Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oculus Rift Love At First Sight

Today a friend and I checked out the Oculus Rift recently made available for developers. It's love at first sight!

I was able to immerse myself into a world where there were beautiful things like a butterfly, water fountain, a house and a sea.  I could even see inside some things! As I was experiencing the world and got close to things, my imagination would soar! I asked myself, what would it feel like to touch that sunflower? My mind imagined what things would feel like as I got close to them.

That's something that has evolved in our brains. After we identify something as friend or foe, we anticipate what something is going to sound or feel like. The anticipation itself was exciting!

What's even more exciting are the real world solutions this technology will enable. Easy to imagine solutions involve surgery training and learning through immersive exploration. Other applications could be in helping people understand what it's like to be in a certain place or a person who is in a certain socioeconomic status such as being poor or conversely privileged.

Although I could not effect the virtual world around me, people are using the Oculus Rift in conjunction with other technology in order to be able to have such interactive experiences. A video example is Hydradeck Oculus Rift Demo.

There will be user experience challenges. As Peter Hornsby pointed out in The Oculus Rift and User Experience, motion sickness will be an issue for some people. I saw that today as someone else tried the system out. However, I think that issue can be minimized if the system is properly calibrated and systems are designed well.

Similar to the iPhone, I believe we are at the beginning of a new era of experience and perhaps understanding.