An Encounter with iRacing Got Me Thinking About VR's Potential
I first came across virtual reality (VR) in 2015 while I was traveling the United States. It was there that I came across the iRacing simulator, a VR experience which uses Oculus Rift technology to take you to the racing track. Being a keen motorsports fan, of course, had to try it!
The iRacing simulator was and is still used by world-class racing teams and can ‘transport’ you to an array of racing tracks around the world, without having to leave the room. For the other racing lovers out there, when I tested out the track I drove an SR8, which is similar to the Radical SR3 racing car I have back in Australia.
From the iRacing Simulator to Devika
If the simulation had been a bad experience, I would not have given it a second thought. Seeing as I now work with VR, you have probably guessed that the experience was quite the opposite – it was awesome! Yes, the simulator had some flaws (as any prototype does) but it showed me the potential of VR, which is its ability to create immersive and exciting experiences. I was so impressed by its capabilities that I couldn’t get VR out of my mind for the next 12 months.
The most captivating aspect of the simulator was its ability to recreate real-life experiences, such as driving around a corner but being able to look ahead to catch a glimpse of the next bend in the road. You can adjust your direction with your body, giving you not only steering power but a real feel for the road, speed, and car. I was even able to turn my head to check where the others cars were, rather than having to rely on the simulated mirrors.
I thought it would be a while before VR would be ready for mass consumption, or even make a dent in the tech industry but a year later I was trying the HTC Vive. Two years later I was trying out the new Oculus Rift, a system that is ten times better than its predecessor. There was no better way to describe this progression other than with Moore’s Law, a theory suggesting that new technology advances exponentially.
Where to From Here?
While my love of racing would suggest that my career was heading towards the professional racing industry, this iRacing experience showed me the potential of VR and its applicability to a range of different industries. This is where Devika comes in. It has enabled me to support a range of fields such as scientific research and create meaningful change in multiple ways. I’m excited to continue working with VR to provide businesses with more effective solutions and may one day, it will be for iRacing!