CS491 - Virtual and Augmented Reality

HomeWorks

VR and AR Platforms

HTC VIVE

Vive is a Virtual Reality Headset developed by HTC.

Advantages:

It provides a completely immersive VR experience. The VR headset creates an immersive environment in which you can move around. The hand controls are used to interact with the objects in the VR environment. Interaction with the help of these devices is so precise that, it makes a huge impact on the overall VR experience. The motion sensors present in the headset accurately capture our movements and the VR environment changes accordingly. This feature can be experienced very will while trying out the Google Earth VR application. With Google Earth VR, we are able to teleport to any of the available locations, such as Paris, Grand Canyon, etc. We are given a set of tools that allows us to move around, zoom in and out. With the help of motion sensors, you can turn around and realize that you are really standing the the street or location. This also applies to gaming where the immersive experience takes gaming one level up. Real world games such as shooting and archery are reproduced virtually, so that it requires similar gestures to play.

Disadvantages:

Vive is a Virtual Reality headset, which means it has very little relation to the real world. When we enter a VR experience, everything inside is programmed. Also, there is a high chance that physical accidents occur when a person using the headset. It is necessary to be aware of physical space around us while using Vive, so that we don’t cause any accidents. It also requires us to be fixed in a position, so our mobility is reduced with a Vive.

Microsoft Hololens is a Mixed/Augmented Reality Headset. Microsoft also calls this Holographic Computing.

Advantages:

With Hololens, we can superimpose holographic objects on our real world environment. In this case, Hololens allows us to interact with the real world, but also allows us to place virtual objects in the real world. Mixed Reality helps very much when we need to see things put in perspective. Projecting Hololens over an empty space to visualize a building that is going to be built there would be very helpful in design process so that, before building, we will have a clear idea of what the place would look after completion. This can be done in 3D simulation also. But able to move around the exact place and see the holographic models, takes the design process one level up. 3D modeling with Hololens can be applied for engineering, design, architecture, space exploration and many more fields. It also supports holographic gaming. In Hololens, our head and hand acts as controls so that we don’t need any extra device for controls. Also, Hololens is a standalone computing device that runs Windows OS with Cortana. So, we can just carry Hololens anywhere and start adding Holographic objects to our environment.

Disadvantages:

Augmented Reality is relatively new and there are very few practical applications right now. There is very less community support for development of holographic applications. Holograms also tend to be less bright due to light interference in the room. Detection of hand gestures is poor in Hololens and it requires user to put lot of effort to make it work.

MICROSOFT HOLOLENS

CAVE2

CAVE2

Advantages:

Cave2 is a large scale virtual reality environment built at the EVL lab in UIC. It has a huge cylindrical concave display that is actually made up of tiled display screens forming the structure. It covers an entire room and is ideal for large scale simulations and visualizations both in 3D and 2D. Cave 2 can successfully demonstrate 3D presentations about solar systems, planetary motions, etc with real time data. The sheer size of the display would make it easy depict these visualizations in life size. Cave 2 also provides us with an immersive experience that we can use in a variety of applications. The demo included visualization of monuments of Egypt, where along with normal distances, the depth of the objects in the picture was also visible. Also, Cave2 can be simultaneously experienced by more users unlike Vive or Hololens, which can be experienced only by the user who wears the headset. Hence, Cave2 can be an excellent collaboration tool.

Disadvantages:

Building a system like Cave 2 takes a lot of engineering effort and also tends to be extremely costly. While Vive and Hololens are headsets that can be carried around easily, Cave2 occupies a physical room and requires lot of infrastructure to build it. A system like Cave2 can be built and used in large organizations but are of very little or no personal uses.

Advantages:

Google Cardboard is a portable VR device, that enables you to run VR applications from your mobile device. With cardboard, even a low end android smartphone can support VR application, making it the most affordable form of VR device. Google Cardboard supports VR applications of many type including gaming, media and other type of applications

Disadvantages:

While Google Cardboard is very much affordable, its reliability depends upon the processing power of the mobile device that it supports. Hence, Google Cardboard cannot be a standalone VR device.

GOOGLE CARDBOARD