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Virtual

Reality: Beginners Guide


INCLUDES BEST PRACTICES TO BUILD APPS
FOR GOOGLES VR PLATFORM - DAYDREAM
Anand Morab
Virtual Reality Learning Solutions
Bangalore, Karnataka

Copyright 2016 by Anand Morab.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any
means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written
permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other
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Permissions Coordinator, at the address below.

Virtual Reality Learning Solutions
1401, 13th Main, WOC Road
560086 Bangalore
India

Book Layout 2016 BookDesignTemplates.com

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Virtual Reality: Beginners Guide / Anand Morab. August, 2016 - First Edition

Contents
Virtual Reality: Beginners Guide

Preface

What is VR?

Introduction
A Brief History of VR

Technology behind VR

Modern view of VR scenario: PC based And Mobile based


Current and Future Markets for VR

Current state of the market

Projections for next decade

Recent Investments by Technology Giants in VR

Prominent 9 Use Cases Of VR

Chicken-And-Egg Dilemma

Insights about VR Market and Users

VR Use Cases
Monetization and Distribution of VR Apps

1. Insight 1
2. Insight 2

3. Insight 3
4. Insight 4

5. Insight 5
6. Insight 6

Building High-Performance VR Apps with Ideal Industry Practices


3D Audio
VR Design Process

Google Daydream

What Is Google Daydream

How It Works
Daydream Controller

Best Practices for VR Prototyping in Daydream Platform

Designing & Developing For the Daydream Controller

Spatial Audio and Immersion Using Daydream Technology


Various Tools to Build VR Content and their Comparative Analyses

Real-Time Engines

Modeling Software

Image Manipulation for Textures and More

Sound Editing

Bibliography


Dedicated to scores of VR enthusiasts who worked tirelessly over the years to bring this
exciting medium to mainstream.




Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a
dream, and so were computers and smartphones.

Mark Zuckerberg



Preface
Virtual Reality (VR) is once again one of the burning topics in recent times. Affordable
hardware such as the Google Cardboard VR, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR are
successfully allowing consumers to experience VR in their homes, in a bus, or on the train
to work. Over the last few years, thousands of enthusiasts and developers have devoted
countless effort to code, design, and experiment the possibilities of VR. The press
coverage and media attention from past couple of years has been staggering extolling the
virtues of VR, and its potential applications. Although, VR is at a nascent stage currently,
it is poised to be the next-gen entertainment medium, and perhaps even the computing
platform within the near future. The applications range from gaming and cinema to
architecture, training, education, and medicine.
The acquisition of Oculus VR, the makers of Oculus Rift, by the social media giant
Facebook was sufficient news to capture worldwide attention. Since then, the industry has
witnessed millions of dollars of investments and venture capital funding in developing
applications, tools, content, display hardware, peripherals and video capture systems.
Established technology giants have already begun making bets on VRs future with
respect to distribution channels, killer apps, and creating ecosystems and platforms to
align with their visions. A range of developers are flocking to VR, some preparing to take
advantage of what could be the next tech boom after mobile, and others out of genuine
excitement for a new medium with great potential. Thus, a highly potential VR industry
promises to be an exciting path to glory.
This book helps to set you on the right path, whether you are a content development
professional or an entrepreneur or a tech enthusiast. The goal of this book is to introduce
and familiarize you with the basics of VR, hardware and software concepts in general and
Google Daydream VR platform in particular. On completion of this book, you should have
comprehensive information about VR concepts, software and hardware associated with
VR and Google Daydream VR platform for mobile VR which will be released by the end
of the year 2016.

Audience
This book has been written for developers, designers and users looking for an introduction
to virtual reality (VR) and Google Daydream platform for VR. The book requires you to
be a technical person; however, it is not necessary to be a professional developer or user to
understand the concepts. The intention is to guide anyone who is looking forward to
develop or use VR apps/products, to be able to walk away having learned key concepts
about VR, best practices to build highly immersive apps and games for this environment.
In case you are a professional developer, some of the material provided in this book
might seem generic to you. However, you would also find several in-depth information
that can help you in building compelling VR experiences through apps and games.
In case you are a native Android app developer or you know about Unity3D game
engine authoring, then this book will help you extend your skills into VR. Alternatively, if
you are a newbie at both, you do not need to worry as we have written this book in a way
that will help you build your first VR app.

How This Book Is Organized
This book is divided into eight chapters, as follows:

Chapters 1 and 2 provide an introduction to VR concepts and comprehensively
survey new hardware systems that will be launched in the near future in the market.
Chapters 3 through 6, the heart of the book, cover VR development in detail. We
gain insight about the VR market and its users, monetization and distribution of the
VR apps. We then take a look at how to build high-performance VR apps with the
ideal industry practices, and then we look at the VR design process.
Chapter 7 talks about Google Daydream and its working. It also discusses the best
practices for VR prototyping in the Daydream platform, and how to design and
develop for the Daydream controller.
Finally, Chapter 8 highlights various tools used to build VR content and provides
their comparative analyses.


Image Credits and References
Images in this book are created by the author or covered by Creative Commons License.
Some images are sourced from
Unity Virtual Reality Projects - Jonathan Linowes: www.packtpub.com
Learning Virtual Reality by Tony Parisi (OReilly). Copyright 2016 Tony Parisi,
978-1-4919-2283-5.
Google Daydream: https://vr.google.com/daydream/
Google I/O 2016: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleDevelopers

If you feel we have used any content in this book that falls outside fair use, feel free to
contact us at info@vrdaydreamapp.com

How to Contact Us
Please address your questions and comments concerning this book to the publisher at:
Virtual Reality Learning Solutions
1401, 13th Main, WOC Road
560086 Bangalore
India

We have a web page for this book, where you can find a list errata, examples, and any
additional information. You can access this page at http://vrdaydreamapp.com/

To comment or ask technical questions about this book, send email to
info@vrdaydreamapp.com/
Find us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/vrdaydreamapp
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vrdaydreamapp
Watch us on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/vrdaydreamapp

Acknowledgements
It takes a sound planning, preparation and dedicated hard work to compile a good book,
and I was able to lean on some great team members and writers to get my job done.
Lynda.com courses provided much-needed expert information on using Unity3D. Ahalya
lent early moral support. Anand Gouda was always ready with advice and solutions to
concerns, and always willing to consider a change.

I am grateful for the excellent technical reviews done for this book, especially the
review by my friend Anand Gouda who observed the content in painstaking detail, and
identified several critical issues.

I would like to thank the team IntraIntel, especially my editor Sajna Thomas who was
exceedingly patient with my halting progress.

