In the ever-changing world of high-tech gadgets and gizmos, a whole load of jargon is thrown our way that many of us don’t necessarily understand.
In our new regular series, What is…, we’ll tackle a tech term and explain what it means so you can understand it a bit more.
Here we explain VR, which is all over the news at the moment and looks set to change the face of entertainment in the coming years.
What is VR?
VR stands for Virtual Reality, a form of immersive computer technology which creates (or recreates) environments to make you feel like you’re somewhere else. Think of it as a window into a different, non-existent world.
This is usually achieved by wearing a virtual reality headset which displays a 360-degree image, sounds and gives you the ability to interact with what you experience.
A number of headsets are in production at the moment, such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which looks set to transform computer gaming through virtual reality in particular.
The HTC Vive, for example, features two controls, allowing you to grab objects within the place you’ve been virtually transported to. Turn your head, and the visuals will automatically change – even walking makes you move within the virtual world (although don’t expect to get too far with walls around your actual house).
Find out what happened when members of the public tried VR in the video below.
There are also low budget options to enjoy VR experiences with your phone, in particular Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard works with your existing smartphone and means you can play virtual reality games or watch virtual reality videos on YouTube through their dedicated 360 Videos channel – there’s everything there from tours to tornados.
What’s in store for the future?
VR could help surgeons in training, revolutionise movies and improve the quality of life for those unable to explore the world because of disabilities. Find out about all the ways VR could change the world here.
Is there a tech term or object you don’t quite understand? Let us know in the Comments section below and we’ll try and explain them in future editions of What is…