Andreessen’s take on AR vs. VR reveals a kind of chauvinism. He says your environment is inherently uninteresting if you’re unlucky enough to live anywhere other than Silicon Valley, a college campus, or a major city. And virtual reality, he says, is the cure.
On the other hand, he’s right about the importance of audio. A voice in your ear that you can interact with every waking moment. That’s a kind of augmented reality already.
Businesses are starting to realize nobody’s interested in VR. Seems like we have to go through this every 10-15 years with whatever technology is hot at the time, starting with text-based MUDs and MUSHes and MOOs in the 80s. (Joshua Topolsky/The Outline)
For me at least, that’s not the most important question. The better question: Why are you in virtual reality (or using Facebook)? If you’re using it because your real life is crap and the virtual world is the only place where you can be happy, then you have a problem.
The novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline has become the template for the present generation of VR developers, the way William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash were for past generations. The characters in Ready Player One spend all their time in VR because real life is a dystopia; there’s nothing for them there. Wagner James Au, who wrote the Rosedale blog post I linked to here, makes these points elsewhere.
Meanwhile, in the real world now, most people have diminishing prospects. But we have plenty of gadgets!
I say fix the real world and then deal with the philosophical problems of virtual reality another day.
It’s a big room fitted with sensors. The user wears a head-mounted display which projects a virtual reality image. Sensors in the room tracks the user’s location in 3D space, while showing the user a realtime image of a virtual-reality landscape that the user can move through.
The simulation uses a kind of trompe-l’œil trick to make the space seem larger than the room itself. (You might say the holodeck is bigger on the inside, if you want to mix your Star Trek with Doctor Who.) The simulation might show a street with a very slight curve in it, imperceptible to the user, who thinks he’s walking in a very long straight line.
The Cisco community hashed out the latest advances in networking technology in San Francisco. We were there with our cameras.
That’s me trying out the Oculus Rift virtual reality googles below. Pretty tame simulation — but I was still impressed.
From the article:
Cisco set up a demo showing how network operators can go into cyberspace to monitor the network and diagnose problems. In the demo, your avatar walks around a cartoon data center, looking at servers and switches. Information appears on floating (virtual) screens, or on an iPad in the avatar’s hands. At one point, I was looking at a virtual iPad inside a simulated data center, showing data about a simulated network running on a real Cisco UCS server on the real Cisco Live show network, noted David Ward, Cisco Senior Vice President, Chief Architect, and Chief Technology Officer-Development. “You’re full Malkovich now!” he added. When I asked him whether the demo is practical, he immediately replied, “No, but it’s f—ing cool!” Fair enough…
To help you get where you’re going in-game, a number of omnidirectional treadmills have popped up over the last year or two. The latest addition to their ranks is something called Infinadeck, and it could very well be the best of the bunch.
What sets Infinadeck apart from treadmills like Virtuix Omni is that it doesn’t come with any special shoes or other gear. You simply hop on and start touring around in whatever VR world you’d like. As well as being more convenient, this means that any of your friends who want to test out your rig can play too. The Infinadeck also has a larger surface than its competition, allowing you to take longer, more natural strides.
With a surface that moves beneath your feet (as opposed to a slick surface that eliminates friction), the Infinadeck can actually alter your perception of the ground you’re walking along. Climbing virtual hills will feel harder than strolling down a lane. Walking down a steep slope will have you worrying about your footing.
No information on pricing to back up the claim it’s “affordable.”