By now you’ve probably heard the news that Facebook bought virtual reality headset Oculus Rift for a cool $2 billion. It came as quite a surprise to most people since the VR headset is used by a relatively small audience of gamers. What exactly Facebook is going to do with the purchase we’ll have to wait in see, but Zuckerberg and his team no doubt have something in mind.
Could VR be the new must-have piece of tech in 2014? Just in case here are three more pieces of tech to help you adjust to the new virtual reality landscape we’ll all be living in by 2015.
CastAR are virtual reality glasses come from a Kickstarter campaign from former Valve developers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, and aim to “project the magic of gaming, true to life, before your eyes.” While the glasses are much smaller than the Oculus Rift, two micro projectors beam images from a Windows or Android device on to a transportable pad. The retro-reflective pad bounces the beams back to your face 120 times a second, allowing you see those images in clear HD 720p 3-D. Mashable predicts that excitement for CastAR will only increase because of negative views about Facebook’s impact on Oculus.
Man, does this thing look slick. Sony’s Project Morpheus is probably the biggest competitor to Oculus Rift, but in the world of virtual reality looks come secondary to the VR experience. The headset has 1080 resolution and demos have reported little motion blur. Another reported problem is that at times of gameplay the game has briefly lost track of the player’s body. This issue has plagued Oculus Rift as well, so it’s something both competitors are trying to work out.
“Hey, Google Glass isn’t a vr gaming headset.” True, but come on, let’s not kid ourselves. If you’re wearing a pair of Google Glass you’re definitely dipping your toes into virtual reality, or at least augmented-reality. The main issue for Google Glass seems to be getting people comfortable with wearing the glasses in public without feeling foolish or fear of being robbed. The glasses haven’t hit a release date yet, but when they do — or possibly even before — virtual reality gaming is likely to play a role.