It seems like every few years we get a new technology that’s billed as the “next big thing.” In reality, most of these are just ways for electronics companies to try and sell us gadgets we don’t need (I’m looking at you 3D TV). So it’s not really surprising that many people think this of virtual reality headsets, such as the Oculus Rift.
I disagree though – I genuinely think virtual reality IS going to be the next big thing. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to have problems.
I’ve used the Rift several times, and while I’ve been impressed with its technically, there are a few things holding it back:
- Lack of a “killer app” to really sell it to the core demographic of gamers.
- The resolution is quite high enough to suspend disbelief for long (at least in my opinion)
- The cost
These might seem like pretty big problems, and they are if we’re talking about mass adoption. But the good news is that I think they are easily solved.
A great game or other app will come along for virtual reality, but I think Valve and other major developers could really help this along. I appreciate that many third party developers don’t want to invest huge time and money into a game that has a tiny platform adoption rate, but either Oculus or Valve could really step up here. Imagine Half Life 3 that’s built from the ground up for the Vive – a lot of people would be mad, but it could be incredible (and the big step forward I believe Valve is waiting for to release HL3).
Resolution is another problem that will be solved over time. I haven’t been keeping up on the latest Vive developments, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the next model has significantly higher resolution than the current model. It’s not a major problem at the moment either.
Cost is something that is going to be more difficult to solve. The price of the headsets will come down, as with every technology. But it’s going to be a few years before people have gaming rigs powerful enough to run the Vive, and by then the specs will probably have increased for the latest version. When you need to spend £1000+ AND buy the headset, this is a major barrier to adoption.
To be honest, I don’t have a solution for this problem. I believe the tech will become cheaper over time, but if the Vive or Oculus keeps improving the relative cost may stay around the same.
Regardless of these problems, I can’t imagine a world in ten years time that isn’t massively influenced by virtual reality. The possibilities are too big in both entertainment and industry – and there are some major players who simply will not let it fail.
Have you ever stopped to wonder just how much technology we take for granted on a daily basis?
While everyone focuses on the cool stuff – virtual reality, IoN, self-driving cars – we forget that we’re individually using more tech on a daily basis than NASA had available to them just a few decades ago! There’s the old fact that your smart phone has more power than the entire moon landing mission, which is incredible when you think about it.
I always marvel at how easily we forget how much technology has made a difference to our lives though…
Take the humble iron. We’ve all got one, and without it we’d be forced to use some sort of press system just to get non-crinkled clothes. Modern irons are much more than just a heated metal plate though. The best models provide powerful streams of steam that glide over all kinds of fabric, leaving it crease free in minimal time.
Take the Morphy Richards Jet Stream Elite as an example (see the video above if you haven’t used one before). It’s a beast of an iron with a 2400 power supply, automatic cleaning function so it isn’t affected by limescale, an iron base, 2.2L capacity and 170g pressure when it comes to steam. Most people would say irons are boring – I saw that’s an incredible example of engineering gone into a simple iron!
It’s not just irons though, we take everything for granted. The technology in our kitchens – microwaves, ovens, fridges and so on – make our lives easier than ever before in human history. The PC I’m writing this in would have been unthinkably powerful just a few decades ago.
In short, we’re spoiled when it comes to gadgets and tech. And long may it continue.
I just read on Twitter that there could be one million people STILL using their Galaxy Note 7 – even though these phones are basically mini bombs!
So just in case a Note 7 owner stumbles across this post, here’s a video on why you should get rid of it NOW!
Hello and welcome to my newest project!
If you know me, you’re already aware of how geeky I get about new gadgets and technology. It doesn’t matter whether it’s VR, a new gadget for the kitchen or just a cool game – I’m a geek through and through.
My goal with this site is to provide a fun and up-to-date overview of the world of tech. This isn’t a news site though, it’s more of a personal project, so don’t expect daily updates. Instead I’m just going to write about cool things when I feel like readers might be interested.
I anticipate that most of the content on this site will be about upcoming tech that I think could change the world. The IoT and VR are two examples, but I imagine I’ll be writing on a whole host of topics including new gaming platforms, self-driving cars and much more. Sometimes the coolest tech is stuff you can already buy though, so I’ll also write about consumer electronics when I think there’s something interesting to cover.
The best thing about a blog is interacting with readers, so please leave comments! I’ll always get back to you (even though it might take a while depending on how busy I am at work).
Look out for the first post soon!