Week 7 – HTC Vive and PlayStation VR

This week, we experimented with multiple Virtual Reality technologies. With virtual reality, users can immerse themselves in a complex virtual world, whose detail is limited only by the imagination of the developer. A common type of Virtual Reality headset connects to a PC. Multiple cables for video, audio, and power are connected between the headset and the PC.

The headset uses a camera to see light invisible to humans, which is emitted from the lighthouses. Using the controllers, you are able to manipulate objects in the game with your hands. I enjoyed using tactile manipulation in Fruit Ninja, a game which otherwise becomes boring on a normal touch screen.

PlayStation VR works in a similar manner, but connects to a PlayStation 4 console instead of a PC, and is a more economical choice for those who do not have a powerful computer. I noticed the console’s lesser performance while playing Beat Saber, but in the end had just as much fun.

Playing games with VR is fun, but there are also educational purposes for the technology. Students can learn about various topics in a more immersive manner, and have hands-on experiences without the hassle of field trips or the inability to obtain something in the real world (Ex. taking a field trip to the moon to learn about possible life forms).

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