What is VR?

18th May 2021

Virtual Reality (VR) usually refers to an entirely computer-generated environment, accessible through a headset. Depending on the application, VR can allow users to interact with a three dimensional environment, or it can be a passive experience in the form of 360˚ Video media.

Read on to find out more about all aspects of the technology. You will find detail on both the hardware and the available content.

1. The VR Headset

Perhaps the first thing you think of when talking about VR, the headset acts as a gateway to the growing selection of games and experiences available.

There are two main kinds of headset:

A. The first is the ‘tethered’ kind. Headsets such as the HTC Vive are a great option if you are into PC gaming and want to play amazing detailed games like Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx. You will need a powerful gaming PC and will usually have to be connected (tethered) with a cable.

B. The second option is the standalone headset. Headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 need no external computers and work in a similar way to a smart phone, processing and storing all the necessary information within the device. If you’re interested in fun games and 360˚ video, this would be our pick for its convenience and portability.


2. VR Gaming

PC and console gaming was really starting to stagnate up until VR came along and offered something entirely different. Valve, who run the game service Steam, have their own headset called the Index, and Sony has just revealed plans for a second generation PlayStation headset too.

Other avenues for VR gaming include standalone or wireless headsets like the Oculus Quest. Though you can now link Oculus Quest to PC, the wired options have more power available to run complex games. If you have a Quest or another portable headset, we would recommend trying Richie’s Plank Experience first. It’s hilarious.


3. VR Live Music

Live music has taken a hit in the last year, meaning live streams have become a little more of a normality. Whilst they will not replace live music, it may be time for us all to contemplate implementing the odd virtual gig into our calendars. 

Companies like Melody VR and Oculus with their ‘Venues’ application are trying to recreate the buzz of a live show, using the most immersive technology out there, VR. Try it and see what you think. We believe this area is going to develop exponentially in coming years and take multiple different forms.


4. VR Music Videos

VR and 360˚music videos mark one of the most recent evolutions in music releases. Whilst the traditional music video has been around for decades, the VR element allows fans to be transported into an entirely new world. The artist has the power to create an environment which completely revolves around the story they want to tell. 

Head to The Music Trip YouTube Channel to see our playlist of favourite VR Music Videos.


5. VR Social

If you have heard of Ready Player One, you will have heard of a post-apocalyptic, virtual-based social life, where reality has become second best. Thankfully, the technology can’t quite replace real life yet. In the mean time, if you want to hang out with others, go to different events and have lots of fun, head to somewhere like Microsoft’s AltspaceVR. You can chat with people and customise your own avatar.


6. VR Events

Ever wanted to go to a club, but also really wanted to stay home and get pizza? Well now you can have your cake and eat it. Applications like Sansar allow you to attend virtual events with full interactivity and incredible visuals in VR. If you want to experience this for yourself, grab your friends and take a look at Lost Horizon Festival or Tobacco Dock Virtual.


7. Haptics and Wearables

To further enhance the VR experience, you may want to invest in some kind of wearable or haptic technology. These are accessories which make different games and experiences feel even more realistic.

Our favourite example is the SubPac. This device can be worn like a backpack or placed at the back of your seat. It uses bass transducers to fire low and inaudible frequencies into your body, allowing you to feel more involved with the content. More ‘futuristic’ devices available include haptic gloves, boots and attempts at omnidirectional treadmills.


To find out more, send us a message or find us on Instagram. The Music Trip creates VR Music Videos, 360˚ Live Streams and more VR services which you can browse here.

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