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Virtual Reality Predictions For 2016 and Beyond ( 106

An anonymous reader writes: 2015 was an undeniably huge year in Virtual Reality, breaking down the doors and setting the stage for an all-out 2016 consumer VR frenzy. The adoption of VR is not simply like ‘just another’ new device, not like a new aspect ratio for display panels, not like just an upgraded generation of gaming console, but a fundamentally new kind of technology that enables a new kinds of experiences that haven’t before been possible or comparable to anything else we’ve had (in the consumer market at least). Here is an article of some of my predictions for the coming years. What are your predictions?
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Virtual Reality Predictions For 2016 and Beyond

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  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @01:44AM (#51220315)
    There...I said it.
    • by Adriax ( 746043 )

      I don't even have to search google to confidently say someone has made a VR-tan and NSFW images of it.
      You're probably 20 years late on that prediction.

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      That is already available and sounds like it could be fun(ny): []

    • VR tech for rule 34 is being obsoleted by sexbots []. Why settle for video images when you can defy Mr. Whipple and squeeze the Charmin [].
    • by seoras ( 147590 )

      Media technology has seen quick adoption due to making porn accessible.
      Look at the Betamax -v- VHS war which Sony lost due to their prudish stance towards porn.
      Arguably the uptake of home internet may well have been driven by porn too.

      Prediction. circa~2036.
      She: Are you wearing vr-contacts?
      You: Eh... Yeah... I forgot to take them out before we got into bed.

      A whole new meaning to the term "beer goggles". ;)

  • the same year as the "year of the Linux desktop". ;)

    • And that is probably be never. With so many devices launching around the same time, it is likely that the first big one will get all the attention. If anything goes wrong with it, everyone else will have a hard time to convince the people that VR is cool again.

      The main trouble I see is that a high spec computer is needed for Oculus Rift (thus leaving most laptop users out). The headset even needs 3 or 4 USB plugs. Sony somehow thinks the PS4, with most games running at 30fps, is beefy enough for the task. I

  • When Mario VR comes out everyone will go "Oh yeah, that's how to do it". Nintendo's real strength is gameplay. Stories and graphics were never their focus. But they showed the world how to control a character in 3rd person, how to z-lock, and about every other thing that makes gaming work.
    They are never the first. But there is just something about them that makes games respond how you think they should. VR will be no different.

    • Just like the did with the Virtuaboy, right?
      • Just like the did with the Virtuaboy, right?

        Virtual Boy comes from a time when Japanese companies brought out weird shit. They still do, but now they keep it in Japan. (Whatever happens in Japan... winds up on the internet. But they still don't sell it outside. Boonga boonga!

      • by Zobeid ( 314469 )

        Same answer I give to everybody who brings up the Virtual Boy. . . .

        Virtual Boy wasn't VR. Virtual Boy had no connection with VR aside from the word "virtual". Nintendo: "Hey, let's slap the word virtual on this turkey, and these idiot kids will think it has actually something to do with virtual reality, and they'll buy it! Hahaha!" Yeah, how did that work out? Turns out the kids aren't so dumb.

        (I've got the feeling I'll be cut-and-pasting this a lot.)

  • Really amazing, utterly astounding VR will arrive in all its glory when it's powered by nuclear fusion. ;-)

    • Maybe we'll eventually see tracking, framerates and latency good enough to avoid motion sickness. For many of us, 15 minutes in today's best VR gear is a quick ticket to a day's worth of virtual stomach flu (no fever, no contagion, just the sensations). It sucks, but it's physiological reality.

      So, until that magical day, VR for me is a really unpleasant weight-loss tool, and not much else.

      • That's pretty much the size of it. And I wouldn't be surprised if, as they get closer to being nearly indistinguishable from the real world, the remaining small discrepancies will trigger nausea in more people.

      • Let's hope they get the problems solved. I would dearly love to spend a couple of hours in some totally immersive alternate reality.

  • So they connected 2 small monitors with lever, after that they told everyone that's MUST HAVE product so they can make some money of it. And message is spreading like a virus. Really it's getting worse every year with this hype about everything.
    • Google Cardboard is MADE OF CARDBOARD. I don't think this is a plot by the cardboard industry. And it really is pretty cool.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        No, it's definitely Big Paper and the Pulp Industry looking to take over the world with mind-control. You just don't recognize the signs! You and the sheeple are destined to be ruled by those who would have you call them by no title other than Master.

