Beginner’s Guide to VR

Virtual Reality (VR) is quickly becoming the next fad when it comes to entertainment. Although it originally became popular for gaming, it is moving into other entertainment sectors including fitness, movies, TV, and more. With VR, you can sit in a theater and enjoy a movie with a friend, do tai chi at the edge of a seaside cliff, visit the international space station, or meditate in a forest; you’re not just zapping aliens and punching bad guys.

VR is seen as technology for gamers, early adopters, and technophiles, but it is quickly being popularized by all kinds of people.

The makers of the technology are ahead of the game addressing issues such as motion sickness and usability. VR headsets are getting smaller, lighter, and more comfortable, and one of the top models (Oculus Quest 2) can be played wirelessly without a PC. Improved software with fewer sharp camera movements, less acceleration, blur effects, and camera shakes have significantly reduced motion sickness, and the technology only continues to advance.

How to Get Started

Historically, a VR-ready PC was a necessity. Today, that’s not always the case. Newer VR headsets are an all-in-one solution that have the processing power and graphics to support all VR applications. Other headsets require a computer that is VR compatible with certain graphics cards, processors, memory, video out ports, USB ports, and operating systems.

This can be intimidating at first, but there are pre-built computers to support VR, and most new computers will have plenty of oomph to meet these requirements. And VR experts have created some great resources outlining everything you need to know before you buy a pc for VR or try to use one you currently own.

With an increasingly diverse portfolio of devices and games VR is becoming more accessible in terms of usability. Games like “Beat Saber” and “Tilt Brush” offer spectacular easy-entry introductions to virtual reality.

Beyond gaming, Oculus makes beginning your fitness journey easy with apps that keep you engaged and communities of coaches and friends for support. There something for everyone whether it is watching the NBA or an immersive Netflix experience, and it is easy to get started.

The top headsets are clearly in a world of their own when it comes to modern technology, but how expensive are they? All-inclusive VR sets can cost upwards of $1000, but as VR adoption increases, prices are steadily coming down. One of the best, if not the best, headset on the market, Oculus Quest 2, offers a great wireless VR experience out of the box without the need for an expensive VR-ready PC for less than $400.

Popularity and accessibility both continue to grow, and the only other requirement for successful VR entertainment is fast Internet. Thankfully, making faster, more reliable internet to all homes is becoming a crucial adoption with the reliance on remote working, learning & entertainment.

What’s in Store for VR in the Future

Advances in mobile chip technology specifically designed for VR (Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 & XR2) and WI-FI 6 will make wireless VR ubiquitous, smaller, less bandwidth-intensive, and more comfortable, reducing lag-related motion sickness.

With a wave of new technology around the corner aimed directly at addressing VR pain points, audiences are going to grow, and OTELCO has the high-speed fiber Internet you need, to be ready for the coming VR wave.