I abandoned my “Geek Chic” blog a long time ago, and I realized that this page still has a good group of followers, so I’m going to just start posting interesting ‘geek’ related news stories here. We’ll see how it goes. The image above is © Jason & Heather Martin. You can find more of their incredible work at ARTPLAYMIX.COM
Are You Ready for the Virtual Future?
The 1992 film Lawnmower Man is about a scientist who haphazardly experiments on the intellectually inept guy who cuts his grass, turning him into a super human with the use of drugs and virtual reality. The movie gets very low ratings across the board, but when I was a little girl it scared the bejesus out of me, when very few horror films did. Why am I bringing up this sci fi gem? Because the future of virtual reality is near! It is so close that we can virtually taste it! (sorry for the pun)
This month, Wired’s featured cover story is about Palmer Luckey (such a great name) and his invention, the Oculus Rift. The story goes through a blow by blow history of Luckey’s journey as he sought to perfect the ultimate VR system as a spunky teenager with a soldering tool and a dream. Needless to say, Luckey came dangerously close, with what resources were available to him at the time. Cue in legendary video game programmer John Carmack, who had been following Luckey’s work as he openly documented the project on the “Meant To Be Seen” (MTBS3D) forums. It was a match made in geek heaven.
The two eventually teamed up with programmer Michael Abrash and investor / engineer Brendan Iribe to launch Oculus VR - a virtual reality company that alleges that they will change everything.
Now let’s be clear that Oculus is not the only company out there that is dangerously close to releasing a consumer friendly VR unit. Sony has a product called Morpheus in the works, though I unfortunately cringe at the name because there is a loose association to the Matrix franchise involved. Nevertheless, I am excited about this, particularly because Oculus claims to have solved the issues with VR that causes people like me to feel sick from the experience. I am one of those poor, unfortunate souls who has a vision impairment that makes it very difficult for me to see 3D displays, even with glasses, and gets either nauseous or a headache or both after a little while. I also get motion sick very easily, the first time in my memory was when I was very little and went to see an IMAX movie, which wasn’t even in 3D. I had to leave the theater after a little while because I was feeling so sick. No reading or playing video games on long car rides for me, thank you.
So if this is true, and they’ve cured the VR motion sickness ills, I am truly excited for the very first time in my life about virtual reality. Video games, chat rooms, films, learning, EVERYTHING. Everything can be revolutionized by this. At what cost to humanity? I don’t think much worse than we already have seen with the terrible time-suck known as ‘social media.’
This is a company I would definitely put myself behind.
Here are some links to learn more:
Wired: The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality
Meant To Be Seen 3D
Kickstarter Campaign : Oculus Rift