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Why Immersive Virtual Reality Is The Next Generation of Gaming: part 1

September 14, 2012 | Telepresence Options

DIY real virtual reality on your smartphone or iPad 3 is here

July 14, 2012 by James Iliff

It's now obvious that immersive virtual reality is finally back in the consumer market -- with a vengeance.

Especially with the recent advent of FOV2GO, a free DIY portable fold-out iPhone and Android viewer that turns the smartphone screen into a 3-D VR system.

You can create one with foamboard and 2 cheap plastic lenses, and downloadable software lets you create your own virtual worlds or environments to display.

(There's also an iPad3 version.)

What made this possible: high-resolution screens and built-in gyroscopes. The retina display on the iPhone 4, for instance, provides 960�640 DVGA high resolution on a compact screen.

That means we can now construct ultra-lightweight VR head-mounted displays. The gyroscope lets the device track your head movement so you can look around in real time.

FOV2Go is actually a hardware and software kit for the creation of immersive virtual reality experiences using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. More info here.

At the Maker Faire showcase of FOV2GO in May, we showed off a few apps such as Tales from the Minus Lab and Shayd Mobile, both running in the Unity3D game engine with custom C# scripts to create the side-by-side in-game camera.

Harness the power to freely shrink and grow as you explore the uncharted worlds and solve environmental physics puzzles... (credit: USC Games)

I created a Mobile version of the Shayd Virtual Reality installation. While the full installation of Shayd encompasses an entire motion capture stage and wide-FOV head-mounted display, Shayd Mobile is much simpler, utilizing the FOV2GO stereoscopic Unity package developed by Perry Hoberman.

The game could also play on an iPad 3 with very large stereoscopic lenses, allowing for a tasty field-of-view approaching 130 degrees.

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