Issues & Challenges of Mobile Virtual Reality Systems

Virtual Reality, VR, Immersive Technology & Simulated Environment

Issues & Challenges of Mobile Virtual Reality Systems

Mobile virtual reality is instantly becoming a hit in the VR industry with the introduction of Google Cardboard because it is very affordable, cheap and easy to build yourself (DIY). Besides Cardboard, there are also other players in the mobile virtual reality domain such as Samsung Gear VR, Zeiss VR One and Freefly VR.

Mobile Virtual Reality
Google Cardboard, one of the few examples of Mobile VR.

The low-cost entry to virtual reality make it to be a popular choice among the consumers who are starting to get enthusiast on VR. Although it comes with easy to use and assemble package, it also comes with their own issues and challenges. Some of them are…

Tracking in Mobile Virtual Reality

Some of the smartphone’s gyroscopic sensors do not provide accurate motion tracking. This can induce nausea to the user. The positional tracking must be nearly perfect in order to accurately transpose the user’s head movement into the virtual environment.

Low Screen Resolution

This can impact the viewing experience where user can see the pixels in the form of small and tiny squares. Thus, the higher pixels density (number of pixels per inch),the better the image will looks like. But there is a trade-off that will be mentioned below…

Battery Life

Due to high consumption of power to light up more pixels, mobile phone device also can drains the battery life quickly. Hence it can be a disruption to stay for longer hour in the virtual world.

Low Processing Power

The mobile phone device usually have a much lower processing power for both CPU and GPU as compared to the high-end PCs. This may impact the rendering time of the stereoscopic images. To overcome this, the VR apps must be highly-optimized to suit mobile phone processing capacity.

Device Temperature

The mobile phone device heats up or overheats quickly when running the CPUs and GPUs at their maximum capacity.

Refresh Rate

Flickering can happen if the mobile phone displays do not refresh as frequent as expected.

Applications & Contents

How necessary or significant is VR in day-to-day life? To avoid this virtual reality phenomenon to be a one-time-hit, there must be some or many killer applications or contents that can make the user to keep on using mobile virtual reality. It might be in the form of addictive game, social networking, security camera, telepresence etc.

All the issues and challenges above might be temporary as the technology is getting better and better. For more information and reading materials, you can read it at:
1) “Virtual Reality Aims for the Mobile Phone” from MIT Technology Review.
2) “Carmack reveals the challenges of mobile VR game development” from Gamasutra.

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