Building a VR app with React 360






What is a VR application?

Virtual Reality or VR is the technology used to create imitations of real life actions and processes to give a simulated experience to the users. These experiences can totally be like real life experiences or they can be totally like a parallel universe altogether.

Virtual reality is useful to many industries, video games are developed using virtual reality to provide real time simulated feel to the game; it is also used in the medical field as well, most of the rehabilitation centres have started using virtual reality applications in order to provide stimulation therapy to the patient

Military air force applies virtual reality in simulating flying aircrafts, some applications designed for the military also replicate the aircraft cockpit with buttons and levers similar to operate. Virtual reality is also the concept applied behind 3D movies.

Virtual reality applications are applications designed using the concept of virtual reality to produce a simulated experience to the application users. These applications are built to help digitally recreate a virtual world.

With wide applications towards the fields of education, business and entertaining; VR has gained a lot of popularity lately and there is a lot of demand for VR apps in the market as of now. There are a ton of tools available in the market that help in developing virtual reality applications, some of them being- Unity, Maya, React 360, Blender, Google VR for everyone and Amazon Sumerian.

What is React 360?

React 360 is a framework that is used to build Virtual Reality Applications. It works similar to the React and React Native frameworks, using the same functionality as the react and react native framework. The React Native framework is used to create a native virtual reality application whereas the React 360 framework is used to create a web virtual reality application.

To understand the difference between Web VR and Native VR I would suggest you to check the below mentioned link-

This blog has a detailed description on the differences between Web Virtual Reality and native Virtual Reality and also the comparisons between different frameworks that go into building virtual reality applications.

Functionalities of React 360

React 360 comes with great functionalities, a few of them are discussed in detail below-

  • React 360 helps develop and run VR apps on multiple platforms- let it be a computer, mobile or any other source of web; without making any major changes to the code.
  • Coming with inbuilt user interface components, all the UI components are premeasured and embedded in pixels making it easy to reuse them.
  • React 360 comes with a 3D interface which helps the developers to achieve their desired virtual feel and look.
  • React 360 helps in optimising the performance of the application by cutting down on the unnecessary junk collectables.

How to build a VR App with React 360?

Here is a step wise guide on building a VR app with React 360-

  • The very first step is to install the React 360, which in itself is a different topic to discuss. Assuming you already have installed React 360. In order to start a new project in the React 360, you will have to input a command initiating a new project. It should look something like this- ‘react-360 init new-react-360-app‘.
  • Once the command is inputted, all the necessities are installed in order to build the VR app, and a new project is created with the name ‘new-react-360-app’. It is as simple to create a VR app with React 360.
  • With inputting the npm start command, a 360 degree navigable frame will show up as an output.
  • The framework of React 360 comes with an all functional user interface which is inbuilt in the system. These user interface components can be reused according to the need.
  • You can create a root through the ‘r360.createRoot’ for the helloVR available in the index.js, index.js and index.html are crisp to understand, a little complicated is the client.js.
  • You can also go on adding a panoramic image to the 360 degree frame. All you have to do is add the image to the static assets folder and input the following command to update the background- ‘r360.compositor.setBackground’.
  • In a similar fashion you can add the vrButton and the sound as well. Once the VR app seems decent you can run it by giving the ‘run npm start’ command. The live application should have your added image, buttons to control sound and user activity.

React 360 is an affordable option to build web VR apps, VR apps are compatible on both iOS and Android. Learning the React 360 framework is easy for someone who is familiar with any other react functionality. I hope this was of help.

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