It may not be ready for consumers just yet, but the Oculus Rift DK2 is certainly an experience.
While we are still in a world of demos, the future looks bright, even though it may leave us feeling a bit dizzy and that slight motion sickness. What it does prove is that immersing within a world of virtual reality will be something that will be very real.
The biggest aspect to take from the experience is the ability to move your head freely to become part of the environment you are within. Walking around the Millennium Falcon to swimming with dolphins underneath the sea, you become adjusted to another world. It is even the little things that make more of an impact, such as moving your head slightly forward to look at the tips of your toes while you are strapped into a rollercoaster ride. This is where it becomes part of those moments you are experience for the first time, but they stay with you, such as the Jurassic Park T-Rex roar or the first few minutes of Avatar.
Whilst I totally understand that the next version of Oculus will be even better, the set-up is not very easy. There was a time light years ago when we were patient for a game to load on the Commodore 64, now we demand a product to be faultless immediately. With something as influential as Oculus it will take time for the specs to be at a level that is truly life like, but what is currently available for developers is ground breaking.
Where we are at the moment, we are within the early conceptual stages of something that will change consumer behaviour. From gaming to education the Oculus experience is something that will become a part of our lives when fully released during 2015.
The headpiece itself is not an easy on the eyepiece of creativity. It still looks like a shoebox strapped to your head, but at these early stages who are we to argue. When you are ‘strapped’ in, it doesn’t feel too heavy and distracting from what you are focusing on, even though you can feel the foam around your cheeks, you know something is fixed to you. Whilst look may not be a thing of beauty, the experience is.
The biggest distraction is the element of motion sickness. Imagine those long car journeys as a child and it brings it all back. If you stand in one place and rotate 360 degrees quickly, then naturally you feel more unpleasant that you did by concentrating on what you were doing. However, there is definitely an element of dizziness and nausea if you wear the headset for some time. I reckon this will become rectified when the consumer product is released. For now the thought of watching a two-hour film or when the gaming element builds momentum, is something that I wouldn’t want to be part of.
When the final product is released it will naturally cause a wave of excitement. When the iPhone was released in 2007 who knew it would change the way we consume information, forever. The Oculus Rift has the potential to be an iconic product of the 21st century.