Finally, thanks to my family. Nidhi and Gouri who are used to my book-writing antics
by now, but each one is a new exercise in forbearance. Girls, youre the best.
[1]
What is VR?
Introduction
Virtual reality (VR) as a technology and a medium is an ocean of opportunities. It
provides users with the ability to be transported and fully immersed in virtual experiences
that make them feel as if they are present there in reality. Thus, VR brings forth previously
unimagined ways of interaction and communication. Until recently, VR was not feasible
to use for an average consumer owing to factors such as high cost and others. However,
advancement in technology over the recent years have triggered a mass-market revolution
that could serve as a disruptive technology, similar to the introduction of the Internet,
television or the smartphone.

VR is an amalgamation of technologies such as 3D displays, development tools, motion
tracking hardware, input devices and software frameworks. Although consumer-grade VR
hardware is at a nascent stage, a few platforms such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and
Samsung Gear VR have emerged as the go-to choices. All of these VR platforms provide
varying degrees of in-our-hands portability and a range of VR experiences, at respective
price points.

Another trend growing rapidly is the development of software to create and display
consumer VR. The Unreal and Unity3D game engines, popular for making mobile and
desktop games, have turned out to be the preferred option for native VR development.
Similarly, Web-based 3D JavaScript and WebGL frameworks such as Babylon.js and
Three.js are aiding in the creation of open source, browser-based VR experiences for
mobile and desktop operating systems.

VR is one of the burning topics in technology currently for a good reason. VR narrows
the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, thereby allowing the users to step inside a
digital world such as an interactive simulation or a piece of film. Thus, VR opens up
newer exhilarating ways for users to interact with virtual media content and facilitates
active involvement of users over just passive, over the years; however, recent
innovations in display and mobile technologies have harnessed means for this technology
to capture a mass market. Thus, VR technology is expected to change the way people
learn, communicate, create and are entertained.

A Brief History of VR
A display connected to a digital computer gives us a chance to gain familiarity with
concepts not realizable in the physical world. It is a looking glass into a mathematical
wonderland. The challenge is to make that world look real, act real, sound real, feel
real.
- Ivan Sutherland, considered the father of infograph and forerunner of VR (1938,
Hasting- Nebraska) wrote in his article, The Ultimate Display in the 1960s.

After half a century
The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like youre actually present
in another place with other people. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game,
studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with
a doctor face-to-face just by putting on goggles in our home. One day this type of VR
will become a part of daily life for millions of people. VR was once the dream of
science fiction; but the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and
smartphones. The future is coming Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of
Facebook.
Facebook has bought Oculus VR for 2 billion USD.

Ivan Sutherland as quoted above created the first non-procedural programming
language, the first software system oriented to objects and the first interactive graphics
program. In 1965 along with Robert Sproull, one of his Harvard students, created the
first DMD interactive visualization headsets, the HMD, aimed at pilot training.

1968 Philco Headsight

Figure 2-1:The Ultimate Display, Ivan Sutherland, 1965



1970
Thomas Furness, the grandfather of VR (twitter), in the 1970s developed Visually-
Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator (VCASS), the first pilot training aircraft cabin
simulator. This provided pilots with 3D information in order to control the device with a
120 horizontal field of vision via a virtual representation of the earth.







1991: CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment

Figure 2-2: CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment

1995
Nintendo presented Virtual Boy in 1995, the first VRS console with 3D graphics, owing to
the rapid advances in technology. However, Virtual Boy could not succeed as the device
had a substantial weight and left users unconvinced about the parallel reality. The product
was substantial in size and viewing it for few minutes caused the users a headache.

Technology behind VR
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
VRs primary aim is to convince the user about parallel reality. This is achieved by
tricking the brain, particularly, the visual cortex and those brain parts which perceive
motion. This illusion is created by a range of technologies that include:

1. Stereoscopic displays
Also called as HMDs or 3D displays, the display uses a combination of realistic optical
distortion, multiple images and unique lenses to create a stereo image that is interpreted by
human eyes as 3D.

2. Motion tracking hardware
Accelerometer, gyroscopes and other economical components are used in VR hardware to
sense and capture when our heads turn and our bodies move, so as to facilitate the
application to update our 3D view into the scene.
3. Input devices
VR has created the need for the introduction of newer types of input devices other than the
mouse and keyboard, including body- and hand-tracking sensors and game controllers that
recognize gestures and motion.
4. Mobile and desktop platforms
These include the operating systems, computer hardware; software to interface to devices,
engines and frameworks which run applications along with software tools that build them.
Without these four components, achieving a fully immersive VR experience becomes
difficult.
5. Stereoscopic Displays
The primary ingredient in VR is an uninterrupted 3D visual representation of the virtual
experience, conveying a sense of depth. In order to produce this depth, VR hardware
systems utilize a 3D display, also called as a HMD or stereoscopic display.
Figure 2-3: The Oculus Rift head-mounted display, Development Kit 1


Over the years, one of the chief hurdles to consumer-grade VR has been an affordable
stereoscopic display that is comfortable and light to be used and worn for an extended
period. However, the advent of Oculus Rift from Oculus VR in 2012 changed this
situation significantly. The Rift, featuring a head-tracking sensor built inside a lightweight
headset and a stereoscopic display was a breakthrough in VR hardware. It could be
purchased with a few hundred dollars as a development kit. While the original
development kit known as the DK1 had a very low-resolution (Figure 2-3), it was
sufficient to create an industry-wide excitement and proliferate the VR development.
Newer Rift development kit versions such as the DK2 (Figure 2-4), possess high display
resolution, orientation tracking and position with better performance.

Figure 2-4. The Oculus Rift head-mounted display, Development Kit 2



So how does the Oculus Rift create a VR experience? To produce the illusion of depth,
a separate image for each eye needs to be generated. The first image slightly offset from
the second, to simulate parallax, which is a visual phenomenon in which a human brain
perceives depth as per the variation in the perceptible position of objects (as human eyes
are slightly apart from each other). In order to create a good illusion, a technique called as
barrel distortion is employed, wherein the image is distorted to emulate the spherical
shape of the human eye. Both the processes are performed by the Oculus Rift in order to
create a VR experience.

Figure 2-5. The Oculus Rift head-mounted display, components.


An accurate screenshot of the Tuscany VR demo (Figure 2-5) shows a capture of the
complete display that provides this scene in VR using the two techniques. This shows the
rendering appeared on the computer screen connected with Oculus Rifts HMD.

From a software viewpoint, an Oculus Rifts foremost aim is to render an image
(Figure 2-5), a minimum 60 times/second to ideally 120 times/second, to avoid latency (a
perceived lag), that might hinder the illusion causing nausea. How this is performed in
our applications is the subject of a subsequent chapter.

