The year of virtual reality

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Has the time really come, that 3D experiences will already this year become reality and follow us via apps into daily life? A good reason for this: The technology is ready! Our modern smartphones have enough computing power to produce engaging graphics and take our brain in artificial 3D worlds. I must confess that I had this topic completely hidden until Allan Jäke recently took up the issue at the UX Roundtable. I did not want to invest several 100 euros, but the experiment was worth 20 euros for me, so the color from China was tried at Easter. The offer of free apps is huge, you realize that there is a lot of experimenting, yet the user value is admittedly small, but hey, it happens!

It’s raining money dinosaurs walk through the garden

To determine the currency, you have to pay extra, but it’s enough for a joke: Who would not want to swim in money, or see it rain from the sky like Sterntaler?

My family was even more impressed of the searching for dinosaurs! Pterosaurs in the air or tramping through the garden more and more creatures appear, if you look through the phone’s camera. Both apps are available for download from Useless Creations”. For Android, the selection should be even greater.

This can be both tick under augmented reality and is quite nice, IKEA has built it in the catalog 2.5 years ago and brought it to life by an app.

Shared images for the “real” 3D image

The main attraction, offered by the latest apps now is a different one: There are different images produced for the right and left eyes, this creates the three-dimensional impression. By moving the head, which carries the smartphone, including housing, even the menue can be controlled. Reminds me of the first Eye-Toy games where the person was filmed in front of the TV and had to wave with the arm in a certain position  to trigger for example an “OK”. Because of Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect, nowadays no one is drawn from the woodstock, but still: the feeling behind the glasses is a different one..

Günstiges Einsteiger Modell: Die ColorCross-Brille als Halterung für das Smartphone

Car racing, roller coaster, helicopter flight over Iceland – being in the thick of it instead of being only there

Leaning in the curvesm to the right and left, to look at the route and the opponents, you win a very unique driving experience while being on the track. I was very impressed by the roller coaster ride that was enabled by the Oculus Rift (a beautiful view of the history here). There is already more computing power needed to enable smooth pictures, but I have to admit: my legs were shaking and I had to cling myself to the table, shockingly realistic feeling in the stomach, when it goes downhill into the depths. 🙂

Use cases for the future

Especially manuals could be a lot easier to handle, a short video showing the handles eg during tightening of a drainpipe, the use cases are endless, for handles that are not run on a regular basis. For example I hat to search the operating manual of my washing machine each time when I have to clean the detergent compartments, I can not remember the trick, how to solve this compartment, an app would be very handy in this case!

Also in the hospital, in the operating room a virtual surgeon could be a good assistent for rare interventions: Where should the cut be set, how deep must the cut be, where should the stitches are set … On the basis of body functions and the condition of the patient, further steps could be recommended or dosages for drugs – but the decision would be still made by the people, similar to the automatic Einparksystemen, although if there is certainly the subject of the question of guilt when it is a case of damage or insurance.

Suitable for mass in the near future

It is very unlikely that everyone will be walking around with Google Glasses in the future, but it is more likely that there is a short-term triumph of virtual and augmented reality if everyone already has a device that is able to do so.
Then we will no longer sit newspaper reading as in 1950, no longer smartphone Taking advantage as in 2010, but all hidden behind sunglasses on the train and say goodbye to a bit of the “real reality.


by Anja Weitemeyer