Virtual reality (VR) has a fixed image attached to it at this point in time. When fans think of VR, they picture bulky head-mounted displays (HMD) such as the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus. Eventually companies such as Oculus VR hope to move to devices that resemble sunglasses over ski goggles, but such possibilities are a long way off. One company that is defying that basic concept of VR is HP, which has showcased its Zvr Virtual Reality Display at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA this week.
Zvr is strikingly different to other VR products, so much so that some fans might debate the use of the term VR at all. Rather than relying on a bulky HMD, users wear a much smaller pair of 3D glasses and stare at a 23.6-inch full HD monitor displaying virtual images. Resting on top of the display are four cameras that track the user’s head so that they can alter their view. Despite the Zvr branding, HP refers to this as ‘blended reality’ in which users utilise a stylus to control these objects.
HP foresees the device being used for education in the future, interacting with 3D objects, for example. Samples at CES this week show users picking up a butterfly with the stylus, bringing closer to their eyes for inspection and even being able to twist the creature upside down to get a full view of it. The kit is set to be released in the second quarter of 2015, though the company is yet to attach a price to the set up. You might not strictly class it as VR, but it’s certainly interesting to see companies experiment with the definition of the technology.
VRFocus is at CES this week to bring you all of the latest VR updates.