In the chapters preceding this, you will find out that there exist other VR products as
well, other than Oculus Rift. For instance, there are several HMDs to choose from. A few
of them work with just desktop computers, others with only smartphones, and the rest only
with game consoles. The HMDs are available in a range of prices and a variety of styles.
However, as of today, Oculus is arguably the best consumer-ready VR display available.

6. Motion Tracking Hardware
This is the second-most essential component required to trick the human brain in order to
make it believe that it is in a virtual world. Motion tracking hardware tracks the head
movements and updates the rendered scene in real-time. Thus, the virtual effect is
produced by mimicking events of the real world.

The Oculus Rift is inbuilt with a high-speed inertial measurement unit (IMU); an
innovation to track rapid head motion. The head-tracking IMUs precisely measure
changes in rotation by combining the inputs of an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and/or a
magnetometer hardware, similar to those inbuilt in smartphones these days. The VR
hardware systems employ a variety of IMU configurations as covered in the subsequent
chapter.
Motion tracking of the head is highly essential just as the quality stereo rendering is. A
humans perceptual systems are extremely sensitive to motion; therefore, high latency or a
lag in stereo rendering interrupts the virtual immersion feeling and/or causes nausea. Thus,
both the VR IMU hardware and the software must track head movements rapidly. When
head motion tracking and stereo rendering are updated with sufficient frequency and
combined efficiently, a true feeling of enhanced immersion experience is attained.

7. Input Devices
HMDs completely enclose the users eyes, cutting their outer world view to create a
convincing feeling of immersion. Due to this the users cannot see their keyboard or
mouse, therefore giving rise to the modification of input devices. This problem is now
being addressed by using alternate input devices such as game controllers, wireless body,
and hand trackers and hand-tracking motion sensors.

8. Computing Platforms
A number of VR applications run on a majority of existing mobile phones and computers.
Modern laptops/desktops and smartphones can also offer a good VR experience, provided
they have sufficient graphics and CPU power. Thus, most of us can turn our existing
devices into VR boxes simply by integrating a few peripherals. However, for those
interested in very high virtual experiences, the latest PC/desktop inbuilt with a superfast
CPU and powerful a graphics processor should be the prioritized wish list item for next
Christmas.

Today, we are on track of witnessing completely dedicated phones, computers and
consoles, to provide highly amazing VR experiences. The software required to create VR
applications is available in varied packages such as game frameworks and engines, and
software development kits. VR video is another unexplored area. In the further sections,
we will take a look at these development options.

Modern view of VR scenario: PC based And Mobile based

1. Oculus Rift
Is VR in a similar stage like in the early 90s? Is VR a real commitment or a fad?
Discarded many times for its commercial and technological fiascos, Oculus Rift came to
its rescue and has resurrected VR. Also, it has been highly successful globally. In addition,
Facebooks USD 2-billion acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014, promoted VR back in the
sights of all tech-giants and the enthusiasm generated by this multi-million dollar deal was
amazing.

Oculus Rift Features
VR has evolved the virtual world, by recapturing everybodys interest in VR.
It is a disruptive technology as it facilitates sharing different and unique experiences
with others. Also, it does not isolate the person anymore from the reality around
him/her.
Oculus Rift offers multiple possibilities. It is not only utilized in the field of gaming,
but in therapeutics also. VR also helps in treating phobias and diseases. For instance,
crossing a bridge between two mountains in a virtual world of can help a person
overcome fear of heights.
It transcends virtual limits. For instance, the Norwegian army handles battle tanks by
using Oculus Rift. The device follows the drivers head movements, thereby
providing a view from all angles by utilizing the cameras installed around the
mobile.

2. Sony: Project Morpheus

Figure 2-6. Sony Project Morpheus

Sony has announced Sony Project Morpheus release by 2016 Q4 and the gamers globally
are desperately waiting to get their hands on this product. Sony Project Morpheus is a VR
headset that is expected to take the next-gen console PlayStation 4 to a new level.

The President of SCE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, described the new prototype
as:
We are one step closer to realizing our vision for making amazing VR experiences,
and ultimately to deliver a real sense of presence to players, as if they are within the
games scenario.

Project Morpheus Features


An enhanced VR experience with 120Hz refresh rate (and 120 fps for games) and an
input lag of less than 18ms.
A resolution of 1920x1080 and an OLED panel help eliminate persistence and
motion blur that the original Project Morpheus LCD panels possessed.
A 5.7 screen offers the player with a 100-degree field of vision. In addition, 9 LED
trackers aid 360-degree head tracking.


3. Samsung Gear VR

Figure 2-7. Samsung Gear VR

Along with Oculus, Samsung has also market its presence in the VR field. It has already
launched Gear VR glasses in the market, which are only possible to use with Samsung
Galaxy Note 4. The VR glasses are a mobile phone accessory with measurements as 90-
mm high by 116-mm thick and by 198-mm wide. These are connected to Samsung Galaxy
Note 4, thereby providing a 5.7 high-resolution Super AMOLED Quad HD screen to the
users.

Samsung Gear VR Features


Gear VR glasses offer a 96-degree viewing angle for enhanced immersive
experience.
These are connected to the phone through a USB port.
They offer 3D content wherein images are displayed in stereoscopy for viewing the
light effect of depth.

4. HTC Vive
Figure 2-8. HTC Vive

HTC, the Taiwanese giant, has also not stayed back and is highly committed to
dominating the virtual race. Therefore, HTC has joined hands with Steam, a Valve
provider of the most vital distribution platform for PC software. The HTC Vive is
expected to be available by the end of the year 2016.

HTC Vive Features


HTC Vive enables to track a users movement in 3D space as it is equipped with a
base station.
Steam VR base notes the users position during the scenario physical spaces of
4.5x4.5 meters.
Allow users to handle virtual objects via a set of gloves, as it is inbuilt with a
specific driver.
HTC Vive includes a 90 Hz refresh rate with about 70 sensors, which prevents
dizziness.


5. Google Cardboard

Figure 2-9. Google Cardboard


This VR platform is developed by Google and can be used as a head mount with a
smartphone. The platform has a fold-out cardboard viewer and it is a low-cost system to
promote innovation and interest in VR applications. The users can either purchase a pre-
manufactured product or build on their own from low-cost simple components using
specifications and directions published by Google. The user can see the experience by
placing a smartphone at the back of the cardboard and view it via the lenses at the front.
Through January 2016, more than 1,000 compatible applications and more than 5
million Cardboard viewers have been published. After the huge success of the Cardboard
VR platform, Google has announced Daydream, an enhanced VR platform at Google I/O
2016.


6. Google Daydream

Figure 2-10. Google Daydream Source: Google I/O 2016


Google Daydream is an enhanced VR platform developed by Google. Google announced
it at Google I/O 2016 and is expected to be released in 2016 autumn. One of the additional
sources has indicated a November 2016 release date.
The platform is set to be built-into N, the Android OS, and includes both hardware and
software specifications, calling compatible mobile phones Daydream-Ready. The
product will be the successor to Google Cardboard.




