Oculus Rift gives the user a better feel of the virtual world, redefines the video game industry and has the potential to make an impact in architecture and emergency response training
Do you remember the movie, Spy Kids 3D – Game Over? Alexa Vega (who plays Carmen Cortez) was immersed in a three-dimensional online game. She has a gadget that covers her eyes and helps her enter the virtual world in the game. That gadget similar to that is now available, called Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift made its debut in 2012. Back then, it had a large number of flaws — latency, response time, and other important aspects. In Game Developers Conference in 2014, they displayed the latest prototype (they call it Crystal Cove) that did cause a lot of excitement. In the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013, the Rift had a number of problems that are now fixed the Crystal Cove prototype.
Before the Oculus Rift came into existence, virtual reality headsets have been available in the market since the 90s. But the technology was not up to the mark. While creating the Rift, Palmer Luckey (the founder of the company that makes Oculus Rift) found out that he could use smart phone components to create brilliant effects that would make the virtual world more fascinating than the block — like worlds seen through available headsets.
Rift gives you the impression that you are actually in those worlds. The gadget follows the movement of your head, making it easier to look at a tree in the virtual world or at a cloud. Such is the reality of the graphics that you will not have a difficult time believing you are there.
This gadget redefines the video game industry, and is likely to take off from there. But, if used diligently, it can be applied in architecture, emergency response training, tele-presence and CAD.
Older virtual reality technologies have been in use for quite some time. There were various reasons that led to the failure of virtual reality gadgets previously. But things are different now. Although some testers have complained of feeling nauseated after using Oculus Rift, the makers say that they have taken care of the problem in the latest prototype.
Facebook has recently bought Oculus Rift for a whopping $2 billion. $400 million was paid in cash, while $1.6 billion was in Facebook stocks. Although Rift has been made for video gaming, the people at Facebook believe that it has a greater potential. In fact, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that after the great transition from computers to mobile devices, virtual reality will be the next revolution in computing. Oculus Rift is set to grow.
Sony, after acknowledging Oculus Rift as its inspiration, has come up with a virtual reality headset for people to use while playing on their PS4. The company is also collaborating with NASA to create virtual worlds simulating Mars from the images captured by the Mars Rover.
If you are a technology enthusiast, and love playing in the virtual world, go ahead and order your Oculus Rift.
(Ayyappa Nagubandi is an entrepreneur, inventor, co-founder and CEO of Possibillion Technologies)