Let me cut to the chase. VR is real and it’s amazing. If you’re one of those people who can’t see it, or who despite the fixes in place still get sick from it, I’m so sorry but you’re missing out. I honestly hope if you’re in that small subset of people that the geniuses who make these things figure out how to fix it for you.
I first had my eyes opened to VR way back at some age I can’t even specifically remember with the Virtual Boy by Nintendo. It was SUPER basic and low power but it was stereoscopic 3D when the only other option to do that was in the pages of Popular Mechanics or happened to have access to some MIT or Silicon Valley lab. This amazing technology disappeared(not entirely but at least in popular culture) until recently when it was announced that it was finally time and that a kid out in California figured out that modern technology is ready for that. The Occulus Rift was born and I got to try a pre-DK1 unit at Quakecon 4 years ago. Let me expound on that experience for a moments to give some better context.
So one of the big deals at Quakecon this year aside from some killer video games, Dishonored and Doom 3 BFG edition, was a piece of hardware that might just fulfull the long time dream of so many to be in the computer. This is VR or virtual reality. The primary input for the experience is vision. Particularly 3D vision. Previous renditions were either purely experimental or, if retail, pretty underwhelming(*cough*Virtual Boy*cough*). So the question becomes is Oculus’s Rift destined to finally make full immersion VR goggles something we all have sitting next to our keyboards, mice and game controllers?
First off go here and watch the promo video so you actually know what I’m talking about.
So the first question out of almost every ones mouth seems to be is it heavy? The first thought that comes to mind is of those massive heavy VR headsets from the 90s. Basically a pair of small CRT monitors strapped to your head. Let me put your mind at rest the Rift is seriously light. Not quite a pair of glasses but getting pretty close. I could easily see a few hours in the headset at a time with no discomfort. The product is still under development so I have no doubt it’s going to get even lighter and even more comfortable. The cable is the biggest hindrance to it’s comfort and some recent tweets by Palmer Luckey indicate he’s looking in to wireless HD video.