I was really pleased to be offered the chance to review All About Virtual Reality, a new book published by DK, in association with Curiscope. My 13 year old son is interested in virtual reality and has a very basic VR set, which he occasionally uses. To be honest he is probably a little more advanced in requiring an introduction to virtual reality, but he was still interested, especially as the book includes a free VR viewer that you assemble yourself with stickers. He loved trying out the app in entering different virtual worlds.
As mum to six year old twins too, I feel that the book will be useful to them as they get a little older. Even at this age they loved using the VR viewer. I have also learnt a little more about what virtual reality is too!
The book explains in a really simple and colourful way as to what virtual reality is, how your brain interprets sights and sounds and fools you into thinking that you are somewhere else.
I hadn't realised that virtual reality has a history that stretches back more than 50 years! Although virtual reality has not been widely available until the 2010's.
The book explains in a clear pictorial way how to make your VR viewer. You then use your smart phone to scan various trackers on the page to travel into different worlds. You are able to enter a prehistoric world, which enables you to see dinosaurs in 3D. The book also explains how you are able to see in 3D by your eyes focusing on two different images.
You are also able to visit and explore volcanoes from the safety of your VR headset! I like the way that the book also has an educational slant in that it describes the life of a volcano in very simple terms.
The book goes on to allow you to explore the Colosseum in Rome 2000 years ago, a space station and a pond - by shrinking down to the size of an insect! The subjects are certainly diverse. The book goes onto explain how some people use virtual reality in their jobs for example pilots and surgeons.
It is really important to be aware of the safety aspects of using a virtual reality viewer and this is explained very clearly at the start of the book. Reminders are also frequent as you progress to each page. I would recommend close parental supervision for children and I would imagine the book is aimed for children around 10 years of age, although my six year old enjoyed it for very short periods of time.
For the Virtual Reality headset to work you need to download a free app to your smart phone. Instructions are included in the book.
In conclusion I feel the book would make a perfect gift for a child of around ten years old. I like the fact that it's a useful book combined with technology. In this day and age of everything being online, I was really pleased to see my son engaged in a book for a change, even if he used it to access a virtual world. It is a book that I think we will revisit as the twins get older.
*For the purpose of this review I received one copy of All About Virtual Reality by DK. All words and opinions are my own.