Oculus Rift and the future of Virtual Reality
Technology is innovating and turning dreams into reality. Virtual reality is something that has been perhaps a result of our ever growing technological fantasies. Looking to battle giant creatures, enjoy the thrills of space or just move to other planets? Oculus Rift has been able to do what we always dreamt of – bring virtual reality gaming right to our eyes!
Things started kicking off after Nintendo introduced the Wii in the 2000's. It led to motion gaming and soon Play Station and Xbox took motion gaming to a new level. With Google Glass, we got the first real glimpse of virtual reality - but the first Google Glass never really made it to the public.
The Story of Oculus Rift
Today, Virtual Reality is the most talked about crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. The Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset allows video games lovers to step inside the virtual world and satiate their gaming spree.
The journey was not very simple. The CEO of Oculus, Mr. Brendan Iribe had an ambitious startup business plan chasing virtual reality - something that has been discussed, debated and dreamt on extensively over the last two decades.
Oculus' dream journey started with a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. There were other startup devices that explored virtual reality before Oculus, but the devices did not really make the cut failing on a number of fronts like synchronization and exhibiting latency.
Oculus indulged with real-time and avid gamers loved the Oculus Rift. To seal the success of the Oculus Rift, Facebook announced a $2 billion purchase tag for the flagship innovation of Oculus.
Where does Oculus Rift score?
In any of the traditional gaming models, the most difficult part is adjusting the latency - you just cannot have a delay in the user feedback and machine recognition. Latency is a problem that has been bugging Microsoft's Kinect even today.
In many ways, Oculus Rift is exactly the technology that the gamers were longing for. With an ultra-low latency and 360 degrees of head tracking, the Oculus Rift allows a seamless look around the virtual world very similar to real life. It is thrilling to observe how small head movements are tracked by the Oculus Rift headset in real time, and delivering an intuitive VR experience.
First person gaming was probably the prime motive of virtual reality devices. There are instances when a character in a game is changing perspective, and it can be captured and experienced flawlessly with the Oculus Rift headset. One can look around the virtual eco-space, run, move with a 360-degree perspective, feel obstacles and do a whole lot more. The feeling is perhaps similar to that of the file “The Matrix”; yes, the Oculus Rift headset will even let you dodge bullets as beautifully rendered in “The Matrix VR”.
In spite of the groundbreaking discovery by Oculus and its latest success story with Facebook, there is still a reality check. The virtual reality gaming experience through Oculus Rift is an expensive product and not very easy to simply “plug and play”. The question is can this product re-invent itself as a consumer-bound gadget that can be accessed by gamers and not by CEOs of multi-national companies? The chief VR scientist who designed the Oculus Rift headset, Mr. Michael Abrash gave some hope in one of his introductory speeches last year. According to him, this innovative virtual reality hardware was set to roll out in a consumer-priced version within a couple of years. In a recent interview at SXSW, Palmer Luckey eluded that the Oculus will launch its consumer version sometime in 2016.
Virtual Reality was a challenge conquered by Oculus, and now the boundaries can be stretched taking the experience beyond our present fantasies. The Oculus Rift headset has single-handedly revived the dreams of hundreds of companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.
So, where else can you use Virtual Reality?
For one, how about using them in movies? Yes, Virtual Reality hardware can now expect an introduction in non-gaming platforms like filmmaking, vocational astronomy courses, and many other entertainment and educational platforms. A recent experience created for the “Insurgent” movie is absolutely breathtaking and immersive on the Oculus Rift. it is clearly an indicator for the future of film and how it can become a more involved experience.
Oculus and Facebook have thrown out a lot of speculations too. There were speculations about what the result would be, and whether the world is set to experience FarmVille on a 360-degree version. All that seems unlikely as Oculus states that the partnership is aimed to help them secure the project and not just further Facebook's interests.
About The Author
David Moskovitz is a Co-Founder at BrainiUX.