Yesterday, I finally got to experience something I've been excited about for a few years now - the Oculus Rift. Previously only available to developers, it's been popping up in public demonstrations over the last year or so. I sadly missed out on the Game of Thrones “Climb the Wall” bit last year, but when I heard that there was a demo tied into the release of the new Insidious flick (hitting screens today) running downtown, I made sure I gave it a whirl.
|Not me, though I do own that shirt.|
After finding the booth, signing the waiver(!) and sitting into a comfy, black chair, I donned the goggles and headphones and away I went. When I first heard about the tech, I was concerned about its practical functionality. How heavy was this thing? If I were to have a six/eight/ten-hour gaming marathon, how would my neck fare to having this thing strapped to my head all that time? Also, this whole device will be completely moot, if I couldn't wear my glasses with it.
After putting it on, I was immediately glad to find that the Oculus was extremely lightweight, to the point I hardly noticed I was wearing it. The goggles also fit on my face quite nicely, allowing room for my glasses, yet also still covering my entire field of vision.
Once I was in the experience, I immediately saw the appeal in practice. It's one thing to think of VR as a concept, but one thing to be actually sitting across a table from Lin Shaye in a dusty living room.
|Afternoon tea in the Further.|
I had a legitimate 'wow' moment when I turned my head and saw the rest of the room behind me. The idea of a full three-sixty environment didn't really sink in until that moment.
I was impressed to say the least. With the consumer versions of these products, the Oculus and the Sony's Morpheus set to release in 2016, I say it's about time! After waiting twenty-plus years, the future is finally upon us.
|Lawnmower Man (1992), Arcade (1993) & TV's V.R.5 (1995)|