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More VR apps you need to download…now

More VR apps you need to download…now

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Yeah, we love VR. The options are endless for creating mind-twisting experiences. That obviously appeals to us as, well, experience designers. But on a more visceral level, what’s more fun than immersing oneself in the metaverse? We already did a round-up of some of our favorite VR apps, but we just had to share some more. Almost all of the following apps don’t even require an expensive headset or ultra-powerful computer to run them–just your mobile phone. So here are more VR apps you need to check out, like, now:

Facebook 360

Remember the eclipse?! This app was one of the best VR apps to experience it. For those who couldn’t travel to the path of totality, CNN teamed up with Volvo to live-stream the eclipse from multiple locations in 4K Ultra HD and 360 degrees. With Facebook 360 and Samsung Gear VR, viewers could experience what the eclipse looked like in seven different time zones from seven different angles.

Expeditions

With a growing list of 200+ expeditions, Google Expeditions is one of the best educational VR apps from Google Cardboard. As the “guide,” you have the opportunity to lead a group of explorers through your adventures. Take a virtual trip to historical landmarks, travel through the infinities of space, or dive into the deep depths of the ocean.

 

 

Insidious


Another Google Cardboard app, Insidious VR has the checks all the horror boxes. Tension and suspense build with sinister sounds, eerie signs, and, of course, heart-skipping jump- scares. Horror, as a genre, has been extremely successful with VR, and apps like Insidious make it clear why. 

FullDive VR

With over one million videos to explore, FullDive VR creates a movie theater environment for you to watch your videos. You can also browse the internet in VR mode. Currently, though, the app is only available for Android users.

SoundStage


The VR music application allows you to instantly transform your room into a personal studio or DJ sandbox. The retro low- polygon instruments connected with colorful cables are simple in design but appealing. You can play around with wireless controls like drums, synthesizers, cassettes and speakers. With major updates that allow the user to import and export sounds, SoundStage is a fun app for living out your musical dreams in the comfort of your bedroom or living room. It is available on Steam and Viveport for the HTC Vive. 

End Space VR


Since space is the ideal 360-degree experience, End Space VR takes advantage of this bottomless, limitless region. You can look and travel in all directions with your spacecraft and fight intergalactic enemies with weapons. With the help of excellent graphics and 3D immersive audio, you tend to forget that your feet are still firmly on earth.

VR Roller Coaster


Rollercoasters aren’t for everyone (i.e. they can be terrifying), but VR Roller Coaster gives users the thrill of riding one without that whole possible loss of life-and-limb thing.

Do you have any favorite VR apps? Or maybe you just wanna get down and nerdy about experience design? Hit us up.

 

Light Field Capture for Awesome VR Experiences

Light Field Capture for Awesome VR Experiences

Different Way of Capturing Images

The light field capture photographic system is something different. When you take a picture with one of these cameras, the camera gets the direction of the light rays as well as the intensity and color of the light. The light sensor records all this information so the exact image can be reproduced when the image is viewed. The camera has an array of many small lenses placed one focal length in front of the camera sensor so that what is eventually captured is an array of stereoscopic images. The first such cameras demonstrated at the Stanford University Graphics Laboratory in 2004 employed 90,000 micro lenses. Using this array means there are no truly unfocussed parts of the image–the focus can be restored for any part of the image when it is viewed.

Five Revolutionary Advances

  1. Light field capture has the same 3D virtual reality capability for real life images as synthetically produced images have had up until now.
  2. The images are recreations of what was really there at the point the images were photographed. Within the space, a viewer can turn and move around while lighting and textures remain consistent.
  3. The light field capture system does not record a large number of complete image graphics. The recording system is based on ideas developed in holographic technology. Instead of images, it stores detailed light-flow information which is later reconstructed and played back. This kind of recording amounts to a compression technique which increases potential storage capability.
  4. The 3D capability of the light field capture is enhanced by the fact that the light information incorporates multiple binocular pairs of potential images.
  5. The light field capture system is sold as a unit including all that is needed to produce a full-hour of 360-degree 3D virtual reality content.

Lytro

“Light field photography is different from traditional photography because the cameras can measure the geometry of the light that strikes the image sensor…with enough computer power, Lytro’s software can then reconstruct the scene that was captured in three dimensions.”

Lytro, a company founded by Ren Ng, a graduate of the Stanford University Graphics Laboratory, developed and marketed

  • The first consumer light field camera is a neo-box camera with 8GB (350 images) or 16 GB (750 images) of built-in memory.
  • The ILLUM, which came out in 2012 has a 30 to 250 mm (35 MM equiv.) f/2 lens. The image stored on the memory card could be refocused on viewing so that any detail can be brought into focus. The Lytro still field cameras never made a substantial impact on the marketplace. The viewing system was too cumbersome for professional photographers. The adjustable focus option was not enough to attract them.
  • The Lytro Immerge was announced in November 2015. This light field capture system was designed as the Future of VR, creating virtual reality (VR) content.

