cta quote button

Top 10 Virtual Reality Books You Should Read

Read More

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Web Developers in Ukraine?

Our pricing is completely transparent: you pay your engineers’ salaries and a flat monthly fee for our services. No hidden charges.

Read More

1. Unity Virtual Reality Projects (2015)

Explore the world of Virtual Reality by building immersive and fun VR projects using Unity 3D

About This Book

  • Learn the basic principles of virtual reality applications and get to know how they differ from games and desktop apps
  • Build various types of VR experiences, including diorama, first-person characters, riding on rails, 360 degree projections, and social VR
  • A project-based guide that teaches you to use Unity to develop VR applications, which can be experienced with devices such as the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard

Who This Book Is For

If you’re a non-programmer unfamiliar with 3D computer graphics, or experienced in both but new to virtual reality, and are interested in building your own VR games or applications then this book is for you. Any experience in Unity is an advantage.

What You Will Learn

  • Create 3D scenes with Unity and Blender while learning about world space and scale
  • Build and run VR applications for consumer headsets including Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard
  • Build interactive environments with physics, gravity, animations, and lighting using the Unity engine
  • Experiment with various user interface (UI) techniques that you can use in your VR applications
  • Implement the first-person and third-person experiences that use only head motion gestures for input
  • Create animated walkthroughs, use 360-degree media, and build multi-user social VR experiences
  • Learn about the technology and psychology of VR including rendering, performance and VR motion sickness
  • Gain introductory and advanced experience in Unity programming with the C# language

In Detail

What is consumer “virtual reality”? Wearing a head-mounted display you view stereoscopic 3D scenes. You can look around by moving your head, and walk around using hand controls or motion sensors. You are engaged in a fully immersive experience. On the other hand, Unity is a powerful game development engine that provides a rich set of features such as visual lighting, materials, physics, audio, special effects, and animation for creating 2D and 3D games. Unity 5 has become the leading platform for building virtual reality games, applications and experiences for this new generation of consumer VR devices.

Using a practical and project-based approach, this book will educate you about the specifics of virtual reality development in Unity.

You will learn how to use Unity to develop VR applications which can be experienced with devices such as the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. We will then learn how to engage with virtual worlds from a third person and first person character point of view. Furthermore, you will explore the technical considerations especially important and possibly unique to VR. The projects in the book will demonstrate how to build a variety of VR experiences. You will be diving into the Unity 3D game engine via the interactive Unity Editor as well as C-Sharp programming.

By the end of the book, you will be equipped to develop rich, interactive virtual reality experiences using Unity.

So, let’s get to it!

Style and approach

This book takes a practical, project-based approach to teach specifics of virtual reality development in Unity. Using a reader-friendly approach, this book will not only provide detailed step-by-step instructions but also discuss the broader context and applications covered within.

Author(s): Jonathan Linowes

2. Practical Augmented Reality: A Guide to the Technologies, Applications, and Human Factors for AR and VR (Usability) (2016)

This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the technologies, applications and human factors considerations of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) systems and wearable computing devices. Ideal for practitioners and students alike, it brings together comprehensive coverage of both theory and practice, emphasizing leading-edge displays, sensors, and other enabling technologies and tools that are already commercially available or will be soon.
 
Beginning with a Foreword by NASA research scientist Victor Luo, Practical Augmented Reality starts by explaining the mechanics of human sight, hearing and touch, showing how these perceptual mechanisms (and their performance ranges) directly dictate the design and use of wearable displays, 3-D audio systems, and tactile/force feedback devices.
 
The book presents revealing case studies of real-world applications from gaming, entertainment, Big Data visualization, engineering, aeronautics and aerospace, defense, medicine, telerobotics, architecture, law enforcement, and geophysics. Readers will find clear, easy-to-understand explanations, photos, and illustrations of devices including the Atheer AiR, HTC Vive, DAQRI Smart Helmet, Oculus (Facebook) CV1, Sony PlayStation VR, Vuzix M300, Google Glass, and many more. Functional diagrams and photographs clearly explain how these devices operate, and link directly to relevant theoretical and practical content.
 
Practical Augmented Reality thoroughly considers the human factors of these systems, including sensory and motor physiology constraints, monocular and binocular depth cues, elements contributing to visually-induced motion sickness and nausea, as well as vergence-accommodation conflicts. It concludes by assessing both the legal and societal implications of new and emerging AR, VR, and wearable technologies, as well as provides a look next generation systems.

Author(s): Steve Aukstakalnis

3. Learning Virtual Reality: Developing Immersive Experiences and Applications for Desktop, Web, and Mobile (2015)

As virtual reality approaches mainstream consumer use, a vibrant development ecosystem has emerged in the past few years. This hands-on guide takes you through VR development essentials for desktop, mobile, and browser-based applications. You’ll explore the three go-to platforms—OculusVR, Gear VR, and Cardboard VR—as well as several VR development environments, programming tools, and techniques.

If you’re an experienced programmer familiar with mobile development, this book will help you gain a working knowledge of VR development through clear and simple examples. Once you create a complete application in the final chapter, you’ll have a jumpstart on the next major entertainment medium.

  • Learn VR basics for UI design, 3D graphics, and stereo rendering
  • Explore Unity3D, the current development choice among game engines
  • Create native applications for desktop computers with the Oculus Rift
  • Develop mobile applications for Samsung’s Gear VR with the Android and Oculus Mobile SDKs
  • Build browser-based applications with the WebVR Javascript API and WebGL
  • Create simple and affordable mobile apps for any smartphone with Google’s Cardboard VR
  • Bring everything together to build a 360-degree panoramic photo viewer

Author(s): Tony Parisi

4. Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds – and How It Promises to Transform Society (1992)

Imagine being able to “walk” into your computer and interact with any program you create. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s science fact. Surgeons now rehearse operations on computer-generated “virtual” patients, and architects “walk through” virtual buildings while the actual structures are still in blueprints. In Virtual Reality, Howard Rheingold takes us to the front lines of this revolutionary new technology that creates computer-generated worlds complete with the sensations of touch and motion, and explores its impact on everything from entertainment to particle physics.

Author(s): Howard Rheingold

5. Building Virtual Reality with Unity and Steam VR (2017)

This book takes a hands-on approach to getting up and running with virtual reality using the Unity game engine. By utilizing the free SteamVR libraries, the book and its example code is compatible with the main virtual reality head mounted displays currently available. The book also takes a look at some of the main issues surrounding virtual reality, such as motion sickness and performance issues, and providing practical ways to reduce their impact to make better VR experiences.

Author(s): Jeff W Murray

6. Unreal Engine VR Cookbook: Developing Virtual Reality with UE4 (Game Design) (2017)

“With his YouTube channel, Mitch’s VR Lab, Mitch has helped thousands of people understand the foundations of locomotion and interaction mechanics with clear and concise UE4 videos. I’m thrilled that he has taken the time to bring all his knowledge and experience in working with Unreal Engine and Virtual Reality to the Unreal® Engine VR Cookbook…. Mitch is uniquely qualified to share this book with the world.”

–Luis Cataldi, Unreal Engine Education, Epic Games, Inc.

 

For game developers and visualization specialists, VR is the next amazing frontier to conquer–and Unreal Engine 4 is the ideal platform to conquer it with. Unreal ® Engine VR Cookbook is your complete, authoritative guide to building stunning experiences on any Unreal Engine 4-compatible VR hardware.

 

Renowned VR developer and instructor Mitch McCaffrey brings together best practices, common interaction paradigms, specific guidance on implementing these paradigms in Unreal Engine, and practical guidance on choosing the right approaches for your project. McCaffrey’s tested “recipes” contain step-by-step instructions, while empowering you with concise explanations of the underlying theory and math.

 

Whether you’re creating first-person shooters or relaxation simulators, the techniques McCaffrey explains help you get immediate results, as you gain “big picture” knowledge and master nuances that will help you succeed with any genre or project.

 

  • Understand basic VR concepts and terminology
  • Implement VR logic with Blueprint visual scripting
  • Create basic VR projects with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR, Google VR, PSVR, and other environments
  • Recognize and manage differences between seated and standing VR experiences
  • Set up trace interactions and teleportation
  • Work with UMG and 2D UIs
  • Implement character inverse kinematics (IK) for head and hands
  • Define effective motion controller interaction
  • Help users avoid motion sickness
  • Optimize VR applications
  • Explore the VR editor, community resources, and more

 

If you’re ready to master VR on Unreal Engine 4, this is the practical resource you’ve been searching for!

Author(s): Mitch McCaffrey

7. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Computer Graphics: 4th International Conference, AVR 2017, Ugento, Italy, June 12-15, 2017, Proceedings, Part II (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) (2017)

The 2-volume set LNCS 10324 and 10325 constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Computer Graphics, AVR 2017, held in Ugento, Italy, in June 2017.

