The virtual-reality device Oculus Rift has become the most funded project on Kickstarter to date. And on March 25th, the notorious tech giant Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, the company behind Oculus Rift.
Although originally conceived as the next ground-breaking gaming platform, Zuckerberg has envisioned other in-home uses, from “a courtside seat at a game” to a seat at a doctor’s office. Developers are continuing to explore its potential, creating an interactive Game of Thrones universe to virtual shopping malls.
It appears that everyone is trying to expand their business into this new and unique interface, and we can only speculate how far this new technology will go. In today’s innovation-driven market, companies may act quicker than consumers can handle.
Here are a few uses for the Rift that seem likely, and possibly unsettling:
As seen in the video above, the man using the Oculus Rift calls up his lady friend to get advice on the handbag he is about to purchase. Even though the video is just a demo, it raises several important questions:
Why isn’t she wearing an Oculus Rift?
How can you Facetime when you’re face is literally inside of the gadget?
Do you just see the eyes?
The greatest thing about video games is the ability to enter another world. But the Oculus Rift may challenge this aspect by fully immersing a gamer into any given scenario. While this may enhance the feeling of skydiving or jumping rooftop to rooftop, it may make some gameplay too intense. Maybe it’s fun to play Call of Duty or GTA because you’re removed from the actual act just enough.
And for the general non-violent game connoisseur, the question remains the same: when does real become too real?
This video below is of the Telepresence Robot, that is controlled by the Oculus Rift and a Wiimote. With the ability to go where man or woman can’t, this robot has marvelous utility, like providing disaster relief in radiation contaminated areas.
But, if used outside of emergency situations, it could get creepy. In the near future, we could see robots as dog walkers, peeping toms, or surrogate prom dates.
Remote Control for Personal Robot of Mass Destruction
It’s a free market, and this shit may be too real.
In the end, we’ll have to wait and see the impact of the Rift. It could be the next earth-shattering medium for human communication, entertainment, and commerce, or it may further separate us from our physical reality. Or both!
Either way, I’m excited to see how it turns out. Order yours today.