Occulus Rift thoughts

actually kids shouldn't use it
-Image by Jacki Morie
     As I mentioned a little while ago, I received an Occulus Rift HMD (head mounted display) to much fanfare in my own head.  Oh it's a party in there.  So far I have tested it with a few demos, they are interesting if mostly just novelty right now.  And I have also tested it at my build the Singularity of Kumiko with the headlamp on in the dark.  That was pretty interesting and immersive, but had to remove my ao and duckwalk around.  Also I could not interact with anything properly, clicking and so on.  Perhaps the biggest issue is that  I can use it for perhaps 15 minutes before I start to feel a bit ill.  Apparently they will be able to fix that with software updates over time.  There was an update a week ago and it seems to have messed up my settings so I have to figure out how to fix that now.  Oh the joys of beta testing.  I think the Occulus has great potential.. in the future.  Right now, as expected, it needs more testing.  Like for example, I read a while ago that children shouldn't use the Occulus rift since their stereoscopic vision is not fully evolved yet.  Someone else sent me a kickstarter page of a guy who wants to live his life, for a month, with the Occulus on 24/7.  Too early buddy, you might seriously mess yourself up by doing that.  But then I guess there is always someone wanting to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel or some other form of attention / validation process.  Wait a bit, make sure it's safe but don't rush to be the first "living" in the Occulus only to have part of your brain fall our your ear on day 23.
"There is a rat in this trench!"
     One of the coolest things so far with the Occulus is looking down and seeing the body of my
avatar where my physical one should be.  You can imagine the types of things this can be used for, like say,  suppose they made a educational model showing the storming of the beaches of Normandy  and they used a variety of things like the stem system, kinect and the Occulus to let students be there to storm it.   Reading an account of the horrors of this event would not be nearly as immediate as experiencing them oneself.  Then combine some sort of consequence if you were to actually (virtually) die in the environment, I am thinking -20% off your test at the end automatically? Yes I would make a rotten teacher.  Imagine if someone shot you in the leg or something equally nasty, and you looked down to see it.  Then you had to properly dress the wound or stitch it up.  The shock of this type of education would, I think, dispel the glorification of war and let people understand to a greater degree what it was really like.  Imagine rushing to a bunker and finding a 14 year old German boy terrified and very human... and having to make a decision in seconds what to do.  It is easier to brush off death when it is just a faceless statistic, but the world would be a better place if they weren't.  The future in education could remove the abstraction and detachment from History class, hmm maybe it is good I do not create curriculum for schools.  Anyway, this is just one small idea for the Occulus or another HMD use, but there are so many options.  Haha actually I just thought of something.  You know how Second Life was
No offense but I changed you into a person from work
depicted exclusively as a sex game by lazy journalists?  I think the Occulus might have to be worried about that same stereotype if they are not careful.  Hmmm Facebook owns them now, ok so they will probably actively promote the potential sex aspects then.  I don't get this picture.. why does he wear it when he is with her?  I am pretty certain she wouldn't find a black box in her face sexy.


Anonymous said…
Oh, I think that the guy has the Occulus Rift on in this photo, because the woman actually has the better imagination. Men have always needed to have crutches. No really, I think it is because a man designed the photo layout.

Oh, it's just a rhetorical statement. You're smart. :D
Lynne Hand said…
I certainly wouldn't use OR in every Sim in SL. Sometimes a bit of separation is a good thing.
Inara Pey said…
I am pretty sure that were I in the position of the woman in that last photo, the guy would pretty rapidly go down in history as the first person to have an Oculus Rift successfully nasally inserted ...

Seriously - great article, and food for thought on the visceral potential for HMDs.

And I agree - the use of such headsets is still something "for the future" (and I think Brendan Iribe of Oculus VR agrees with you as well) - although that future is getting a lot closer.

As you say, we're going to need to let the tech continue to even itself out (Crescent Bay seems to be a huge leap forward in that regard) and become less cumbersome and more ergonomic for more widespread appeal.

Then it'll just be a matter of developers, educators, researchers, etc., helping it to climb out of the games niche it's been largely directed towards.
Elif Ayiter said…
Yep - couldn't agree more. There's quite a ways to go yet with this thing. We have it at work and I tested it there. Very limiting in terms of doing stuff, I thought. Nice for wandering around, but I got the seasickness after about 3 minutes which may also have contributed to my dislike...

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