Virtual reality is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. In a broader sense it is about all interfaces that encompass your entire vision.

Virtual Reality UX design is a relatively new and developing field with equal parts research and brainstorming happening at the same time. Founded in 2012 Oculus VR has launched the world into it's second VR boom after failed developments in the 90's. After it's successful kickstarter campaign various other companies have joined in on this new development, like Facebook acquiring Oculus and Sony presenting it's own VR HMD.

Terminology

  • HDM: head-mounted display is a display device, worn on the head that has a display optic in front of the eyes.
  • AR: Augmented reality is the practice of overlaying information on top of live visual data thus augmenting the reality the user sees.
  • FOV: The field of view is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment.
  • DK1: Refers to the Oculus Development Kit 1
  • Head tracking: The Oculus DK1 did not support tracking of the head position, the DK2+ do support this which opens a lot of new UX options.

Head Mounted Displays

  • Oculus Rift, developed by Oculus VR for desktop systems
  • Project Morpheus, developed by Sony for the PlayStation 4
  • vrAse, developed by vrAse is a smartphone case turning common smartphones into HMD's.

Peripherals

  • STEM system
    The STEM system tracks your body position (limited to only 5 points) including controllers for your hands. It is based on the Razer Hydra but now made more specifically for VR. The STEM system is magnetic based.
  • PrioVR
    PrioVR is a full body suit allowing far more detailed tracking of body position and includes hand controllers as well. PrioVR uses accelerometer, magnetometer and a gyroscope per sensor for tracking.
  • Control VR
    Control VR is a glove that allows for finger tracking and an accurate representation of the entire hand inside VR.
  • Razer Hydra
    Predecessor of the STEM system allowing only tracking of hand position.
  • Reactive Grip Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip hand controller allows for limited directed force feedback.
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