Virtual reality is all the rage, but Microsoft's HoloLens is a $3,000 headset that lets you see in augmented reality — it puts digital pictures and information over your view of the world. The first versions are just beginning to make their way to people outside the company this month, but astronauts in outer space got to try it out before almost anyone. Late last year, Microsoft stashed two of the headsets aboard a rocket capsule headed for the International Space Station. Today, NASA published a video on YouTube showing just how these HoloLens headsets are being used.
Last fall, NextVR made history, broadcasting the Golden State Warriors' home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans in 3D VR. Starting tomorrow at Madison Square Garden, the Southern California company will embark on its second major event: live streaming more than 15 hours of the Big East men's basketball tournament in VR.
Let's just say I'm no Mark Watney. The hero of Ridley Scott's film The Martian knew how to survive alone on Mars after his crew left him for dead and blasted off on their journey back to Earth. Watney, an astronaut-botanist played by Matt Damon, figured out how to repair his space helmet, jury-rig a power source, build a greenhouse, and grow potatoes in sterile soil—a real Martian MacGyver.
There are many uses for virtual reality. Along with gaming, immersive tutorials, and… adult activities (ahem), 360-degree videos are a large reason to get involved in VR. Cameras that record the world around you are trending, with LG and Samsung having gotten into the mix, and VR offers users the chance to view as if they're actually there.
Since the Oculus Rift first appeared on Kickstarter in 2012, the world has slowly been getting more interested in what virtual reality could hold. In early 2016, we stand at a cliff above murky waters, hoping virtual reality software and hardware capabilities will be deep enough to accommodate the leap.
EyeNetra, a startup that has created technology to develop inexpensive, smartphone-based vision tests, is in talks with virtual reality companies to make screens that can cater to users' specific vision requirements. The development could improve virtual reality headsets, making them more efficient and user-friendly, according to a press release from MIT News.