VR: Not Ready for Prime Time

Today the NYTimes posted this

Mr. Chen is reviewing the first games for Oculus Rift, the virtual reality, or VR, system released by Facebook on Monday. He does so with a certain crabby excitement: It requires a $1,500 computer-and-goggles setup that is something of an eyesore, the rig doesn’t fit, and some of the early games don’t feel as if they need this elaborate production.

In other words, it feels like the early days in most path-breaking technologies. A little-noticed quality of the future is that it arrives consisting mostly of the past. All innovations consist of things already around us, with a few innovations — and people, even video game designers, interact with them using the rules they already know.

It took about 40 years after the invention of the printing press for paper folding to commonly create smaller, cheaper volumes. In the early days of cars, people drove “horseless carriages,” fearful of travel at a ripping 20 miles an hour. The first web pages looked like cluttered magazines. In every case, it took awhile to learn the rules of the new tech, and then embed them into the product.

That seems to be where VR is now, here but not yet at home. Mr. Chen likes what he sees, but is waiting for more content, delivered better, and using features like motion controllers that will show up later this year.

And once again, despite years of hype while this product was in development, and a full court press of marketing over the last year? 18 months? VR is out and not showing well and not being a worthwhile experience.  Worse, another expensive toy, like Glasses and Watches that only a few can afford and that won’t precisely take over the world, but will gain some incremental foothold.  

I think it will be fun either way; however, this article equating it to all technologies that took awhile to catch hold seems to assume that all are unknowing and willing to believe anything.  But then they are reading a post on VR.

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