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      The timeline in the article is really fast about some of the adoption of technologies.

      But you know what they say about predictions:
      most people are short term much to optimistic and long term to pessimistic.

      If they can fix the sickness problems for basically everyone, which need very low latency hardware and probably some tricks, then maybe adoption is going to be high. Before that, I think it's not going to play out in the timeline the article mentioned.

      • They couldn't even make 3D TVs, which have high refresh rates, no latency issues, and no head tracking, acceptable to the public.
    • So they glued together a small touch lcd, computer, radio and battery, and they tell you it's a must have product? And Apple weren't even the first to do it. And yet... they were right. Point is: Apple didn't make the first smart phone but they perhaps (weasel word inserted to avoid discussion about that topic) made the first usable one. Same is happening with 3D and VR. It's not just the price coming down, the quality being improved, or the usability getting better, it's all of those. Until now VR had bee
      • "still offering plenty of 3D movies" ... not so much any more. 3d movies have come and gone for more than half a century, and they're still not all that mainstream.
        • A quick peak at my local cinema's lineup:
          - Star Wars TFA
          - The Hunger Games Mockingjay 2
          - Point Break
          - In the heart of the sea

          - Bon Bini Holland
          - Mannenharten
          - Spectre
          - The Hateful Eight
          - Bridge of spies
          - Krampus
          - Burnt

          Pretty mainstream I'd say, especially in the big ticket action genre, which has a lot of potential benefit from 3D. Drama or comedy not so much.
          • Of the 12 movies showing at the Imax 2 km away, only 3 are 3D, and one of them is also showing in regular 2d as well.
  • Seriously, VR, even if it eventually will work well (not in 2016, that is certain), is just a gradual change, and for many things not even an improvement. The thing is, VR takes a lot out of you with regards to concentration. Some "realistic" games have people tired out after 5 minutes. The other thing is that VR does not mitigate bad writing, boring content and non-engaging characters at all. Hailing it as the the second coming is just unmitigatedly stupid. Also, like for example 3D content, VR has failed

  • by nr ( 27070 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:32AM (#51220929) Homepage

    I'm one of these that will grab the consumer model of Occulus Rift and build a brand new spanking rig to fit it. I figure Intel, nVidia, AMD and PC hardware vendors will be happy as it will drive hardware sales of new PC gear like crazy. VR will put good use of latest stuff like AVX-512, DDR4, etc.

    Flying a drone with VR headset would be awesome, should feel like being superman flying around the city. Better get one of these gas powered ones running on ethanol RC engine that can stay up in the air for hours.

    Horror games that will scare the shit out of you. Almost real LSD trips to wreck your brain. ;-)
    Lots of uses in education, medical and mechanical engineering, etc. Social VR applications will be huge, app that allow one to hang out with your friends at a bar or nightclub. Watching 2D movies and TV series would rock, like going to a big screen teater but even better, should provide for a good movie experience as it shields the viewer from distractions. One can watch porn on the airplane, no one would ever know. ;-)

  • ... as 3D TVs.

    • The comparison with 3D is interesting. On the one hand, both technologies have been tried before and failed. But where 3D TV has failed despite it being offered for free on most modern sets, 3D cinema has succeeded. For movies that are available in 3D, the 3D screenings are vastly more popular than the ones in 2D. And cinematographers are learning how to properly use 3D to enhance immersion. The reason for 3D TV failing is a simple one: optics. 3D just doesn't work well on small screens with smaller
      • by Zobeid ( 314469 )

        The comparison of 3D TV and VR is indeed interesting. . .but complicated. (Or maybe interesting *because* it's complicated.)

        The biggest factor in 3D TV's decline seems to be lack of content -- very few movies were actually shot in 3D, but instead we were given a lot of cheap conversions and no easy way to identify them as such before watching. Hollywood really dropped the ball on this. Also. . . Movies have been pretty well developed as an art form in 2D for many decades, and this seems a bit like an e

  • by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @08:23AM (#51221031)

    The article presents the most optimistic possible scenario, in which VR catches on like wildfire (or like smartphones did!), followed by massive investment and rapid technological progress. It's a scenario at one end of the spectrum of possible outcomes -- but it's not implausible, it's not crazy. We've seen this kind of shift before.