[2]
Current and Future Markets for VR
Following are some key observations about VR market till 2025:

Current state of the market
Hopefully not a Dj vu:
This is not the first time when VR has captured interests worldwide. VR saw a similar
boom in the 1990s when 3D gaming was introduced. A number of gaming companies
launched 30 videogames, such as Nintendos Virtual Boy and Virtualitys OR arcade pods.
Movies, such as the Virtuosity, Johnny Mnemonic and Lawnmower Man portrayed new
and totally immersive cyber-worlds. A number of books such as Disclosure and Snow
Crash also depicted VR. However, the technology was unable to keep abreast with the
unrealistic portrayals. The 3D games suffered from expensive prices, poor graphics, low
computing power and time lags. Eventually, they failed, as consumers were unsatisfied
with the technology, and the boom was reduced to zero.

Facebooks acquisition of Oculus in 2014 for USD 2 billion led to a similar hype. There
have been over 225 VC investments in the VR/AR domain over the last 2 years, raising
over USD3.5billion in capital. So the question arises that how this latest boom is different
from the 1990s flop show? The answer is technology, as the current age computers are
powerful and highly equipped to render realistic virtual worlds. In addition, the rapid
evolution of the mobile phone industry has led to improvements in size, price and
performance of sensors and displays. Current technologies have reduced or nullified the
inefficiencies present in the 1990s. Thus, keeping companies involved in the latest VR
hype.

Projections for next decade
As the VR technology is still in its nascent stage, three scenarios for software and
hardware uptake can be outlined for the next decade.
In the base case, an estimate of USD 80 billion in revenue by 2025 (USD 35 billion
in software and USD 45billion in hardware) assuming HMDs seek popularity with
improvements in technology, however face limited adoption owing to battery life
and mobility issues.
The second accelerated uptake scenario predicts a USD 182 billion market (USD
72 billion in software and USD 110 billion in hardware), wherein the VR technology
evolves rapidly from a niche device to a comprehensive computing platform.
Finally, the third scenario is the USD 23 billion delayed uptake (USD 8 billion in
software and USD 15 billion in hardware) assuming that VR sees challenges in
safety and privacy, display, latency and the technology used is chiefly for
videogames. These forecasts compare with the current hardware markets for
videogame consoles at USD 14 billion, desktops at USD 62 billion and notebooks at
USD 111 billion.

Recent Investments by Technology Giants in VR
Its not only video games
VR has proven to be disruptive technology not only in case of videogames, but in case of
real estate, healthcare and retail also. VR technology has the potential to modify the way
in which we transact and change business models. Sothebys is a prime example of a
company that has used VR to display luxury homes. Thus, highlighting a potential to
disrupt a USD 52 billion U.S. real estate commissions market (source: National
Association of Realtors). Also, Lumen has equipped Holorooms in 6 of its stores in
order to facilitate customers to envision home remodeling plans. The adoption of VR
technology could lead to a reduction for in-store display inventory and potentially quicken
the erosion in value of physical outlets to an extent that the users can view the experience
at home and through mobile devices. Finally, medical professionals and doctors are
experimenting with VR as a hands-free medical tool, playing into a USD 16 billion patient
monitoring devices market.

Prominent 9 Use Cases Of VR
VR has 9 use cases that are emerging as the prominent drivers of the market in the near-
future: live events, videogames, healthcare, video entertainment, real estate, retail,
engineering, military and education. These are identified on the basis of a bottom-up
analysis in every use case, assessing the number of users and the potential and existing
revenue pools. Although the videogames use case is expected to be dominant, other use
cases such as education and healthcare are also expected to help evolve and boost VR
awareness. PC segment was driven by the enterprises whereas the smartphones segment
was driven by the consumers, however, both forces are expected to bolster VR adoption,
particularly, consumer use case being the major cause for the initial momentum. Base case
software estimates imply that in 2025, 60% of VR software revenue would be driven by
the consumer whereas the remainder by public sector and enterprise use cases.

Chicken-And-Egg Dilemma
One of the chief problems for entertainment and videogame VR use cases is the chicken-
and-egg problem wherein the content makers (for ex., filmmakers, videogame publishers,
etc.) are tentative to develop VR content with no installed base whereas consumers are
unwilling to buy technology with no content to experience. However, players such as
Google, Sony, Facebook and Microsoft are trying to solve the issue on both sides. Google
has already distributed 2 million Google Cardboard viewers (1 million provided for free
via the New York Times) to solve the problem on the installed base side, and Oculus has
been continually innovating with HMDs. With regards to content, YouTube and Facebook
have enabled 360-degree VR videos, and Oculus is dedicated at creating its own video
content with Oculus Story Studio expected to release 20 VR videogames in 2016, and
anticipates 100 games in total to be available by year-end.

[3]
Insights about VR Market and Users
VR Use Cases
Experience
VR puts the audience at the core of action. Whether it is flying a jet, test driving a car, or
playing world class rugby, virtual reality provides the best experience of them all.

Fig 4-1. Redbull offers virtual reality experiences alongside its extreme flying races thereby allowing fans to experience
the real feeling of being in the plane.



Fig 4-2. Wear the Rose allows user to immerse in the experience by placing the users at the center of a rugby teams
training session.

Fig 4-3. Volvo allows users to use the XC90 before arriving with immersive app for Google Cardboard.


Explore
VR transports you to imagined or real places instantly. Things such as making users go on
a virtual walk around an hotel suite or apartment which many not be existing even today,
or take an office or a factory tour are possible with VR.

Fig 4-4.On similar lines, Marriotts guests were taken to a beach in Miami which was virtually created by a 4D sensory
Transporter.

Fig 4-5. Clients of Hacienda Patrn tequila distillery were taken on a virtual tour to showcase its facilities using CG and
video.

Fig 4-6. Customers of Tommy Hilfiger Store were given a front row position of their fashion runway presentation and
they could further buy the items which got them interested.

Educate
VR is also poised to revolutionize education by allowing students to virtually attend
museums, centers of learning, and galleries across the world. Similarly, in journalism,
VRs ability to see the world via someone elses eyes in order to seek empathetic
possibilities is also possible via VR.

Fig 4-7. A further research conducted by Stanford University on environmental education proved that VR can lead to
behavior change.

For instance, delegates were transported via VR to Zaatari refugee camp near Syrian
border for the UN General Assembly.

Fig 4-8. VR has facilitated children to feel what it is to be transported to space by allowing them to witness an historical
re-enactment of The Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Fig 4-9. VR is further being utilized for safety training for oil workers, miners and flight attendants, by allowing them to
practice scenarios in a safe and secure environment.



