Virtual reality has existed for many years now, as anyone who has set foot in a flight simulator can confirm. However, a new effort to bring virtual reality systems into the home is underway, and some people seem utterly convinced that VR is going to change the world. We are not so sure, hence this week’s We Ask You.
Is This Real Life?!
We want to know, Is Virtual Reality Going To Change The World? We’re particularly keen to hear your feelings about virtual reality in the home, and whether you believe such systems will ever become mainstream. You should also feel free to comment telling us any thoughts you have on virtual reality and its capacity to change the world in any real, practical way.
This question was prompted by the recent coming of age of virtual reality units meant for ordinary consumers. These are VR headsets designed to be worn my people like you and I in the comfort of our own homes.
The Oculus Rift has been a labor of love for a team based in California who believe virtual reality can “revolutionize the way people experience interactive content.” After using Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to get the project underway, the company recently began taking pre-orders for the second development kit. And then Facebook acquired Oculus VR for a cool $2 billion. The ultimate goal is to release a version of the hardware suitable for everybody, and Facebook CEO mark Zuckerberg seems sure this is going to be a big deal.
Elsewhere, Sony used the GDC (Game Developers Conference) to announce its own virtual reality system, currently codenamed Project Morpheus. While Sony’s VR effort is still at an early stage, it is designed to work with the PlayStation 4, so assuming you believe Sony will deliver, Project Morpheus will be available for purchase by the general public within the next few years.
While Google, Microsoft, and Apple, to name just three, haven’t announced any plans to release virtual reality systems, it’s safe to assume they’re all exploring the possibility of doing so.
This is all well and good, but there is little evidence that the mainstream public is ever going to be persuaded they either need or want a VR headset, whether for gaming or anything else. And unless mainstream consumers climb on board the virtual reality bandwagon then how is it ever going to change the world?
Please leave a comment below telling us what your thoughts are on virtual reality. Can you ever see yourself with one of these units strapped to your head? Do you think VR will remain the domain of the uber-geeky or will it cross over into the mainstream to become as ubiquitous in the future as smartphones are now?
Have Your Say
All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt for their effort.
We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.