VR Image Cameras

The Lytro Immerge camera entered the market in 2016. It comes as a complete system, providing all the necessary hardware, software and services to capture, process, edit and play back 360 video content. It features a flexible, configurable dense light field camera array as well its own server for storage and processing, an editor system, and a playback engine for VR and other viewing platforms. The Immerge server can store up to one hour of light field capture. The server can process the light field data.

Because all the data about a given “light field” is captured, Immerge allows for virtual 3D views from any point, facing any direction, and with any field of view. Immerse places viewers in the action by replicating natural light flow. It corrects stereo alignment to keep the scenes consistent as viewers move their heads. This potential creates a highly realistic immersive VR experience.

The Lytro Immerge system is described as “a five-ringed globe that captures what Lytro is calling a ‘light-field volume.'” The system consists of layers, each of which fully captures a cubic meter of light rays. The final output yields five cubic meters of space that are fully actualized. The camera captures all the light rays in the volume of light surrounding the camera. The software plays back all the rays at very high frame rates and high-resolution. The viewer can move around the light ray array.

The output of the Immerge system is designed to be compatible with the next generation of VR viewers, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, and Sony Play Station VR. It also works with smartphone systems mounted in VR viewers.

The Lytro Cinema promises to take the Immerge model light field cinema camera one step further, correcting some of the artifacts that can be distracting in the Immerge images.

Mighty and True helps companies that make technical products create awesome experiences for customers. If you want to find out how we can help you, feel free to contact us .

Some of Our Favorite VR Apps

Some of Our Favorite VR Apps

We’re mildly obsessed with VR, so we decided to share some of our favorite apps we’ve found. Jump in!

Google Cardboard

Although they definitely deserve a mention, this quick list isn’t counting the YouTube app, the Google Street View app or the Cardboard app itself.

Expeditions

Designed for the classroom, Expeditions allows you to guide your class to any of more than 200 destinations, including famous landmarks, the ocean’s depths and yes, the final frontier.

Apollo 15 Moon Landing VR


Built by NASA to celebrate Apollo 15’s 45th anniversary, this app lets you drive around in your rover through a realistic lunar landscape, reconstructed with NASA’s original imagery. You can even feel the vibrations and bumps in the “road.”

NYT VR

The New York Times commissioned this one, so it’s no surprise that the app shows you the world from a journalist’s POV. It’s gotten great press, and not just from the New York Times.

Chair in a Room


This creepy, but popular app places you at a table with newspaper clippings of a kidnapping as the lights go out…

Proton Pulse


Use your head to play space Pong in VR, roughly speaking. Also available on Rift, Vive and Gear.

Note, that the newer Google Daydream can play most of the Google Cardboard games and apps, with a few exceptions and limitations.

Oculus Rift

Robo Recall


This high-action, first-person shooter is getting wild praise from all sides. In a nutshell, you are tasked with stopping robots from taking over the world.

Chronos


Battle your way through a labyrinth, a maze, a dungeon. Chronos is a puzzle, a mystery, a high adventure. There’s as much beauty as there is danger in this one.

EVE: Valkyrie


An extremely popular multiplayer spaceship cockpit simulator game. The freedom to swivel your head in every which way gives space-dogfighting in VR a thrilling realism that sets it apart from its regular screen counterparts. You can now find Valkyrie on Vive and Playstation VR as well.

Windlands


This first person exploration game lets you fly as if in a slow-motion wingsuit through a surreal, shattered, ancient civilization. There’s no one out to get you. Just enjoy the flight.

Samsung Gear VR

EVE: Gunjack


Fight off incoming space pirates from the comfort of your gun-turret in this exceptionally well-designed space shooter.

NextVR

It’s broadcast-quality VR, and it’s been battle-tested after live streaming the US Open, NASCAR races and the US Presidential debate.

Land’s End


Land’s End is a picturesque VR puzzle and adventure game from the Monument Valley creators.

Netflix VR

You can now watch Netflix in your head (set). However, there are some concerns over the potentially harmful effects of prolonged sessions on the eyes. Samsung, for example, recommends taking the headset off and giving your eyes a break every half hour. Requires a Netflix account.

Samsung Internet

After numerous complaints that you couldn’t access the Web in Gear VR, Samsung delivered.

HTC Vive

Raw Data


In Raw Data, you must rely on your ability to physically dodge the incoming punches and bullets of your robot enemies!

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes


This is a unique group game. Your headset has you trapped in a room with a ticking time bomb that’s going to go off soon. Your friends, who aren’t wearing headsets, have to hurry to a website to get the instructions to help you defuse the bomb before it’s too late. You can also get this one on Gear.

Tilt Brush (by Google)


You can now draw in 3D space. That’s right, and you can paint in neon light. That’s the promise of Tilt Brush, which gives you an area the size of a room to work your magic.

The Assembly


A mysterious, stylistic, first-person game with a rich storyline that begins with a puzzle you must complete in an underground, scientific institute.

It’s worth taking a good look at the newish Playstation VR as well. We’ll have to circle back soon and see how the Playstation-powered headset and its app library compares to its rivals above. Stay tuned.

If you want to talk about how to incorporate VR to create amazing user experience, or you just want to geek out, drop us a line.