Monday, July 17, 2017

Programing Note: Zone Base VR

So, I've become a fan of VR videos. While I've always held a curiosity in virtual reality in general (including my time spent with the Virtual Boy in high school), I've recently let my fandom of POV theme park ride through videos guide me into getting one of those cell phone VR set ups. I have no clue what took me so long as I've been eyeing them for quite a while now (the mask was literally 5$ at Five Below, and I bought a controller for 5$ also), but I recently bought the needed stuff at my wife's insistence ('just buy it already, you want it and it's not expensive') and I owe her flowers for that. I love it.

After some basic experimenting and switching around phones in the headset (got a few older phones not in use that make for good fodder for a good set up), I've got myself going with my wife's old S4, which is doing a good job. It took a minute to get used to the controls and figuring out that on screen mouse that the controller I bought serves as (might be getting a better one in the future, you never miss a spring in a joystick until a 5$ one doesn't have one) to really get the swing.

360 VR video is really neat, though you really need to sit in a swivel chair to fully enjoy it without tripping over your own feet (that and you're not actually in the surroundings you see). Though I enjoy the 3D POV style videos the best. There's a basic narrative device in treating your point of view as a camera that really makes the experience a lot of fun (and downright frightening in those scary videos).

It's inspired me to start sharing some of these videos here. Seeing as I've already posted about Universal Studios a few times here, I figure regular readers might enjoy these experiences. All you need to enjoy these is a smart phone (one with a gyroscope for 360 videos) and a VR mask (they run in price ranges, but I got one for 5$ as I said above). They make controllers that are optional, but you don't really need one if you don't want to use one (it's just handy for clicking stuff and maybe volume). Perhaps headphones would be handy depending on where you're enjoying the VR.

So, from now on, whenever I use VR in a post title, well... it's a VR post. There'll be VR tags to for easy searches. This is going to be a lot of fun come Halloween.

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