Few of us would ever try to skydive from a tall building in real life. Things change though when you can do the same thing safely and in an equally exhilarating way in a virtual reality environment. But is it possible to do it right now? The answer is definitely YES.
TimeWalk, a new virtual reality startup with the ambitious dream of recreating our world in 3D and replicating entire cities in VR, has recently made it possible for anyone with an Oculus Rift device to feel exactly what a skydiver feels. Would you want that? The temptation is strong because you know nothing will happen to you, but standing there at the edge of a skyscraper and looking down still feels very real. So real in fact that you might refuse to jump, as some of TimeWalk users did.
How come it can be so real? It’s in the combination of the Oculus Rift headset, which offers an utterly convincing experience, and the high quality graphics depicted in the 3D virtual replica of Times Square, New York, which TimeWalk managed to create in less than a year.
Virtual Reality has become incredibly convincing
Some people don’t believe in virtual reality and you can’t blame them. It’s still something rather new although everybody seems to be talking about it. Moreover, most people haven’t had the chance to try the Oculus Rift or any other VR headset and from those who have, few had access to a truly excellent application or software.
It’s hard to explain the feeling you get when you try on a VR headset other than that it feels very real. When you look up in TimeWalk you feel the immensity of the buildings that surround you. When you accidentally bump into objects on the streets you almost feel the physical contact and you constantly feel the need to reach out with you hand and touch things. You can even get mildly startled or a little dizzy.
Where is this going?
There is a tremendous amount of speculation in the tech world about the future of VR. Many companies stopped speculating and started building apps and software to solve real-life problems. Some focus on creating 3D models of buildings, others create virtual simulations that can be used for anything starting from sports to military drills. Many focus on creating 3D video games, which some believe will kickstart the interest of the masses for VR, while others try to create virtual shops that will offer a complete and unique shopping experience. TimeWalk focuses on merging all of this into one single easy-to-use platform.
Virtual reality won’t replace real life experiences for most of us. Instead, it will offer a viable and cheap alternative to experience things you don’t usually have access to. Those who have never experience snow can see it in VR (TimeWalk has already created a wintery version of Times Square), people who cannot afford to travel too much can visit other cities or landmarks in VR and almost anyone can try extreme sports without risking their lives.
VR is going to offer easy access to a whole new collection of experiences. Want to visit your hotel room before booking it? Now you can. Want to visit Paris? Soon it will be possible without leaving your home. Wish to try on a T-shirt in an online shop before you hit “buy”? Sounds crazy, but it’s going to be possible. Just wait and keep an eye on companies like TimeWalk.
Author Bio: TimeWalk Virtual Reality is a virtual reality start-up with plans to create a high quality 3D environment interconnected with the real world. The company has already created an accurate virtual replica of Times Square, New York and is about to implement new features like 3D look-alike humanoids, 3D online shops, replicas of touristic landmarks, real-estate tools and more.