Virtual Reality Development Strategies
In this nascent market, a Web Developer needs to be Jack-of-all-trades
It's tough keeping up-to-speed with the latest technologies at the best of times. But Virtual Reality represents a whole new challenge. Software and hardware are both developing fast and it's hard to know which platforms will be relevant in a year's time.
Hardware-wise, we have the broad divide between computer-powered headsets on the one hand, and mobile displays on the other. PC-powered options will include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, whilst the latter market's currently led by Samsung's Gear VR.
And that's just the display. At the creative coal-face, we have a wide range of CGI development tools and 360-degree camera setups.
The software front is equally fractured. For 360 video, there are several stitching options with the big story being the recent acquisition of Kolor by GoPro. For interaction, we might be developing in C# / Java for Android devices (read 'Gear VR'), or Swift for Apple devices (iPhone on Cardboard VR viewers).
And if we're feeling really game, we could jump into Unreal Engine or Unity3D. Both are breaktakingly capable - and complex - development environments. If you've ever played Gears of War or Monument Valley, you'll know just how powerful they are.
All of these tools, along with many we haven't seen yet, will be helping us shape the new language of interactive virtual reality development over the coming months.