    At the other end of the spectrum, it's possible that the awkwardness and expense of VR headsets (especially the high-spec ones for PCs) may hold things back, and VR may not explode into the mainstream. Even if this happens, though, I can't see it flopping completely. VR technology is simply too useful, and useful for too many things (beyond games), to just go away.

    Interesting mention in TFA of Second Life. . . QUOTE: "In 2017 a clear leader will emerge in the field of social VR platforms, and it will look something like Secondlife but in VR. If it’s not facebook itself as the platform, then facebook will try to acquire whoever makes such a platform stably with good adoption during the 2017 year."

    Of course, Linden Labs are still running Second Life (after all these years!) and are making steady money from it. They are adapting it to work with VR headsets, and they are also developing a successor world, called Project Sansar, which is designed with a focus on VR. I am very eager to see how this turns out.

    • "Social VR platforms"? Are you kidding me? The whole idea behind social platforms is to actually avoid more realistic contact with others. You get to filter out everything you don't want others to see - like that you're sitting around in your pjs pigging out on ice cream while pretending that life is great and the diet is working out fine, you look like crap today because you have a "man-cold" and haven't showered all week, and you'll take 100 selfies so you can find the best (or least worst) one to post.

  • ... photogrammetry (aka conversion of 2d images to 3d data). That would allow any recorded imagery (photos, film, etc) to be experienced in VR from any angle as well as the easy digitization of any object. There exists photogrammetry software today, of course, but it's weak sauce - some variants fundamentally require knowledge of positioning and/or orientation, all have trouble with reflection (including specular reflection), translucency/transparency, shadows, any form of movement, etc, and even in perfe

    • by vipw ( 228 )

      Digitization of small objects doesn't really seem all that problematic. I think taking multiple pictures with different colors and intensities of light could help correct for many surface types.

      On the other hand, 2026 seems optimistic for capturing the real world. So much of the human brain is focused on figuring out what we're seeing that I don't think we'll be able to reduce it to a few clever algorithms.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        It really depends on the "small object", my experience has been in general less than stellar - ~60 perfectly positioned all-angles images of objects in ideal lighting with the object and nothing in the area (except for me and the camera) moving to get a model with holes in it, and only that if the scene is ideal - nothing too shiny, nothing clear not too complicated, the camera shadow not messing anything up, no inadvertent breezes, no objects that for some reason or another don't happen to meet the softwar

  • "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

    I agree with the other negative posters, recall Google Glass et. al. to "see" through the hype. This already died once in the late 1990s. At that time, my friend commented, 'Virtual reality is just video games really close to your face.'
  • Got me a cheap plastic Archos VR viewer with headband (â26 tax&shipping included), loaded some apps on my 2-year old Note3 and came away pretty impressed. There definitely is some nice stuff floating around on Cardboard (Lanterns, Seaworld VR2, Titans of Space, Deep Space VR and so on) . Then Samsung launched their consumer Gear VR for a measely â100 at about the same time my company phone came up for renewal. My interests having been raised, I immediately opted for the Samsung S6 even though
  • Hello, article author here. What a lot of commenters here seem to missing is the fact that almost every technology I'm predicting here for the coming years **already exists**, and the reactions among anyone who has used these new things is unanimously impressed, amazed, awe-inspired, and wanting more. Check the youtube clips within the article. As another commentor here pointed out, it's very easy to identify whom among us has not yet tried a current headset.
    • by Zobeid ( 314469 )

      Thanks for joining us, and thanks for writing the piece!

      I am one of those who hasn't yet tried on a current headset. I'm eager, I'm chomping at the bit! I did play a VR game in the arcade 20 years ago -- Dactyl Nightmare -- and it was what I might call a "Pong experience": obviously crude and limited, yet there was the thrill of doing something entirely new and seeing that it worked at all. It was fun.

      I have to shake my head over all the comparisons with 3D TV or with various gimmicky controllers for gam

  • I predict that most of these predictions will not come true. Possibly including this prediction.

  • In the linked article Steven Colbert looks like Bender from Futurama. It must feel rather odd to run around with a game console strapped to your face.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats