VR/Virtual Reality unleashed! state-of-the-art 2016

hi all. have been waiting for an opportune moment to unleash this post, collecting links for probably close to 2+yrs. VR/ virtual reality is a massive gamechanger/ disruptive technology. as a teenager several decades ago (ugh) fantasized about VR, and now its finally here. the final designated trigger for this post: was wandering around a great mall & walked into the gamestop and sony VR (PS4) was sitting around in boxes, and also samsung (gear) VR was in the best buy cell phone store. (old geezer me remembers a time when best buy didnt sell cell phones!) we’ve certainly come a long way!

tried out oculus rift demo about a year+½ ago. tried out gear VR a few mos ago. its all fantastic. may buy the sony VR for ps4 fairly soon, am debating. might buy it just for the battlezone game! actually it was probably mostly battlezone by atari released ~1980 that started my near-pre-adolescent VR dreams aflutter.

my only disappointment is that right now the pixels are a bit blocky in the headsets (only in certain regions, and its strange/ funky/ slightly offputting how the pixel distortion varies by location). we have eyepopping super-high-resolution/ supersharp HDR 4k tvs but headsets seem an entire (or several!) generation(s) behind in terms of pixel quality/ sharpness/ color range/ contrast etc… an idea of mine: could someone soon create a hemispheric screen with curved pixels on its interior surface? that might be nearly optimal as far as (perceived) resolution.

do remember just a few years ago when facebook bought oculus rift. its amazing how far/fast its gone in just a few years starting out as a kickstarter. if there was ever a grassroots “early adopter” funded system, VR is it. notice that big corporations were actually late to the game and it took a visionary/ plucky/ non-corporate iconoclast like palmer lucky to realize/ tap into this market.

so far facebook is the one to beat with all the huge momentum.[a] how utterly cool is acquiring carmack legendary game hero along with oculus rift?

google seems to be a close 2nd with magic leap as far as buzz, but its not clear how far away from market they are.[b]

there is a little buzz on microsoft + hololens but it seems like microsoft does not do well as a hardware company typically (eg cell phones/ nokia merger).[c]

movies are a big deal.[d] there was already a sundance VR festival.

some of the 1st games are already released and reviews are very positive.[e]

it looks like holographic technology, long on the horizon, might also finally take off in a few years and that will be another level of gamechanger without a headset, but presumably it will be very difficult to mass produce these devices, maybe more so than headsets.[f]

there will be massive improvements in hardware and big companies like IBM, Apple, Nvidia, Nokia are getting into the game in big ways with big bets.[g] VR is a industry-shifting technology that comes along only once a generation, to me it may be as important as cell (smart) phones or the web. theres also a lot of innovation going on in new startups.[h]

what does it all mean? commentators are trying to figure it all out as we speak.[i]

its really great to be alive to finally witness all this. my only qualm is what might be called “screenitis”. are we messing up our real world lives by spending so much screentime? VR will only increase that. clearly theres also a entirely new highly intense form of gamer/ porn addiction waiting right in the wings. (and its a sort of tricky psychological/ near-philosophical question how “screenitis” is the same or different than addiction!)

nevermind, whatever! its all here just in time to splurge for holiday season! 😮

a. facebook/ oculus/ gear
b. google/ magic leap
c. microsoft/ hololens
d. movies
e. games
f. holograms
g. hardware
h. startups
i. reviews/ analysis
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