Virtual reality is the next technological breakthrough November 17, 2014 RICCentre By: Samina Sultana We’re all hungry for it to happen. We’re getting very close. It’s months, not years away, but many months. – Brendan Iribe, CEO, Oculus VR Oculus VR is the leading company in virtual reality technology. Their goal is to create immersive technology that is affordable and wearable. It was a Kickstarter success raising $2.4 million dollars. In July 2014, Facebook purchased the Oculus for $2 billion. Oculus VR will operate independently and is currently developing the Oculus Rift, a headset allowing users to enter their favourite video games and virtual worlds. You are no longer bound by a screen watching your character in action; the virtual is becoming identical to reality. Virtual reality allows users to engage in a digital landscape providing endless opportunities in an artificial realm. A person interacts in a three dimensional computer generated environment. This individual becomes part of the world interacting with objects and performing actions. This artificial world is typically viewed with a head mounted display a person views 3D images. The sounds, images and videos make the experience more authentic. The goal of virtual reality is to create a world identical to reality using sensory perceptions to interact with the objects in the environment. Augmented reality enhances one’s perception of reality modified by a computer. Startup company Magic Leap VR is developing augmented reality software that manipulates the human eye into perceiving visual objects into reality. It hasn’t produced a product yet, but has a $542 million investment from Google, which is promising. To explore the market opportunities in immersive technology, Silicon Peel is having a face-to-face round table discussion with experts including Neil Schnieder, Blair Renuand and Srinivas Krishna on November 20th at 7pm at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada. This event will include a startup demo by Jeffery Lande who will present the first virtual reality casino, Lucky VR, designed for Oculus Rift. Come out and network with virtual reality enthusiasts and hardware geeks. It’s guaranteed to be a fun night!