Reading is, as we all know, the true path to knowledge. But if you’re anything like us, then you’ll probably find yourself caught up in reading endless articles online. If you are interested in VR, however, then there are plenty of virtual reality books out there for all levels of understanding.
If you don’t know where to begin, then never fear! We have put together this list of the best virtual reality books for you to sink your teeth (or eyes? Or mind?) into. We’re also constantly updating it as new titles hit the shelves, so get comfortable and log in to Amazon… it’s time for a book-buying binge!
To start off, we thought we’d take things at an oblique angle and recommend this classic book that addresses how we look at art. Whilst it may seem like a peculiar addition to this list, it offers an insightful and thought-provoking angle from which to consider the content we create for VR and augmented reality.
This fascinating book explores the relationship between virtual and augmented realities and Big Data. It argues that VR is just the first of three computing waves we are about to see. AR is next, and then something called USEMIR (Ubiquitous Sensory Mixed Reality). Learning more about how virtual reality technologies will drive analytics is certainly a subject that we should all be paying attention to right now, so this one comes highly recommended.
If you are interested in the philosophical issues around virtual reality, then you are in for a real treat. This delicious book about virtual reality covers pretty much any topic you could possibly be contemplating, from the question of why and how we reached this point, to how computers have altered our thought habits, to how we will be able to distinguish virtual from real reality.
Before long, Scoble and Israel predict, we will do away with the smartphone altogether, and control our digital lives through eye movements and brainwaves. We won’t need to use words to search online, because we’ll be in the age of a new visual internet one hundred times the size of the current Internet, and we will find things by images, buy things by brands, or just by looking at a logo on the jacket of a passerby. Crazy stuff? You bet! But it may really be coming, so best be prepared…
By placing human user experience first, we should be able to create great virtual reality content, so Jerald argues. It makes perfect sense, considering that there is still a deluge of bad content out there that is boring at best, and sickness-inducing at worst. This virtual reality book explores the principles we should adhere to in order to create truly engaging, innovative experiences.
This guidebook to consumer-focused virtual reality aims to stir up new ideas for those already working with VR, as well as offering a fantastic introduction to the virtual world for newcomers to the industry. The latest edition includes 24 more pages to bring the information bang up to date, making it incredibly relevant to readers of all levels of understanding.
Aimed at those who have some simple programming knowledge and some understanding of app development, as well as the established whizz-kids, this virtual reality guidebook teaches essential development and production concepts, including UI design, stereo rendering, 3D input, and programming VR applications for native desktop, mobile and the web.
Another good virtual reality book for programmers, Davis’s guide walks you through how to integrate the many features of the Rift into VR experiences and 3D games. Covering both the Oculus API and the use of Unity, this could be an indispensable book for expanding your VR dev knowledge.
Speaking of Unity, this great entry-level book is a fantastic guide for getting you started with Unity using C#. The list of skills you stand to learn from Linowes’s book is really impressive, from the psychology of VR to steps for building pretty sophisticated experiences.
Another book for virtual reality content creators, this guide by Murray Ramirez moves from an overview introduction through to the latest trends, before exploring the different consumer hardware (PSVR, Oculus, Daydream), then a section on what’s next in virtual reality.
The emphasis of Chan’s book on virtual reality focuses on the early years during the 1980s and early 1990s, when VR first appeared in the consumer space. It is really a critical analysis of virtual reality in relation to embodied experience, so a good read if you wish to look at the wider context of virtual reality in culture.
Rheingold’s book is an exploration of the cutting-edge applications for virtual reality. For example, it is proving to be an instrumental tool in healthcare and education, but is also useful in disciplines such as particle physics! There’s a good discussion of how touch and motion interact with vision in virtual worlds, as Rheingold reports on his experiences in VR labs across the world.
Lanier is an interdisciplinary scientist at Microsoft, and it’s often stated that he was the one that came up with the term ‘virtual reality’. Whether this is true or not, this virtual reality book is a highly anticipated release, that is available for pre-order at time of writing.
John Bucher is a regular contributor to VirtualRealityPop.com, LA-Screenwriter.com, HBO.com, and MovieMaker Magazine. He co-hosts The Inside Out Story Podcast, The Westworld Watch Podcast, and teaches at the LA Film Studies Center, where he leads courses in Virtual Reality storytelling and filmmaking. That’s just one of the reasons this new release is so hotly anticipated.
As we’ve already mentioned, VR is big news in Healthcare. This book is a thoroughly engaging exploration of the many applications for the technology in this industry. Chapters 2 and 3 offer the meatiest reading, discussing related literature on different uses of virtual reality in Healthcare, and ten different samples in chapter 3 exploring live use-cases.