It is very difficult to give a good answer to someone who asks what something tastes or smells like that they have never tasted or smelled. Our only recourse is to compare it with other known stimuli, but the truth is that these are sensory experiences that can only be assimilated one hundred percent by experiencing them in the first person.
With the virtual reality, this fact reaches its maximum expression. Everyone already knows the concept: you put on high-tech glasses and are immediately transported to stunning virtual worlds. But, as much as one may have heard this idea, nothing prepares you for the intense sensation that it produces. The level of immersion is unprecedented.
It is logical, after all this technology plays with a much more important sense than taste or smell, sight, and is capable of tricking the brain to make us feel speed, tension, vertigo, weightlessness … without moving from the site.
Although the technology industry I’ve been testing virtual reality since the mid-20th centuryIt was not until less than a decade ago, in 2012, with the launch of the Oculus Rift, that it began to acquire the consistency and halo of a sci-fi gadget come true that it has today.
The creation of those first glasses was the work of the American company Oculus VR. Facebook was quick to see the potential of this ingenuity and only two years later had already bought the company and it had emerged as one of the great promoters of virtual reality. That adventure, which still has a long way to go, reached its last milestone just a few months ago with the launch of the Oculus Quest 2.
Simple, lightweight and without a cable
Although the Oculus includes two controllers ideal for complex games, some experiences allow you to use your bare hands as controllers (image above), which is even more impressive. The multiplayer and the social part are another of the strengths, something logical in the case of Facebook. Separately, a cable can be purchased to connect the glasses to the computer and take advantage of the power and the PC catalog.
These glasses are a perfect sample of the situation VR technology is in. To the most techies They will be interested to know what they have 6 GB of RAM, a Snapdragon XR2 processor and a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye. However, that says little to the uninitiated.
What is really important is the magic that these numbers are capable of working. With the device adjusted to the head and a pair of sophisticated controls that often act as hands In virtual environments, anyone can teleport from their living room, literally in the blink of an eye, to a spectacular roller coaster (Epic Roller Coasters), to the planet Mars (where to unravel the mysteries of Red Matter), to the channels of Venice (which can be traveled by gondola in some 360º YouTube videos) or to a movie theater, such as that of Amazon Prime Video.
Although the lenses are only inches from the eyes, you feel like you’re in a stalls in front of a large screen located a few meters away.
With virtual reality, graphic adventures are like being immersed in a escape room, the sports and relaxation proposals offer experiences that are often unattainable in real life, action titles make us the stars of Hollywood blockbusters and the horror genre achieves levels of awe and awe never seen before (scary movies languish in comparison).
All these emotions are summarized in one: amazement. It is impossible to look out this window of fantasies and not feel like a child gaping at something completely new again. Not only that. The first impulse after trying VR is usually the desire to share those feelings with friends and family and see their faces at the possibilities of this technology.
This viral effect, in the most analog sense of the word, is the key for companies like Facebook (with its Oculus range), Sony (PlayStation VR), HTC (It lives), Samsung (Gear VR) o HP (Reverb) elevate virtual reality to the place it is destined to occupy in the not too distant future of the entertainment industry.
The catalog of VR titles grows
‘Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’. This galactic odyssey is, by graphics and atmosphere, one of the most outstanding audiovisual experiences of Oculus. How to live The Mandalorian first person experience between droids and alien races.
‘The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners’. Action, exploration and a dash of terror – brought in by hordes of zombies – make up this survival adventure in which stealth and observation are as vital as combat. Pure essence The Walking Dead.
‘The Climb’ y ‘The Climb 2’. A climbing experience that invites us to crown the heights of beautiful places, from a beautiful bay to the Alps, a rocky canyon or even a big city. The game really does tire your arms.
‘Beat Saber’. The premise of Guitar Hero and other similar games, together with VR, has given rise to this title –one of the most popular in virtual reality– in which you have to cut light arrows with lightsabers to the rhythm of the music.