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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 02:09 PM
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Default VR Headsets - the future?

The wife and I went for a nerdy roadtrip yesterday to go demo the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. It was a very, very cool experience. We only got a small sampling programs but I found it to be very impressive. We got to virtually walk around the deck of a sunken ship, do some 3D painting, and play a bare-bones first-person-shooter. The immersion factor is quite high, better than I expected. I enjoyed the painting most of all. The ability to effectively summon three-dimensional strands of color into existence from nothing and then walk around (or through) them is extremely cool. I'd love to try the system with a full-fledged 3D modeling program. The Vive is available for a demo in various Microsoft stores, at least in the US and maybe abroad (not sure). If you're close enough to reach one, it's worth the trip, IMO.

ANYWAY, for the purpose of the thread, I'm wondering what the future holds for this technology. Are VR headsets the future? Will "everyone" have one some day soon the same way "everyone" has a television now? Or is this a fad that will either fade away or be limited to a niche group of hardcore gamers?

Personally, as exciting as it was to try out the Vive VR experience, for regular use I'm more interested in augmented reality technology. I.E. Lenses that show you the real world with virtual overlays. Google Glass (or whatever they call it now) tried to move things in that direction. The Vive could potentially go there, as it includes a forward facing digital camera. The other major VR players do not.

What do you think? Would/will you invest in a VR system when they're available?

Here are some of the players:

HTC Vive ($800, plus you'll need a computer powerful enough to run it)
https://www.htcvive.com/us/

Oculus Rift ($600, also needs a powerful computer)
https://www.oculus.com/en-us/

Samsung's Gear VR ($100, requires a compatible smartphone)
[This one is a qualatatively different experience, since it only tracks your head movements, so you can't walk around a 3D space or interact with the virtual world the way you can with the Vive or Rift - but maybe the cheaper, more limited experience is the way to go?]
http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/wearables/gear-vr/

There are others, but i think these are the big three at the moment. I'm hoping to get a chance to try out the Gear VR later today or tomorrow.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

I tend to be a "late adopter" on this type of thing. So I won't say that no, I wouldn't use it, as that might be akin to saying "no I won't use email" 20 years ago, but I'm not about to run out and pop on one.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
ANYWAY, for the purpose of the thread, I'm wondering what the future holds for this technology. Are VR headsets the future? Will "everyone" have one some day soon the same way "everyone" has a television now? Or is this a fad that will either fade away or be limited to a niche group of hardcore gamers?
Historically speaking, every new technology developed (film camera, movie cams, video cams, digital cams, internet, etc) has been initially been market driven by porn. Porn is the application that mostly drives early adopters of these technologies. I don't expect VR headsets to be any different.

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Personally, as exciting as it was to try out the Vive VR experience, for regular use I'm more interested in augmented reality technology. I.E. Lenses that show you the real world with virtual overlays. Google Glass (or whatever they call it now) tried to move things in that direction. The Vive could potentially go there, as it includes a forward facing digital camera. The other major VR players do not.
I think these are two entirely different things being mushed together. Augmented reality glasses like Google Glasses is very much along the lines of what the military has been doing and thus is very typical technology development. I expect this line of development to continue, but the trend here is cyborgish (your own HUD) which is where the military is going.

The VR headset is a totally different object than 'augmented reality' thing. They may be similar in the technology at this stage, but I think they will diverge very much into two different applications entirely, developed for entirely different purposes. I'd expect VR to be the more market successful since it has two built-in large markets already (porn and gamers) just waiting for the technology to mature. The whole 'augmented reality' thing would have to create a market for itself (beyond military application) and without a ready market available, product development will likely be slower.