Fig 4-10. VR use for game play and fitness exercises



Fig 4-11. Google Expeditions

Fig 4-12. Archeology Site Training:



Fig 4-13. Real time lecture in VR

Fig 4-14. Virtual Surgery Recording




Entertain
Without a doubt, VR is the most amazing way to experience entertainment. The movie and
game industries have been continually investing millions of dollars to create next-gen
immersive entertainment.

Fig 4-15. HBO created a virtual experience to facilitate watchers to ascend the wall in a famed elevator for the Game of
Thrones series.

Fig 4-16. The Void is aiming to open a chain of theme parks globally, wherein people can run, play, battle monsters and
explore surreal worlds. In a similar way,

Fig 4-17. Paul McCartney, at one of his concerts, took VR users to be on stage with him.



[4]
Monetization and Distribution of VR Apps

Fig 5-1. Source: Google I/O 2016


Google Play is the building as well as distribution platform for Daydream. The application
has been developed in Google Play in order to allow Android users to avail Daydream. As
of today, there exists an exponentially rising and currently huge market for smartphones,
thus availing a VR app on Android directly means having over hundreds of millions of
ready users. In addition, these users can be assumed as future ready consumers of VR
experiences. Therefore, an ecosystem of mobile devices, content creators and
manufacturers of controllers, headsets, etc. will be needed and be developed.

Mentioned below are some of the premium insights applicable in the VR industry in the
near future:

1. Insight 1

Fig 5-2. Source: Google I/O 2016


The mobile users today are a set of distractive users that interact with VR applications
several times a day, however for short durations. On the other hand, mobile VR users
spend an average of over half an hour in each session. This assumption is considering that
the users involve in a session per day and that too when they are at home. Thus, users are
being put into a special state of mind via the rich content. We can therefore define mobile
VR use as a seat down meal that comes with deliciousness, duration and at a higher
cost, in comparison to the use of mobile app that can be defined as a quick snack.

2. Insight 2
The quality of content leads to higher monetization and in case of VR, the quality of the
content is extremely crucial. In case of a first time user, only two possibilities exist. Either
the user may be amazed and love the experience, and further publicize the
product/technology. Or else, the user may doubt the service and feel that it is still not up to
the mark and may abandon it for good. Thus, while further developing and coming up
with future VR apps, one point needs to be kept in mind that majority of the users are first
time users and we need to build apps in a way that attracts them and keeps them engaged
in the app and the industry as well.

3. Insight 3
Currently VR is about novelty. However, the users will not pay only for the novelty;
instead would prefer paying for engaging experiences. That is the only reason why
Daydream controller is successful. It is widely accepted that novelty is the shortcut to
grabbing users attention; however, an engaging experience only solves the purpose.

4. Insight 4
Currently, the world is unaware about the potential of VR. Today, an average smartphone
user is well-informed about the potential uses of a mobile app, however, unaware about a
VR app. Thus, users need to be made aware and educated about what VR is, what are its
potential uses and where one can find the VR application.

5. Insight 5
The success of VR depends solely upon the adoption by users. Currently, users are unclear
as they only have theoretical explanation about VR. They feel the need to experience the
VR product or the VR app before buying or installing it. Thus, the VR app/product
developers must devise an easy way of allowing the user to experience the VR
app/product and proceed thereafter. Unless this practice is not implemented, the users
would remain unaware about the potential of VR.

6. Insight 6
The purchasing behavior is an extremely critical aspect. The advancements in technology
must facilitate the users to get all the features with a single purchase. For instance, the user
must be allowed to experience a few levels of an app he intends to purchase/install and
then should be asked to pay for access to the complete version.
Thus, to sum it all, VR with high quality content must be built. In addition, we must go
beyond VRs novelty and develop and provide the users with an engaging experience.
This allows users to experience before buying or installing the VR app/product. With
regards to apps built for Cardboard and those for Daydream Controller, the former were
short and fun experiences, while the latter focused on offering in-depth immersive and
highly interactive content.

[5]
Building High-Performance VR Apps with
Ideal Industry Practices
Developing a creative, immersive and interactive environment can only be achieved when
the VR app/product makes the user feel a sense of presence or an illusion. Thus, there
exist two vital and interrelated systems in order to develop a presence in VR:
System 1: It is a humans inner ear more specifically the vestibular system, which is a
vital part of our body that understands balance, i.e. how we respond when we tilt our head
and when we move our body. The system has a constant sense of where our head is
oriented in space.

Fig 6-1. Source: Google I/O 2016



System 2: It is a humans ocular system, our eyes that witness the world around. Normally
these two systems are perfectly in sync with each other. As we move our head, our eyes
also adjust and our inner ear picks up the change instantaneously.

Fig 6-2 Source: Google I/O 2016

The challenge is that in VR there are a lot of things that happen between our movements
which is instantaneously sensed by our vestibular system and seen by our eyes. We have
things, such as when we move our head there are sensors in the device that need to pick up
the movement. They send that to the CPU, which is computed, simulated and then sent to
the GPU which renders and then displays the output which is finally captured by our eyes.

Fig 6-3. Source: Google I/O 2016


The gap created between what we see on screen and the movement we create along with,
what our inner ear senses is termed as photon latency. This is the reason why many of us
feel very absent or suffer from simulator sickness. Thus, high-end VR must aim at
achieving a photon latency of lesser than 20 milliseconds.

Fig 6-4. Source: Google I/O 2016

Limited battery-life is a major roadblock in case of VR. High-end VR aims at providing


immersive, compelling, fun and engaging experiences for mobile VR. Phone is an inbuilt
hardware component to the platform that supports low latency rendering and head
tracking. Thus, improving battery life, which is a key to VRs success globally.

Therefore, in order to benefit from both software and hardware, a developer must
recognize three key components. Firstly, rendering i.e. setting up a machine to run in the
low latency mode. Secondly, working on general performance and optimization strategies.
Finally, using audio to build VR apps effectively and efficiently.

