Monday, April 4, 2016

My Thoughts On VR

Virtual reality is very much becoming a huge trend in the tech and gaming industries and many people are questioning whether it will do with immersion what Apple did with the iPhone. In the 2020s, will people be wearing Oculus Rifts everywhere in the same way that we wear EarPods everywhere today? Personally, I say no. Virtual reality may be taking immersion a step too far. And I don't think that because of any conceptual standpoint, but because of the major flaws that you just can't fix. A good product should not create new problems for the user that aren't fixed by the product itself or can't be fixed as technology advances. While that doesn't mean a good product must defy gravity to keep itself from falling to the ground, it shouldn't cause the user to feel sick from simply using the device as intended for more than two hours. That's a big problem and it doesn't seem fixable just because that's how humans are. If you put a bright screen with lots of motion in a dark environment two inches in front of a person for extended periods of time, that's not a good design. Batteries will improve, processors will improve, the way humans react to environments created by virtual reality will not improve. And as unfortunate as it is, factors like this will cause virtual reality to be a short fad, something that will be laughed about in 2030 in the same way that 3D TVs are laughed about today. After all, anyone who tried the Virtual Boy, Nintendo's failed attempt at virtual reality in 1995, know that there hasn't been much improvement at this issue since then. But there is one more issue, it's expensive. Using Oculus as an example, it costs $599.99 for the Oculus Rift, but that's not counting a PC that can handle it. According to Oculus, my PC (which I just got last Christmas) cannot handle an Oculus Rift. The fact that it can't handle a brand new, middle-class PC is a huge problem. So, that's at least $1000 thrown at a PC, and for what? So you can throw up? That's what charcoal is for! As cool as watching March Madness in virtual reality is, these are just gimmick features that VR companies are touting to artificially inflate their "hype balloons." My suggestion: buy Google Cardboard for about $15, try out a few VR apps on your phone, and try it for yourself. The fact that you can get a decent sampling of VR from your phone with just $15 really makes you question whether paying $1600 for the whole deal is really worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments constructive and don't use any foul language. Feel free to share your ideas, feedback, experiences, and more. Please know that I will read them. Thanks!