What is Virtual Reality(VR)?
Virtual reality is a term that is used to describe a computer-generated experience of reality. Through different sensory receptor, a person experiences the virtual world. The realistic graphics create a completely immersive scene turning the real objects into graphically illustrated ones. In the late 60, the artist Myron Krueger put forward this term and in the same year, the very first instruments and devices were invented to capture the realities of the virtual world.
What is Augmented Reality(AR)?
The concept of overlaying the two realities together in a single frame is defined by the term-augmented reality. The objects and items of the real world are augmented via computerized programs into an augmented reality version. In general, it is also called computer-generated reality. Augmented reality enriches the experiences of the real world whereas virtual reality transforms the entire real world into a virtual one. The very famous and most common example of augmented reality is the projection of weather and speed on the screen of the pilot to help him navigate the aircraft. That illustration is augmented reality. Though the term was named in the late 1990’s the concept was put forward by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century using a painting.
Advent of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality didn’t get involved in a single day. It is a matter of years. Its origin is actually based on evolution. From the early nineteenth century, some 360-degree murals were found that were painted to make the viewer believe that he or she is in the scene at that moment. The drawing has a kind of 360 dimensions. It is a time when there was no concept of the two spectra of realities as coined by Paul Milgram in 1994. Take a look at the scene below:
Similarly, there is another example of stereoscopic images belonging to 1883 where Charles Wheatstone has presented the very first concept of two and three dimensions.
Furthermore, we know use VR headset and Google Cardboard to experience VR however, back in 1930’s Stanley G. Weinbaum put forward the concept of experiencing a fictional world created by a holographic, touch, and smell. In concept presented in this experiment is modernized into VR headset.
VR is fast becoming the future of entertainment. While headsets like Oculus VR, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive have entered the market, most of the technological benefits of these innovations are out of reach for consumers due to the cost and engineering limitations. However, by utilising your smartphone you can download some great free VR apps for Android and iOS to get an idea of how VR is going to revolutionise the world.
Here is our list of the 11 best free VR apps for 2018 available for iOS and Android devices.
1. Zombie Shooter VR (Android & iOS)
Zombie Shooter VR is an amazing iOS & Android game that does exactly what its name suggests – it helps users kill zombies. It was originally a paid app in its early days. However, the developing team made it free to compete with the fierce competition in the VR ecosystem. There are in-app purchases though should you want to upgrade your experience.
The best thing about this game is the controls. All you have to do is look at zombies and it triggers the weapon, making it one of our best free VR apps that is a must have.
2. Google Cardboard (Android & iOS)
Google Cardboard is one of the earliest mobile apps for VR technology and still ranks highly on our best free VR apps list for 2017. It was specifically built to depict the possibilities of VR and it is recommended for people who want to enter the world of VR and see some of the amazing features of this technology.
It is available for free and has tons of videos and in-app features like integration with Google Maps, where you can travel the world via 360-degree videos.
3. VR Sniper (Android & iOS)
VR Sniper allows players to feel the thrill of being a sniper and kill enemies via sniper shots triggered by their head movements. The app is available for free on iTunes and the Google Play store. There are in-app purchases however to unlock some additional features and levels.
VR Sniper gameplay is pretty simple; easy to learn and hard to master. You, as a sniper would have to kill 10 strategically positioned enemy soldiers by looking at them via your VR gear. New levels mean more soldiers and of course more of a thrill.
4. Cardboard Camera (Android & iOS)
Don’t confuse Cardboard Camera with Google Cardboard; these are two different apps developed by Google. As the name suggests, the Cardboard Camera app allows users to take 360-degree pictures via their Android and iOS devices.
The app is extremely easy to use and you don’t even have to create a Google account to use it. Simply download and install the app, and you are good to go. It may take you some time to capture perfect pictures, but it’s well worth the effort for the experience afterward.
5. Expeditions (Android & iOS)
Expeditions is available under the Education category in Google’s Play Store, however, it’s more fun than education and people of all age groups can equally enjoy it. It allows users to experience the world’s popular destinations, places and go on expeditions.
Currently, the app has around 200 expeditions and the developing team is continuously adding more and more locations. Although the Expeditions app works best with Cardboard or VR gear, you can also enjoy it via 360-degree mode.
6. Google Arts and Culture (Android & iOS)
Google Arts and Culture is quite similar to the Expeditions app mentioned above except it mainly focuses on museums, heritage sites, and historical places. The app is fully compatible with Google Cardboard and there are hundreds of different locations available within it.