Fig 6-5. Source: Google I/O 2016


The developers generally prioritize thinking about number of polygons being rendered,
however, they do not give importance to measure and tackle the heat generated. Heat
generation can have significant operational losses to the device and also physical damages
to the product or the user. This is because a phone is capable of producing more heat than
it can dissipate if it runs at absolute maximum speed. However, advancements in
technology have led to manufacturing of phones that do not generate too much heat, and
in case they do, they will throttle themselves back, slow down, cool down enough and
then run at full speed again. Also, when a user is experiencing VR, he does not wish to get
interrupted because of battery getting exhausted. The users demand a seamless session
running at adequate frame rate and not slowing down and speeding up later. Thus,
provision of a smooth and steady frame rate will keep the user highly engaged in VR.
3D Audio
VR developers can create a tremendous amount of emotion and presence in VR only
through audio. When compared with video, audio is extremely cheap to process in VR, for
the effect it generates. For example, if a developer wants to present the wind blowing
through a tree and wrestling its leaves, the developer can render all the leaves on the tree
and animate them representing wind blowing at the tree. Alternatively, a developer can
insert a sound effect of wind and a simpler version of the wrestling tree and impact the
users with an extremely realistic feel. In some case, the users may appreciate sound more
than pure visuals. Also, it is relatively cheaper to render a simplified tree, with audio
rather than a complicated tree object. With the help of proper audio effect, a developer can
highlight objects not present in reality. For instance, a developer could produce wolfs
sound effect without rendering any wolfs at all in the real environment. Thereby,
facilitating the user with efficient virtual presence in real environments.

Fig 6-6. Source: Google I/O 2016


However, two critical aspects related to 3D audio need to be taken into consideration.
Firstly, special audio that provides sense of surround sound and compels a user to believe
in VR than just simple stereo panning.

Fig 6-7. Source: Google I/O 2016


And, secondly, the effect of environment on audio. For instance, a conversation


between two people sounds different in the forest than it would in a space ship. Thus, a
VR developer must consider these two factors while integrating audio into VR.

[6]
VR Design Process
Leaving aside the hardware, computational power and design patterns available today, VR
is analogous to web designing of the 90s. We had to design web pages for monitors with
not more than 800 pixels and we used the table element to outline everything on our page
because it was actually all that we had and we had to worry about the image sizes. Even
though you have to pay close attention to these aspects with VR, we expect the VR
platform to mature rapidly in comparison to mobile platform.

Firstly, there are a lot of challenges in VR design. The U.S. standards and design
patterns are starting to take shape and without the help of those designs patterns, turning a
good idea into a finished product would take a lot more exploration and many more
iterations.

Secondly, the HMDs have their own unique design concerns. The VR devices include
the real world and that makes us concentrate on a lot of other things, like the user safety,
physical and psychological comfort. The next thing is creating new methods of interacting
with the digital worlds. This means that anyone who is going to use our VR platform will
have to learn a whole new set of skills, tools and work flows.

The prototyping process follows 5 different steps, namely:

Brainstorming ideas,
Ranking those ideas,
Implementing them,
Evaluating the results and
Documenting the findings.

To brainstorm means to think aggressively and creatively to come up with an idea.
Thus, when we have a set of ideas and we rank them, we need to segregate ideas that are
only feasible in VR and also ensure that these have been unexplored or untapped yet.

Designing for VR is totally unique when compared to working on any other platform.
In general, smartphone sessions are frequent and do not last for even 30 minutes in
comparison to VR sessions that last for an average of more than 30 minutes and the time
spent by a user is directly proportional to the quality of content provided. However, VR
designing is highly complicated and requires much broader skill set.

Fig 7-1. Source: Google I/O 2016


In contrary to other apps, rapid prototyping and interaction design are inseparable in
case of VR. The design begins on web/mobile with information architecture design,
keeping in mind the users we are designing for and the use cases we are targeting. This
makes up for the first iteration of interaction design. This iteration ensures that your work
would meet the product goals and will also enable an end-to-end flow that the user hopes
to accomplish.

Fig 7-2 Source: Google I/O 2016


Sketching stage follows the earlier stage. Sketching is an ideal way of putting your
ideas to life and sharing them with your colleagues.

The next stage would include game engine, placing and scaling of primitive objects
such as cubes to match the sketches, and also checking how it looks in VR. In this stage,
scoring, validating and building off your sketches with an enhanced sense of scale, eye
travel and head movement is required. We also start adding various objects such as images
and text. Thus, while designing, it is highly critical to simultaneously check how it looks
and works in VR, in order to validate the design.

Fig 7-3. Source: Google I/O 2016



Going ahead with the designing process, we add higher fidelity filler content. The
environment designer works in parallel while the other is testing to see how things look
like. Thus, simultaneous improvements must be made during the course of designing, such
as improvements in the transitions in the environment, interactivity, and 3D models.

Fig 7-4. Source: Google I/O 2016



Fig 7-5. Source: Google I/O 2016

Thus while iterating with animations, a designer must also engage the motion designer, in
order to simultaneously come up with the motion design interactivity, and the sound
design also progresses parallely. It is of paramount importance to begin sound design
towards the end of your process in order to facilitate the sound designer to have accurate
timings for animations. These are all the necessary steps to be followed during your first
VR design process.

[7]
Google Daydream
What Is Google Daydream
Google has provided developers with two VR platforms, namely: Daydream, a platform
for interactive, low-latency, and immersive mobile VR, and Cardboard mobile VR
platform.

Google Cardboard allows a user to experience VR in an affordable and simple way. It
works with majority smartphones on iOS or Android and is built specifically for bite-size
VR experiences. The product had been announced in 2014 during the companys annual
I/O developers conference. Google Cardboard is a lo-fi competitor to Oculus Rift and is
powered by a smartphone in a disposable fold-up VR headset. Over the years, the product
has resulted in a small industry of VR experiences and cheap headsets that run on mobile
phones. This development was inclusive of the New York Times video app supported by
Google, by shipping a million Cardboards along with the newspapers Sunday issue. The
market has witnessed rapid interest and captured a lot of industry-attention. Thus, Google
aims at dominating the market during its expected boom between today and 2018.

Daydream provides rich, immersive and responsive experiences with software and
hardware built for VR. In contrast to Cardboard, Daydreams apps are expected to run
only on phones certified by Google. These phones need to have many VR-friendly
components such as high-quality sensors for head tracking and screens that reduce
blurring by displaying images in very short bursts. This product promises to deliver an
ergonomic and comfortable headset along with a small motion controller. The latest
Android N has inbuilt Daydream-ready versions for many of its apps.

Daydream is expected to be powered by phones with next-gen Android N, which are
due to launch shortly. Alongside Googles Nexus, Samsung, LG, HTC, Xiaomi, ZTE,
Huawei, Alcatel and Asus have all announced to manufacture hardware and phones that
support Daydream.
Similar to the working of Samsungs GEAR VR, the phones need to be placed inside a
compatible VR Headset in case of Daydream. Google has promised a much more
immersive environment and smoother performance by tying up with Android N hardware.

How It Works
Android VR Mode will be inbuilt with Android N, thereby giving phones the access to
view content from a range of sources, such as gaming companies as well as Netflix and
third-party developers.

Daydream Controller


Fig 8-1. Source: Google I/O 2016

Google has also come up with a hand-held controller for its VR experiences. This
differentiates the current product from the previous as the older versions lacked a
controller.

