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Are we "Ready Player's Earth2" ?

Ever since the movie 'Ready Player One' took the world by storm, there has been a flurry of VR/AR initiatives, in the hopes of bringing mankind closer to what many believe is just fantasy.


A multi-part article : Part 1

Hopeful outcome from reading this article: To empower the reader with comprehensive knowledge and tools, in order to understand and make calculated decisions on the journey towards a "Ready Player One" experience!


(Image License: Personal Use)

 

Humans have an innate desire to seek out new ways of exploration, entertainment and education, I call it life's "Triple E". Having the tools to do so has always been a challenge. Technological limitations have held us back and often confined us to physical aspects of the triple E. Not anymore! Now we can reach for the stars, explore new worlds, dive into the vast depths of the oceans. We can climb mountains, go on safaris, explore caves, visit landmarks meet friends from across the globe, play shooter games, drive cars, battle giant robots and so much more all from our living room! Or can we? We can do all that to a certain extent but not the way it is envisioned in Ready Player One the movie. However, we are close, but we are not exactly there yet. Let us explore together the possibilities of potentially achieving such dreams with the technology that we have today.

There is no doubt, we are on the precipice of a technological revolution!

The basic requirements for total virtual immersion are:

  • VR Goggles/Headset

  • Brainwave Interface

  • Haptic Body Suit

  • Haptic Gloves

  • Suitless Tracking

  • Machine Learning

  • VR Treadmill

  • A VR World!

Let us delve deeper into every requirement.

(Image License: Personal Use)

 

VR Goggles/Headset

(The Past)

It is not common knowledge that the first attempt to create a commercially viable Virtual experience actually started in the early 1960s. Morton Heilig who is known as the Father of Virtual reality had a number of patents credited to his name. Two of those patents made worldwide headlines, namely 'The Sensorama' and 'The Telesphere Mask'.


The Sensorama machine ( patent # 3,050,870)


American cinematographer and inventor Morton Heilig described his vision of a multi-sensory theatre in a 1955 paper entitled "The Cinema of the Future."



Telesphere Mask


Morton’s first patent, the Telesphere Mask under patent # 2,955,156 was patented in 1960. It is the first-ever head-mounted display, which provides stereoscopic

(3-D) TV, wide vision, and true stereo sound.


The Sensorama machine

(The Present)

To discuss every milestone in VR Goggle development would turn this article into a wiki, so suffice it to say that it is quite clear that we have come a long way. The following is a synopsis of those breakthroughs:

Valve Index

The best of the best VR headsets – but good luck getting one (Image credit: Valve)


The Valve Index is the next-generation VR headset we’ve been waiting for, but the Steam VR platform on which the headset depends is still capricious, and painfully hard to troubleshoot. At $999 / £919 (about AU$1,425) for the full package, Valve’s high-powered headset is an expensive portal to the future – and one that we’ll use almost exclusively going forward – but it’s powered by decades-old software.

FOR

  • Wider field of view

  • 'Knuckle' controllers

  • Room-scale VR

  • Great audio

AGAINST

  • Still uses base stations

  • SteamVR has serious issues

  • Lackluster game selection

  • Glasses do get in the way

Ref: Nick Pino, Valve Index Review, TechRadar, accessed 7 March 2021.


 

Oculus Quest 2

An all-in-one virtual reality system for everyone.

(Image credit: Future)

Lightweight, comfortable, and powerful enough to run impressively detailed virtual reality experiences, the Oculus Quest 2 is the best VR headset that Oculus has made so far. And, depending on your perspective on raw power versus portability and comfort, it might just be the best VR headset ever, too.

FOR

  • Incredibly immersive experiences

  • Comfortable weight

  • Easy to use

AGAINST

  • Requires Facebook account linking

  • Can still cause motion sickness




Ref: Gerald Lynch. Oculus Quest 2 review, TechRadar, accessed 8 march 2021

 

PlayStation VR

Virtual reality has made it to consoles, and it's stunning

PlayStation VR is an affordable introduction to quality VR. Many of the experiences aren't as crisp as the ones found on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but, for a system that uses a PS4 instead of an expensive PC gaming rig, we're not complaining. Plus, a recent price reduction makes it even more appealing.


FOR

  • Affordable

  • Near PC-quality performance

  • Good selection of games

AGAINST

  • Doesn't come with required accessories

  • Poor job sealing out light

  • Spotty motion controller tracking

Ref: Nick Pino. PlayStation VR review, TechRadar, accessed 8 march 2021

 

In conclusion, there is no clear cut first prize winner, only options to choose from depending on an individual's preferences. There are other numerous VR headgear on the market today, yet these three stand out above the rest. Kindly share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below, so that we may all gain insight from various perspectives.


Looking forward to continuing this journey of research and discovery with you my dear reader, into what can make us Ready Player's Earth 2 !


Silver_K of E2DC - Earth 2's First Social Media Platform (edited 8 March 2021 19:49 CET)


Next in Part 2: The Brainwave Interface!

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