Google Arts and Culture has a relatively small user base compared to other VR apps from Google. However, it is considered one of the best free VR apps available in the world right now. As an added bonus, the app shows real-time information about different places and items so you can get useful knowledge on the way.
7. Netflix VR (Android)
If you’re looking for the best VR app to watch movies and TV shows, look no further. Netflix VR is the official app from the company that allows users to watch their favorite movies and TV shows in a virtual environment. Although Netflix VR has a lot of potential considering the millions of customers they have; the Netflix VR app needs some improvements and new features.
For example, you can’t download contents for offline viewing in Netflix VR, even though the original Netflix app allows this. Also, the app is exclusively available for Daydream Android devices. However, it’s still better than nothing.
8. Discovery VR (Android & iOS)
No list covering the best VR apps would be complete without Discovery VR. It’s the official app from the Discovery Channel and it’s available for all Android and iOS devices running Android 4.0+ and iOS 7+ respectively. Unfortunately, you cannot watch all of Discovery’s content on this app but it still has a lot of VR content you can enjoy.
Discovery VR offers a range of videos in different environments allowing users to explore hard to reach places. As this is an early version of the app, we’re hoping for some new features and more content in the upcoming versions.
9. GoPro VR (Android & iOS)
GoPro VR is quite similar to the Discovery VR app except it offers even more diversified content. All of the videos available in the GoPro VR app are captured via GoPro cameras so you can expect mind-blowing quality.
This is the perfect free VR app for people who want to see adventurous videos via Cardboard or VR gear and get the thrill. You can download GoPro VR for free from iTunes and Google Play Store however it’s restricted to some countries. Amazingly, some of the videos available in GoPro VR are even 60 frames per second.
10. YouTube VR (Android)
YouTube is one of the best online resources to get your hands on 360-degree videos for free. Like other Google apps, YouTube VR is available for free too.
In order to enjoy VR videos on YouTube, you can either get a cost efficient cardboard or go for an expensive Samsung Gear VR. It also allows you to search for videos with your voice, providing a totally hands-free experience.
11. FullDive VR (Android)
If you’re stuck for content and looking to broaden your viewing, FullDive VR is one of the best vr apps to do just that. It offers over 1 million videos for you to discover and explore.
FullDive VR also allows you to play any videos you have on your phone and experience them like you would in a movie theatre. You can also browse anything on the internet in VR mode and access any of your 360 photos to view them in an immersive experience. FullDive VR is one of the best VR apps to download that provides a virtual reality platform for your phone. Sadly, it’s only available for Android users at the moment.
If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them, so be sure to send your best VR apps 2018 in comment.
Role of VR and AR in Major Industries
Today, we are experiencing some major evolution and incorporation of the two immersive realities- VR and AR into the tech world. It has taken over every industry from medical to information, education to technology. Where the wave of augmented reality has left users in the midst of enchanting fascination, virtual reality is paving ways to uncountable inventions and devices from Oculus to VR headsets.
VR and AR have contributed a lot to the entertainment industry from gaming to streaming to watching a movie. The integration of VR involves biosensors in which the sense of touch, smell, and sight is transformed into a virtual world. With this very concept, many games are introduced that portrays an immersive interface. The famous Pokémon Go is the product of augmented reality in which users enjoyed playing in an augmented world. Moreover, the invention of Google cardboards and VR headsets make the movies even more interactive and immersive. It makes you believe like you are there at the scene watching the actors and living those moments.
VR has completely altered the way sports fan used to enjoy watching every match. For all those fans who cannot afford luxury stays in different states to watch their favorite sports can now enjoy it in a completely immersive way with the help of VR headsets.
VR has transformed the medical world adding fascinating possibilities from teaching to practice. It has opened new ways to spread the knowledge now students do not have to peak over the shoulders of their sensors in the operation theatres to learn the tricky techniques. With the help of VR headsets, they can view the entire operation from every angle. Moreover, for chronic patients, Brennan Spiegel in Los Angeles has introduced VR to reduce stress and anxiety. For patients who cannot go back to their home, they feel so relaxed when they become able to roam around their place through VR watching every corner of their house and their family as if they are part of it.
To Wrap Up
The VR and AR world has endless boundaries. Though the developers have invented many amazing products and concepts there is a lot to explore. Experts at software Development Company in London strives to create a valuable solution for each industry. Moreover, today, the demand for a VR and AR developer is at its peak, due to the lack of resources and a high demand for evolution.