Fig 8-2 Source: Google I/O 2016


Although Samsung provided a controller, it was not bundled with the headset, and also
tapping the side of the actual headset unit while being immersed in VR was not feasible.
The prototype displayed by Google serves as a reference for competitors to use and
develop. It remains to be seen how Samsung and Huawei develop products further.
However, Googles USP in this market is having a controller, which makes the interaction
easier in the VR environment.

Fig 8-3. Source: Google I/O 2016

With the combination of a headset and a compatible phone, a user can access the virtual
ecosystem and also the special versions of Street View, YouTube, Google Play Movies,
Photos and Google Play Store. Google has also confirmed that Ubisoft, Netflix and other
big players are onboard as well and it expects interesting developments within the near
future.
Best Practices for VR Prototyping in Daydream Platform
Although the industry has come a long way, there still are exciting prospects ahead as VR
is still at a nascent stage currently. A lot of unexplored prospects await. With the advent of
Daydream VR platform, the users could accomplish three vital aspects in the VR arena:
1. Interactions in VR:
In VR, people interact using a controller that is tracked in 3D space, as these controllers
can look and act like any other tool. For instance, Daydream controller can act as a laser
pointer, reaching out to things across the room or even across the galaxy.

The Daydream Controller can be turned into a tennis racket, a hammer, a frying pan or a
fishing rod. It can also be modified into a toy or a tool. Thus, the virtual representation
drives the controllers use. With accurate tracking in VR the skills needed to interact with
object in the real world or in VR are already present in everybody. Thus, no prior
experience is needed to use a controller.

Fig 8-4 Source: Google I/O 2016

2. Sense of immersion in VR:


In VR, a number of things contribute to the sense of immersion such as our environment,
audio, how we move around, and others. The users naturally interact with the world and
manipulate it. They pull, they push, they reach and they even throw stuff. The more active
environment, the more immersive it will be for a user, as it is truly amazing to see our
virtual world come to life, respond, and obey/break the laws of physics!
Post interaction with the environment, the foremost thing a user wants to do is to move
around. However, when a user moves in a virtual environment, it can lead to loss of
context, and subsequently to an interrupted immersion. Thus, teleportation can be used to
overcome this challenge.
Teleportation works in most cases, however, it can confuse a user, for example, in case of
advancing through a forest. A user explores things to preserve context or enable
movement while moving around virtual environments. In reality, a user never encounters
flat colors, thus, VR needs shadows and texture to provide a real feel.
It is important to note that in VR, the world is 3D, particularly for those who are used
to 2D experiences. A 2D UI, like a map on the wall makes sense. However, a 3D map in
the center of the room displays dynamic data over time (ex. population for state). The
users can compare data points and inspect things. Thus, 3D makes it easy to understand
sizes and relationships, intuitively.
However, it is practically incorrect to replicate reality in many cases. A few crazy
elements in VR environments might also make a user to stay immersed. Also, users are
highly engaged in case of playful environments and are willing to invest time to explore
and experience. Therefore, VR environments must not be constrained by reality, and
multiple advantage points and different scales must be taken into consideration.
3. Social Aspects of VR:
The industry has already explored many possibilities with social apps and VR. Social
apps allow the users to feel like as if they are in the same room with someone else
regardless of where they are in the world. Thus, there are numerous ways to represent
people in VR. For instance, the Avatar`s head has a pair of eyes only and is still able to
communicate a lot of emotion with movement. This in combination with voice and hands
provide a real sense, and make the user believe as if they are there with them in the room.
Even without other facial features such as eyebrows or a mouth, were surprised by
how connected we feel to the other individual with only movement of eyes. This is
because eyes amplify face-to-face communication and provide a clear place to look to and
speak towards.
However, most VR systems today track head and hands only. As it is tough to predict
the positon of the legs, arms and torso, there are chances of a wrong output. For instance, a
user might find his body in a place different from what is expected, and would feel weird.
Talking about social interactions, a number of times as in case of reality, users end up
in the same room and have nothing to talk about. Thus, the best remedy in this situation
would be to provide the users with a shared objective. Adding something to play with
while speaking further simplifies it, thereby encouraging them to socialize.
For example, when we put a few people in a virtual room, one of the first things we see
is that people try to connect physically (high fives) with each other. However, there might
be a case of people getting too close to each other and invading personal space. Thus, we
need to be cautious and test our apps out in order to make users feel comfortable in social
experiences. Thereby, making VR designers to think about rules and logic to prevent
trolling.
Designing & Developing For the Daydream Controller
The main aim of the Daydream controller is to simplify a users interaction when
immersed with VR. The controller, created for the Daydream platform, enables users to
manipulate and explore 3D elements by direct interaction with the objects such as
navigating through menus, holding a tool in the virtual world and directly clicking and
pointing on objects. The controller has a curved clickable touch pad that facilitates users to
make quick swipes and manipulations for scrolling, and also to make quick selections
without lifting their thumb. In short, the product is simple, powerful and compact.

All these controller functionalities are possible by implanting a tactile clickable switch
under the touch pad. Under the touch pad are the app button and the home button. By
pressing the home button, users can navigate immediately back to their world, whereas
holding it down for a little longer duration allows them to orient the view. The app
buttons functionality is fully reserved for app developers.

The controller also has hardware volume buttons that are easily reachable. The most
vital ability of the controller is to directly point in the 3D space. This is accomplished by
utilizing a highly calibrated nine axes IMU which combines data from gyroscope,
accelerometer and magnetometer to produce an absolute rotation value. Thus, we can
directly point at the 3d space with our hand and click instead of relying only on the touch
pad.
Spatial Audio and Immersion Using Daydream Technology

Fig 8-5. Source: Google I/O 2016


Google via Google VR SDK has created a spatial audio rendering engine in order to
provide users with enhanced quality mobile VR. Thus, users can enjoy a realistic spatial
audio experience on their mobile devices. Historically, spatial audio has been improving in
order to provide the users with a better experience. With the advent of 5:1 speakers set up,
the source can have a horizontal panel, and with the 7:1 set up, more elevation can be
provided.




Fig 8-6 Source: Google I/O 2016


Spatial audio in case of VR is extremely crucial as it facilitates sound to be played from all
direction in order to simulate real world acoustics. This is because the human ear hears
directionally and perceives the location of the sound sources in the environment. VR puts
a user in the center of the action and thus the spatial audio helps to control the users
attention by producing spatial audio queues from the direction of the users interest.

Fig 8-7. Source: Google I/O 2016


If there is a mismatch between the spatial audio and our senses, it leads to an interrupted
VR experience. For example, when a sound wave propagates through a room before
hitting the human head, there is a notable time difference between the sound hitting the
right and the left ear. Thus, it is highly important to devote significant attention on a
spatial audio.

