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Geekend: Oculus Rift Tourism
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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
12/29/2014 | 12:24:34 PM
Re: Rift realism
@Gary_El- Not smells! Any time someone makes good smells, someone is going to be tempted to make bad smells. I don't want an 8th grader's version of virtual reality. :)
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 10:29:58 AM
A great interactive movie is still just a movie
VR and actual reality don't really compare yet. Part of going to exotic locations isn't just to see stuff but to experience it. It's the quirky tour guide coupled with the other tourists from different continents comparingtravel notes. It's the "not flat" road that is more vertical than not and so twisty you're not sure you'll ever get back to your hotel. Or the minor hysterics you get when you realize the train you got on is going away from your destination. it's eating/smelling the ethnic cuisine in the market stalls and having vendors hawk their wares as you trod down cobbled stone streets.

VR can get you to see places you may never be able to physically get to due to accessibility or affordability, but it can only ever be an immersive movie of a destination until it can incorporate all of the senses and more than that incorporate the people of that destination ala massive multiplayer games. VR teasers sound like a great way to get people to get a place on their bucket list, but I don't lknow of many people that could go to a place but won't after a bit of VR.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 10:24:50 PM
Re: Rift realism
Ah, but it wouldn't end there. You would also need to simulate smell, because we "taste"food almost as much through smell as through taste. And, I can't think of any way to imitate the feeling of swallowing and sensation of fullness you get through eating. So, no help for your diet any time soon, unfortunately.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
12/24/2014 | 12:26:16 PM
Re: Rift realism
@gary_el- It would really help my diet if we could simulate taste. If I could "eat" a candy bar without the candy I'd be very happy.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 5:08:40 PM
Re: Oculus Rift Tourism
The stuff happening in this space is nothing short of amazing. Like Whoopty, I've seen plenty of tech demos and such making the rounds, and they never fail to impress me - but I haven't actually used an Oculus Rift personally, so it's much appreciated to have that insight. I would have imagined the opposite effect; that the more you use the device, the more you get used to it's quirks and the easier it becomes to get immersed. Like Dave said, I wonder if that's a case of the current offerings (software-wise) not taking full advantage of the hardware, rather than a fault in the hardware. I'm sure this is not the last time this topic will appear on the Geekend, so please keep us posted on your impressions as new stuff comes out, Whoopty.

As for virtual tourism, I think the sky's the limit. We talk about 'hyperconvergence' when it comes to networking hardware, but here we see something like that happening in a different space. They mention the use of drone cameras and other technology that combines with the Oculus to do something that seems impossible. Gary_EL mentions bandwidth, and all the myriad technologies on that end come into play here as well. Most people that have expected to be underwhelmed by the Oculus have said the opposite after using it (in my reading). Let's not forget that you could use this technology to visit fictional and physically impossible places as if they were British Colombia. You could hang out on the moon, or in Middle-Earth. Like the mobile revolution of some years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if all this creeps up on us faster than we realize. The technology is all there.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2014 | 2:15:42 PM
Re: Rift realism
We already have sight and sound, and by wearing transducers on our arms, torso and legs, we can soon have touch. It's taste and smell that are still off in the future. Ultimately, I think bandwidth and speed-of-light limitations will be the only real barriers to this exciting idea.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
12/12/2014 | 12:25:25 PM
Re: Rift realism
@Whoopty- Interesting. My problem with the VR helmet has always been the fact that I'm essentially blindfolded. If I was using it for gaming or another type of physical experience, I'm very likely to injure myself or others as I flail around my living room. I haven't had enough experience with one to get the effect you describe. I wonder if that has to do with content or our own brain realizing reality is more fun.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
12/12/2014 | 12:18:41 PM
Rift realism
I've spent quite a bit of time with both the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 at trade shows and later in my own home when they arrived (I was rather excited). 

While I agree to an extent that the experience can feel very real, after prolonged usage you do start to disconnect with it a little. It can still be incredibly fun and immersive, but beyond the first few hours it does lose its sheen. I don't doubt that one day we will get truly immersive virtual reality, but really, until it's plugging right into our brain it doesn't replace the real thing. 

Maybe, if you're talking about a generation raised on VR, that has less real world experience? But still giving them something they can touch and feel is more immersive than any VR in the near future. 


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