I have been playing around with an Oculus Rift DK2 for the last couple of days. It’s a VR headset, really designed for developers, ahead of the launch of a consumer version that’ll debut next year. As Iniquitas pointed out in the Elite Dangerous thread, thar be pixels. Even so, I’m astounded by what I’ve seen so far. Oculus has been bought out by Facebook and is going to PC and XBox One. Sony are doing their own version for PS4. VR is going to land big time in 2016, after a lot of false dawns.
VR in the 1990s
We’re a long way past that now. The Elite Dangerous thing is just profound. You can walk around the interior of a spacecraft. Your on-screen hands mirror what your real ones do on the controls, at least to an extent. Other non-Elite highlights would include virtual cinema, or indeed virtual desktop, which allows you to watch Netflix, etc. Watching something that was always intended for TV on a cinema sized screen is quite smart. I may have to dig certain Babylon 5 episodes out
The philosophical aspects of the technology really interest me too. We’re getting to the beginning of the end when it comes to VR’s commercial proliferation; I genuinely reckon everything is where it needs to be for the tech to be commercially successful. Once that happens, iteration and differentiation that will drive subsequent attempts will take us in some very interesting directions.