Fig 8-8. Source: Google I/O 2016


Fig 8-9. Source: Google I/O 2016

Fig 8-10 Source: Google I/O 2016


The human head creates an acoustic shadow that damps high frequencies at around 1.5
kHz and this lever difference is used for localizing sound objects. When wearing the
HMD, our head movements are tracked and this data is used to rotate the sounds sources
and the reflections in the opposite direction of where we are turning our head. Thus,
locking the sounds sources in space.

With the Google VR SDK, the company aims to target three main platforms i.e., iOS,
Android and Unity. In case of iOS and Android, Daydream provides all the tools to add
spatial audio to any game or app with the fill function cost. However, for the Unity game
engine, the company provides an audio plug-in with broader set of options to play with.
This plug-in can be used to create and build apps to any VR headset.

Fig 8-11. Source: Google I/O 2016

While designing spatial audio rendering engine, the fundamental building block should be
working with the audio room, with the GVR audio sources and with the GVR sound filled
sources. The purpose of the audio room is to make an environment with sounds that are
characteristic for it.

Another important sonic characteristic need that should be kept in mind while picking
sounds for our apps is to allow the users to be able to spatially locate sounds and to have
them sound - realistic. Finally, it is of prime importance to check our work, and to check if
everything is in sync. Doing this exercise with a variety of headphones helps us know the
best spatial audio experience.

Fig 8-12. Source: Google I/O 2016


[8]
Various Tools to Build VR Content and their
Comparative Analyses
As a person ventures into making things for VR experience, there are two tools, namely:
modeling software and real-time engines, that will be most likely worked with. We begin
with the modeling software in order to create the things we want, followed by moving
these things into a real-time engine to transform it to turn into a VR experience.
These are the tools required to create purely digital environments, as well as make
physical items to interface with digital experiences. We can also make use of readily
downloadable 3D environments and models within real time engines as discussed below:
Real-Time Engines
1. Unreal Engine Cost: Free

Fig 9-1.

https://youtu.be/l88n8a4Yphw
The Unreal Engine, well known in the games industry, is highly versatile and allows
creation of games ranging from 2D hand-drawn looking platforms to cinematic
experiences. It has charged into VR head-on and also natively supports the latest
technologies. Also, today, a built-in marketplace is available that helps to find and
purchase assets required for projects along with a large community sharing inspiration and
tutorials.
The best part about this engine is that it is free for use. It can be downloaded and used
immediately to create VR experiences with zero cost.

2. Unity 3D Cost: Free

Fig 9-2.


https://youtu.be/8lWpnvNxs8k
Unity has transformed and grown from a small startup to match Unreal Engine in both
scope and scale. It can also be downloaded and used immediately to build VR
environments with no prior experience.

3. Cryengine Cost: Pay what you want



Fig 9-3.

https://youtu.be/wcnrt1pX5XA
Cryengine has acquired a name for itself by providing rich visual abilities. A number of
flagship games developed from this engine are often referred to as benchmarks in order to
determine a computers strength. Until recently, this engine was available for use at a
certain cost, thereby keeping it out of reach for a number of small developers. However, it
is currently a pay-what-you-want model, i.e. a user can download it for a free trial version.
Modeling Software
All the items of a virtual world need to be created. These need to be modeled in a 3D
modeling software. Numerous softwares are available, however, we are highlighting a
few popular and free ones below:
1. Blender Cost: Free

Fig 9-4.

https://youtu.be/Cpg_TvWzU2E
This is an open source and cross platform modeling rendering and animation tool. It is
highly powerful and robust, thereby giving tough competition to industry rivals such as
Maya, 3DS max and Softimage. The free product provides a huge set of features to take
you through the entire production pipeline of a game creation. It also boasts of an inbuilt
game engine.
There is a huge community behind this package and you can find tons of tutorials on
the Internet.
2. Sculptris Cost: Free

Fig 9-5.

https://youtu.be/KrViiOLTWTM
On the other hand, Sculptris a cost-free software, is limited in functionality, however,
performs well in case of a singular task. If a user is burdened with the interface of a
traditional modeling software, we suggest you give this a shot. The interface gives an
extremely natural feel as it mimics sculpting a piece of clay.
Image Manipulation for Textures and More
Along with modelling tool, image manipulation tools are also required. If a user cannot
afford Photoshop, we suggest you check the below mentioned free pieces of software to
get the job done:
1. GIMP Cost: Free

Fig 9-6.

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a powerful cross platform image


manipulation tool. If a user is working on UI elements, backgrounds, or textures, GIMP is
the one to look for.

2. Paint.Net Cost: Free

Fig 9-7.

Paint.net is not as powerful as GIMP, however, in case of simpler interfaces, it is easier to


understand. It can be tried and tested for free!

Sound Editing
1. Audacity Cost: Free

Fig 9-8.

Audacity, a sound editor, can be useful in a number of ways. Mostly, users record short
sound clips, and use Audacity to clean it and tweak the pitch and speed. There onwards,
the software can be used to expand and try a number of other features.

Effectively we could build functional Google Daydream apps using following
applications:

1. Unity 3D engine
2. Readily available 3d models
3. Android N mobile OS
4. Google Daydream extensions for Unity 3D
5. Google Nexus 6P smart phone
6. Google Cardboard VR compatible VR headset
7. Another smart phone running Android Lollypop or higher version acts as
Dreamweaver controller





Bibliography
Unity Virtual Reality Projects - Jonathan Linowes: www.packtpub.com
Learning Virtual Reality by Tony Parisi (OReilly). Copyright 2016 Tony Parisi, 978-1-
4919-2283-5.
Google Daydream: https://vr.google.com/daydream/
Google I/O 2016: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleDevelopers
Consumer Interest in Virtual Reality Goes Far Beyond Gaming, According to
Greenlight VR: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13497984.htm
Virtual reality primer: www.mbryonic.com
Real Applications of Virtual Reality in Education - Ben Fineman:
http://www.internet2.edu/blogs/detail/10002
VR Chat Used to Deliver One of the First University Lectures in Virtual Reality -
Paul James: http://www.roadtovr.com/vr-chat-helps-deliver-first-virtual-university-lecture/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Anand has invested 20 years of his career in training content design and development.
He undertook full range of roles as instructional designer, graphic designer, programmer,
project lead, project manager and delivery head in training content domain. He was
leading various teams in Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Wipro Technologies and provided
service to several Fortune 500 companies.

Anand holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Karnataka University and Post Graduate
Diploma in Distance Education Design from IGNOU.

Anand established IntraIntel Information Solution in 2012 to provide highly intuitive e-
Learning content at affordable cost.

Anand loves reading non-fiction, spending time with his family, watching science fiction
movies and practicing Yoga and Meditation.