Virtual reality: Imagining possibilities

Hurrairah bin Sohail investigates the intersection of virtual reality and AV to discover that professionals are ready to offer innovative solutions to willing customers.

Virtual reality has come to the fore in recent months. The commercial launch and availability of products such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR has placed high-end virtual reality headsets in the hands of everyday users. In parallel, smart innovations such as Google Cardboard, along with other similar devices from other manufacturers, leverage the widespread use of smartphones to serve as easy gateways to the world of virtual reality for interested parties.

But when it comes to professional AV, the scope of virtual reality solutions is widened. Caves and domes have been offering immersive environments to end-users for decades. How have the latest advancements in virtual reality technology impacted the audio visual industry? Are end-users in Asia Pacific adopting virtual reality?

Stuart Hetherington, CEO of Holovis, says: “The adoption rate for virtual reality is high across Asia Pacific, specifically in areas of China where there has been a rapid development of high grade yet affordable consumer HMDs [head-mounted displays]. There has been a steady growth in professional use being driven by the creation of complex software and solution integration across all visualisation systems, not just HMDs. Traditional virtual reality systems such as caves, a space where all four or five walls feature 3D stereo projection with head and hand tracking are also seeing advances in their specifications to include spatial audio and multi-sensory SFX and haptics to allow the users to completely feel like they are in the desired environment and be able to naturally interact with it.”

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