Throughout history, there have been many variations to the concept of virtual reality (VR). Today VR is usually implemented using computer technology devices such as headsets, omnidirectional treadmills and special gloves. Virtual reality is the integration of computer technology to create a simulated environment.
VR has proven to be a transformational technology with potential to completely change the face of the media, gaming and numerous other industries. However, it also has the potential to be destroyed by inadequate supporting technology like internet speed and data servers.
Unlike traditional interfaces like television, virtual reality users are immersed in the interactive three-dimensional world. Virtual reality places your consciousness in an 8k world. Currently our television and movie theaters can only mimic up to 4k quality.
To support such a data heavy command VR headset, large amounts of bandwidth are utilized to download different files and programs. Each VR stream must be duplicated twice to display images to both eyes.
Unsurprisingly, dual streams requires significant bandwidth. An 720p VR video stream takes at least a 5.0 Mbps connection, 4k requires 25 Mbps and 8k requires 80-100 Mbps. The problem is that the majority of US internet users just don’t have that kind of bandwidth available to deliver VR with quality.
While major cities can keep up, the vast majority of the country still lags far behind as reports have found that the average US household has an average of 12.6 Mbps with 80 percent of US households’ Internet connection don’t even rise above 8 Mbps. Some even consider this to be at the higher end of the spectrum. VR technologies are growing faster than developers and technology can keep up.
The Virtual Reality industry has so much potential—it just requires more attention and newer technology. Deloitte projected that the VR market segment earned just over $1 billion last year and projects the industry to be valued at $25 billion in 2021. These are very large evaluations for an industry in its infancy but—gaming, video and specifically live streaming make VR a fascinating opportunity to all kinds of content providers. Facebook, YouTube and even athletic associations like the NBA have already started rolling out VR streaming options. Virtual reality has significant potential in our society to be used in many of our daily applications.
This is the future of our society as numerous businesses, developers and real estate investors capture people’s attention by sharing their mental picture with each other rather than the traditional metrics used to describe their ideas. VR is a new and exciting platform, with numerous corporations already taking the initiative to reinvent the user experience.
An example of the application of VR is the unveiling beautiful retail spaces available before they are constructed. It allows interested individuals to visualize the area they want to create. This has led visionaries to improve their ability to sell their vision, allowing clients to accept the same mental picture. Executives can develop an idea of a concept and formulate it into a working model for investors and potential clients. The retail market is racing to sell their products through VR with people using it to shop for large expensive items like cars.
Virtual reality (VR) has taken the gaming industry by storm. VR gaming has become the new mainstream option generation Z constituents looking to upgrade their two-dimensional gaming consoles. Industry leaders are developing games to incorporate human interaction with technology as new virtual reality games like Star Wars use movement for your character to react to different challenges. The game modes immerse your consciousness into the virtual world.
Our younger generation will enjoy great benefits from the increased use of virtual reality in the classroom. Education through Virtual Reality motivates students to learn and develop better analytical skills by bringing textbooks to life. This facilitates the teacher’s ability to describing complex problems more realistically. Imagine taking your students on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. They are amazed by the new exhibits, history and the foreign concepts—but their learning is abridged as by 3 p.m. the students must go home.
With VR, every day can be a field trip to anywhere in the universe while remaining in the comfort of the classroom! VR has also been translated to teaching engineers and doctors how to perform duties successfully. It can reduce the time and energy spent to introduce experimental exercises as virtual reality gives you the experiences required. VR can transform the traditional classroom setting into a fully interactive learning experience with individual attention given to each student.
As VR is improving so many aspects of our lives, improvements to the core network infrastructure is needed to support the increased bandwidth. In order to boost the digital infrastructure of our homes, stronger Wi-Fi networks capable of Wi-Fi channel management and continuous Wi-Fi signaling must be implemented. Without such features, Wi-Fi networks are overloaded continuously because of the bandwidth required from ongoing Virtual Reality equipment use. Virtual reality involves bandwidth to transcribe data of the virtual setting you have chosen. It reads data that describes the pixilation sequences to stimulate your vision, hearing, touch and sometimes smell.
This is a classic Internet chicken and egg scenario and developers will be required to meet the technology where it is in order to create a groundswell for consumer enthusiasm. If they do, technology will follow and VR could be a major force in driving growth of the Internet infrastructure of America. Many believe developing more hardware and faster internet will slingshot the industry to become the largest industry in the world.
Harry Mehta leads Radiant Heritage Technologies, a full-service technology consulting company providing solutions to SMEs, not-for-profits and education outreach market segments. They have core expertise in strengthening the bandwidth capacity of Wi-Fi networks to support virtual reality applications for schools, businesses, hospitals and universities.