Augmented Reality are becoming a leading trend in technology past year. Products from science-fiction movies and novels became reality and soon can revolutionized market with similar impact as smartphones. The first thought that pops in our mind when talking about VR and AR are Google Glass – glasses with miniature screen that available us to access and brows internet everywhere in front of our eyes. Tech enthusiasts are thrilled yet there is a much doubt amongst privacy and data security activists.
Google with its augmented reality Glass project started the trend. On paper Glass supposed to have all the functionality of smartphones and be controlled by voice and processing natural language. Giant from Mountain View packed Glass with 640×360 screen, 5 mpx camera with 720p video, full wi-fi and bluetooth support and Android above 4.0.4. The most interesting part is the bone conduction transducer, allowing to operate Glass with voice even in high-noise area (like city center or public transport).
Google Glass are user-friendly and easy to interact with for average smartphone consumer. Most functionalities are available via voice, only the most sophisticated needs touch-screen to be used. Nevertheless British engineers decided that it is not enough. To further improve usability they developed a brainwave controlled interface. Technology called MindRDR allows to use the device with just a thought. It is imperfect and allows only to take a picture, but it is a start. Meanwhile scientist from University of Massachusetts Lowell developed a method to steal passwords using Google Glass. It uses build camera and a special algorithm to predict text input even without actual visibility on the screen. It in part proves some doubts about data security but gives the technology capabilities as well.
Where Google tries to develop a device that will replace mobile phones, virtual reality helmets just trying to enhance our experience and fun from electronic entertainment. A concept popular in 90’s but impossible to implement because of technology imperfections, today VR helmets celebrates their renaissance. The feeling of immerse and experiencing the game can improve the entertainment as we know it.
The Oculus Rift project was the first in a wave of VR helmets. Its successful crowdfunding campaign and media reach proves that people still believe in a dream from 90’s. We have a Polish accent in this field as well. Wrizzmo and Cmoar, polish VR glasses, are viable competition for Oculus. The technology seems pretty simple – lenses, straps and casing keeps everything running. Yet the key element is the screen and the feeling of immersion in game. Where Oculus uses complicated system of build screens, Polish projects uses smartphones. They provide enough quality and processing power to give the similar effects to Oculus with much lower costs. That way Wrizzmo and Cmoar are serious competition on VR market.
Virtual reality are popular indeed, with more companies offering their products worldwide. Each player add something unique to gain an edge over competition. And we, the consumers, are profiting from that. In time VR and AR “armaments” race will bring us a product enriched with combined solutions, allowing new quality that we still search for.