Tag: Virtual Reality

Worship In Virtual Reality

vrworshipSince I have received the Oculus Go VR headset, I have explored many things with this technology. One of the things that has been greatly enhanced is my time of personal devotion and worship time with God. The VR goggles have taken my experience to a new level. When I have the VR headset on, it dramatically cuts down on distractions and totally immerses me in whatever I am doing. Let me share with you some of my experiences using the Oculus Go in VR worship time.

The first app I downloaded was the VR Church: The Bible app. It’s okay but it has a few quirks to it. The main issue is that the app has a place where you can set up a custom plan to read the Bible. Unfortunately, I have found that after I select a plan and start it that the actual Bible reading text doesn’t appear. I can, however, go directly to the Bible section and read it. There are a couple of meditation Bible readings in the app that are nice to go through but they need to update it with more. It is a nice app but it needs to be improved. I keep hoping for updates to this app.

Reading the Bible (or any digital book) with the Oculus Go is very cool. There are a couple of book reading apps such as Virtual Book Viewer or ImmersionVR where you can import a Bible and you can adjust the size to what is comfortable for your eyes. For me, it is much better than paper or even my iPad. The ImmersionVR reader app is a bit different because you can turn the pages by simply moving your head as well as setting some calm background music while you are reading.

There is an app call AltspaceVR where you can customize your personal avatar and transport to different rooms and events. One of the rooms is the VR Church Prayer Room. You can teleport your avatar to the room and watch the International House of Prayer. I think this is a church that conducts worship 24/7.  Yeah, it’s a little different but what’s even more interesting is that you can also attend a virtual church service.

What’s Virtual Reality Church like?

The first 30 minutes are somewhat formal with worship music, prayer, and a sermon. The rest of the time is very informal with discussion and hanging out. At the beginning, a VR pastor will welcome everyone. Then you can listen to worship music for a few minutes. During this time, you can sing, pray, meditate, or simply take it all in by enjoying the worship music. After the worship music, they share a few announcements. Then a VR pastor will give a short interactive sermon. Sermons are designed to encourage your spiritual journey. At the end of the sermon, attendees are encouraged attendees to meet each other and discuss the sermon. They say this is a great opportunity to ask questions, make new friends, or simply hang out.  That may be true but I would caution anyone about “hanging out” online.  I think this virtual church is a good idea but I’m not sure about meeting people there.

Virtual church can’t replace going to a real church but I think it’s a novel idea.  I would still be cautious about it.

Probably the most amazing features of using the Oculus Go for my personal worship time is that I can watch my favorite preachers or Christian music artists on the web or YouTube in what is comparable to watching them on 30-foot screen. It is pretty amazing.  In my most recent personal VR worship time, I watched music videos by TobyMac and Micah Tyler.  I visited the AltspaceVR prayer room to check out what was going on at the International House of Prayer then I went to the Virtual Book Viewer and read another chapter in the Bible.  Other times, I have watched Bible studies and various videos on Bible issues I have questions about. In addition to the worship time, I can also visit the Holy Land and as well as some beautiful places on Earth.

Yeah, this version of worship and personal devotion time sounds a little gimmicky but it has really been an amazing experience for me. I hope developers will create more content for this technology.

Some things I would like to see in VR worship would be:

  • An app with a selection of video praise and worship songs with the lyrics.
  • I would like to see some contemporary Christian music artists shoot some music videos in 360 degree video.
  • It would be nice to have a selection of 360 degree photos of churches where you can sit and meditate.

I love the VR technology and think there could be some awesome things added for personal worship time.  It’s already a pretty awesome experience.  I have enjoyed it so far and looked forward to more time spent in the VR worship.

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Wowed By The Oculus Go

oculus go2Christmas has passed now and it seems that I was on Santa’s nice list this year because I got a pretty awesome gift.  Santa (via my wife) got me the Oculus Go Virtual Reality headset.  It was totally unexpected and definitely the “wow” gift of this Christmas.  Let me tell you about this awesome high tech toy.

Oculus Go is a standalone virtual reality headset which does not need to be connected to a phone or PC.  It is a very immersive entertainment device.  You can watch movies, play games, browse the Internet and many other things.  Just today I orbited Mars, watched some scenes from “The Greatest Showman” and played arcade basketball.  When I talk about this being an immersive device, you feel like you are in it and not just watching it.  There is nothing that compares to it.  Thanks to YouTubeVR you can also view thousands of videos in 180 degree or 360 degree video.  Even when it isn’t filmed for a VR device, watching standard video clips are still pretty good as it is like watching them on your own 30-foot screen.  The crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics makes the Oculus Go feel more like a personal theater.

The device comes with a nifty controller that you can use with one hand so you can navigate through apps and games.  It is very comfortable to use.

The audio is really better than you would expect with very good quality.  You really don’t need headphones unless you don’t want to disturb people around you.  Although you can’t connect headphones with Bluetooth, you can use a short 3.5 mm cable to connect without getting tangled up with any cables.

Some of the things I have done so far with the headset is watch a bowl game on ESPN, played a virtual mystery game (which ended up scaring me pretty badly), checking Facebook, using a meditation app to virtually sit next to a waterfall or in front of a fireplace.  There are so many uses for this headset that I am sure I haven’t even come close to all the capabilities of this amazing high tech device.

The only thing that is a downer is the battery life which is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  In reality, it is probably a good thing so you can give your eyes a rest from the headset and it’s still long enough to watch a movie or play your fill of games.  I hope that my cable service provider will eventually be available so I can stream my TV to it as well.

The Oculus Pro is a little pricey but you do get what you pay for and the quality it worth it.  The 32GB model is $199 and the 64GB headset is $249.

I have been very impressed with the Oculus Go and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a personal VR headset.  It has been an exciting device to use.  I didn’t ask for it but I’m really glad that “Santa” brought it.  I’m eager to go get it right now after finishing this blog.  In fact, I wish I could use the headset to write this blog.

If you are looking for me, you will find me in the virtual world.