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What do you think? Would/will you invest in a VR system when they're available?
I'm rarely an early adopter of technologies (except computer PC which I had a Com64 so I was an early adopter of that), but as soon as the product is developed for mass market, I'm likely to buy it as just another electronic toy.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

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I tend to be a "late adopter" on this type of thing. So I won't say that no, I wouldn't use it, as that might be akin to saying "no I won't use email" 20 years ago, but I'm not about to run out and pop on one.
Yeah, I won't be picking one of these up any time soon either. It's far outside my price range and, regardless, I don't actually have the time to use it (nor the space in our house, for that matter. Optimally, you'd want to be able to clear at least a 10x10 floor space).

But maybe in a few years, if the price comes down and some compelling software comes out.

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I think these are two entirely different things being mushed together. Augmented reality glasses like Google Glasses is very much along the lines of what the military has been doing and thus is very typical technology development. I expect this line of development to continue, but the trend here is cyborgish (your own HUD) which is where the military is going.

The VR headset is a totally different object than 'augmented reality' thing. They may be similar in the technology at this stage, but I think they will diverge very much into two different applications entirely, developed for entirely different purposes. I'd expect VR to be the more market successful since it has two built-in large markets already (porn and gamers) just waiting for the technology to mature. The whole 'augmented reality' thing would have to create a market for itself (beyond military application) and without a ready market available, product development will likely be slower.
I agree that they're substantially different. However, I think the AR tech has a larger potential market, if only someone would do a better job of implementing and selling it.

By its nature, the VR systems demand a substantial dedicated time commitment. It's difficult to multitask if the goal is to be in a separate reality. They require a substantial amount of dedicated physical space and that you be able to effectively tune out the real world. I can see it replacing a TV monitor or being used for select dedicated purpose (video-conferencing would be massively improved), but it's hard to imagine it ever being the sort of always-on, whole-life-altering sort of technology that, e.g., smartphones have become.

AR systems are ideal for exactly that. Something that is always-on, never (or rarely) demanding your whole attention but subtly improving/altering/expanding everything else you're doing anyway.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

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I agree that they're substantially different. However, I think the AR tech has a larger potential market, if only someone would do a better job of implementing and selling it.
A bigger potential market than porn and video games?

I don't think that's possible!

I certainly agree that there is a potential market for "AR" but I'm pretty sure it pales beside "VR" at least in the next decade or two. After that, who knows what technology may be available.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

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A bigger potential market than porn and video games?

I don't think that's possible!
Certainly bigger than video games. Compare the number of people who own smartphones vs the number who own gaming consoles.

As to porn...(1) I'm not sure of the extent to which it creates markets for new technology vs the extent to which it later dominates/expands already adopted technology, and (2) regardless, I'm not convinced that it wouldn't be just as effective at driving a market for AR. One doesn't have to think too hard to imagine implementations with that tech as well.
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Old Apr 28th 2016, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

I've been hearing that Virtual Reality is the next big thing for at least thirty years. But admittedly it's a lot closer to reality (no pun intended) than it used to be. In fact, it's a hot topic in the simracing world (of which I'm a proud member). The advocates are very vocal about it and practically demanding developers to implement it yesterday. But I remain unconvinced. Apart from the steep price there is the poor resolution. That is, in comparison with a triple screen setup which is also very immersive for racing.

Other than that, and purely personally, I already don't like having a headphone on my head (*) and I think such a VR set would be worse.

(*) E.g. Earlier tonight my poor neighbours had to endure two hours of a '69 Ford Mustang Boss 302's V8
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Old Apr 28th 2016, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

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Certainly bigger than video games. Compare the number of people who own smartphones vs the number who own gaming consoles.
Oh dear, you forgot all about the master race (aka the PC gamers).
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Old Apr 28th 2016, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

Augmented reality strikes me as a bigger potential as one day it may be something that is constant throughout every waking (and maybe sleeping who knows) moment.

No matter what I doubt I will be watching porn 24/7.
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Old Apr 29th 2016, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: VR Headsets - the future?

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No matter what I doubt I will be watching porn 24/7.
By the standards of some radical sects, YOU ALREADY ARE!!!
Any time you're around a woman, anyway.
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