There is a San Diego VR meetup group. There was a presentation on photogrammatry which is a process which let’s you take a set of still photos from multiple vantage points and use software to reconstruct a 3D representation of the scene. It tries to reconstruct the scene by matching common reference points between the images. I also got a chance to try out the Hololens while there too which was cool. On the plus side, it was really nice that it was completely wireless and the displays and rendering was good, stable and solid. However, the field of view was pretty small, and the user interface of tapping in the air was a little awkward. Glad I got a chance to try it.
After doing a lot more reading and research, I decided to take the plunge and purchase an HTC Vive headset. After some initial QA issues where the power adapter for the link box was defective and had to RMA with HTC, I finally I got my system up and going. Dealing with HTC customer support was not fun. I had to get a new ‘VR spec’ PC with a beefy GPU in order to run everything. I didn’t want to mess around too much so I went with an Alienware X51 R3 machine with i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX970.
In roughly April 2016 timeframe, I came across this video on the web which opened my eyes and got me really excited and inspired about the possibility of VR being something more than just a ‘gimmick’. It’s a pretty long video, but it gives you an idea of the incredible stuff this can open up: This is the video that started it all for me.