There has been a lot of buzz in the past two years about virtual reality environments, fuelled by the creation and distribution of various VR headsets and 360 degree filming cameras. There is also a lot of VR specific video content out there that you can enjoy that range from animated and game experiences to documentaries about different social issues around the world.
We’ve experienced some of this VR content – mostly documentaries from VRSE – on a HTC headset and here are some completely subjective impressions of what it feels like.
We’ll start with the documentary The Click Effect, which is set mainly underwater. It’s amazing, it actually takes you into the sea, amidst the dolphins and whales and they appear to be so close to you that you can almost touch them. It’s a little scary, but awesome nonetheless.
Another documentary that we say was A History of Cuban Dance. If you can’t dance, you’ll probably be able to by the time this little documentary is over. There is so much salsa and cha-cha-cha featured in it, and if you happen to be standing you can try to do the steps.
The last documentary we say was The Voodoo Healer and it was a fascinating experience. It puts you in the middle of a voodoo ceremony and it feels very intense. At some point the whole virtual environment makes you feel like a strange entity that watches over them.
On the downside, for all the awesome experiences it provides, using a headset gets pretty exhausting after 30 minutes or so. It’s quite heavy and a lot of its weight falls on the nose. After using a headset for a while, you’ll probably notice a very ugly rash on your nose. Apart from that, the face gets really hot while under the headset – you start sweating and the whole experience becomes a little tense and less enjoyable.
Another aspect is related to the video quality, while some videos have a greater quality and provide a more realistic experience, other videos have are of low quality and can completely ruin the experience.
So there is a limit to how long a person can comfortably experience VR and sometimes the video quality is not that great but if we’ve sparked some interest in you, know that you can access those 360 degree movies at vrse.com.
Vrse is VR Company whose name is probably a play upon the words universe and VR with a very interesting mission – telling extraordinary and real stories via virtual reality. It uses its own VR app to create engaging and story-driven VR experiences. Some of their more high-profile collaborators have been The New York Times, Broadly, Saturday Night Live and Vice etc.