The 54 full papers and 24 short papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 112 submissions. The papers are organized in the following topical sections: virtual reality; augmented and mixed reality; computer graphics; human-computer interaction; applications of VR/AR in medicine; and applications of VR/AR in cultural heritage.

Author(s): Lucio Tommaso De Paolis, Patrick Bourdot

8. A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel (2013)

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki—shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Author(s): Ruth Ozeki

9. Understanding Augmented Reality: Concepts and Applications (2013)

Understanding Augmented Reality addresses the elements that are required to create augmented reality experiences. The technology that supports augmented reality will come and go, evolve and change. The underlying principles for creating exciting, useful augmented reality experiences are timeless.

Augmented reality designed from a purely technological perspective will lead to an AR experience that is novel and fun for one-time consumption – but is no more than a toy. Imagine a filmmaking book that discussed cameras and special effects software, but ignored cinematography and storytelling!  In order to create compelling augmented reality experiences that stand the test of time and cause the participant in the AR experience to focus on the content of the experience – rather than the technology – one must consider how to maximally exploit the affordances of the medium.

Understanding Augmented Reality addresses core conceptual issues regarding the medium of augmented reality as well as the technology required to support compelling augmented reality. By addressing AR as a medium at the conceptual level in addition to the technological level, the reader will learn to conceive of AR applications that are not limited by today’s technology. At the same time, ample examples are provided that show what is possible with current technology.

  • Explore the different techniques, technologies and approaches used in developing AR applications
  • Learn from the author’s deep experience in virtual reality and augmented reality applications to succeed right off the bat, and avoid many of the traps that catch new developers and users of augmented reality experiences
  • Some AR examples can be experienced from within the book using downloadable software

Author(s): Alan B. Craig

10. Story Structure and Development: A Guide for Animators, VFX Artists, Game Designers, and Virtual Reality (2017)

Professor Craig Caldwell’s Story Structure and Development offers a clear approach to the essentials of story. It lays out the fundamental elements, principles, and structure for animators, designers, and artists so they can incorporate these concepts in their work. As a practical guide it includes extensive insights and advice from industry professionals. Readers will learn the universal patterns of story and narrative used in today’s movies, animation, games, and VR. With over 200 colorful images, this book has been designed for visual learners, and is organized to provide access to story concepts for the screen media professional and student. Readers will discover the story fundamentals referred to by every director and producer when they say “It’s all about story“.

Author(s): Craig Caldwell

11. Augmented Human: How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality (2017)

Augmented Reality (AR) blurs the boundary between the physical and digital worlds. In AR’s current exploration phase, innovators are beginning to create compelling and contextually rich applications that enhance a user’s everyday experiences. In this book, Dr. Helen Papagiannis—a world-leading expert in the field—introduces you to AR: how it’s evolving, where the opportunities are, and where it’s headed.

If you’re a designer, developer, entrepreneur, student, educator, business leader, artist, or simply curious about AR’s possibilities, this insightful guide explains how you can become involved with an exciting, fast-moving technology.

You’ll explore how:

  • Computer vision, machine learning, cameras, sensors, and wearables change the way you see the world
  • Haptic technology syncs what you see with how something feels
  • Augmented sound and hearables alter the way you listen to your environment
  • Digital smell and taste augment the way you share and receive information
  • New approaches to storytelling immerse and engage users more deeply
  • Users can augment their bodies with electronic textiles, embedded technology, and brain-controlled interfaces
  • Human avatars can learn our behaviors and act on our behalf

Author(s): Helen Papagiannis

12. Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality: Designing and Developing Augmented and Virtual Environments: 6th International Conference, VAMR 2014, Held as … Part I (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) (2014)

The two-volume set LNCS 8525-8526 constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, VAMR 2014, held as part of the 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI 2014, in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, in June 2014, jointly with 13 other thematically similar conferences. The total of 1476 papers and 220 posters presented at the HCII 2014 conferences were carefully reviewed and selected from 4766 submissions. These papers address the latest research and development efforts and highlight the human aspects of design and use of computing systems. The papers thoroughly cover the entire field of human-computer interaction, addressing major advances in knowledge and effective use of computers in a variety of application areas. The total of 82 contributions included in the VAMR proceedings were carefully reviewed and selected for inclusion in this two-volume set. The 39 papers included in this volume are organized in the following topical sections: interaction devices, displays and techniques in VAMR; designing virtual and augmented environments; avatars and virtual characters; developing virtual and augmented environments.

Author(s): Randall Shumaker, Lackey Stephanie