The improvement of technology has altered almost everything. Nowadays people use their smart devices to work, study, play, communicate, etc. Applications are the most popular among users since almost every service has its own application. In this article, we are going to explain about virtual reality apps and how to make it engaging.
What is a Virtual Reality App?
Virtual Reality is becoming popular and is trying to push the boundaries of our imagination. People are more interested in virtual reality since it engages them with a new experience in their lives. Therefore big companies are trying to create virtual reality apps instead of normal apps. It is a trend in the Technology world and everyone wishes to take part in this new world.
Virtual reality can be described as a computer-simulated environment that mimics physical presence in the real world. To experience the VR world, a user needs a stereoscopic Head Mounted Display (HMD).
The VR adventure starts with a stereoscopic Head Mounted Display (HMD) which is a display gadget you wear on your head. Any VR experience starts with a headset, or head-mounted display (HMD). It is a device that brings a computer-simulated content in front of your eyes, imitating presence in real environments. While it might sound like science fiction, virtual reality is no longer a fantasy or a high-tech miracle. Affordable devices like Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, or a more expensive option, Oculus Rift, can make this sci-fi dream come true for everyone.
One of the most obvious examples of such technology is virtual gaming. By using special hardware, a gamer “becomes” the game character. They can walk and look around in the virtual, simulated world as if it were real. Another common use case for VR is virtual tours that let you experience hiking the Grand Canyon or visiting the Louvre while physically staying at home.
How can Virtual Reality be used in an app?
There are some industries that have already adopted virtual reality technology.
Real estate developer Panoptic Group went into co-operation with Arch Virtual last year to make VR tours in 3D as a new way of showing real estate properties to clients. According to the Panoptic Group, virtual reality is helping them sell properties much faster because people can get a feel for the inside of a home as well as its grounds without even visiting in person.
The Escape virtual reality app is a great example of VR for the travel industry. Escape lets viewers go on virtual reality tours of some of the biggest cities around the world. People can even check out monuments of Pyongyang. All this can be achieved with just your smartphone and a VR headset.
The automotive industry has already adopted virtual reality. Companies like Ford and Audi have created 3D experiences that let customers check out different models of cars and customize them even before seeing the car in real life. Volvo has actually released a virtual reality app that makes it possible for customers to test drive the Volvo XC90 from the comfort of their sofa. The Volvo XC90 test drive features 360-degree video footage with a 3D animation of the interior of the car.
A well-known fact about education is that students remember and understand educational material better if they experience it instead of reading about it. That is why field trips are a high priority at most schools. Now, virtual reality can actually make it possible to go on field trips right from the classroom. VR might not be quite as fun as a day at the zoo, but it can certainly be used more frequently and with fewer permission slips and frazzled parent chaperones. Regular school education benefits from VR as well. In 2015, Google announced its new service Expeditions and offered free headsets along with teacher-assisting software to all schools that decide to implement the technology. Using virtual field trips, teachers can take students to travel around the world, explore underwater flora and fauna, and enrich lectures with immersive and engaging experiences. Another provider ClassVR offers both headsets and VR content organized in a curriculum for learning various subjects on different education levels.
Interestingly, there are not many ways VR is currently used in healthcare. Use cases mostly cover medical training and mental health treatment. The examples of these applications, however, are broad. Phobia, anxiety, and PTSD treatment, autism therapy – cognitive behavioral therapy in combination with VR helps improve neurological conditions by exposing patients to triggering situations in a virtual world. Studies also show that experiencing certain simulations can help people reduce physical pain or get rid of phantom limb pain.
The elements of creating VR apps
The primary subject of virtual reality is simulating the vision. Every headset aims to perfect their approach to creating an immersive 3D environment. Each VR headset puts up a screen (or two – one for each eye) in front of the eyes thus, eliminating any interaction with the real world.
Sound effects, when synced with the visuals, can create very engaging effects. By using a headphone and 3D sound effects the user’s belief in the virtual environment can be reassured. If you start playing horror music in the background of a fairy tale movie it will just put the user off.
Eye and head tracking can be ensured using laser pointers, led lights or mobile sensors. In mobile, we use the accelerometer to detect three-dimensional movement, a gyroscope for angular movement and a magnetometer to identify the position relative to the Earth.
Ways of creating engaging VR apps
Taking a 360-degree video is the cheapest answer to create engaging VR apps. 360-degree videos are helpful if you wish to capture video footage of an occurrence from the important world. When filming, it’s vital to take care of the camera in a very still position. If the camera moves around, it should maintain even movements, since otherwise, it’ll cause complaints about the user.
Making a 3D animation or construction is another way to create engaging VR apps. 3D, be it a simple animation, a game, virtual shopping rooms, etc., is a complex trade, but the payoff is worth the effort. In such digital environments, users are free to move, look closely at objects around, and interact with them as they would in real life. Take the “Clash of Clans 360” game for example.
An element of surprise always works extremely well in VR. Surprise, wonder, scare…extract real emotions… A proper and simple example is a scene where you’re going through a long semi-dark corridor, and a ghost suddenly appears for few seconds and disappears before your face.
Get the object very close to players urging to touch it. They will surely try to do so and won’t be disappointed even after failing to grab a nonexistent thing. On the contrary, such mind games are pure fun.