Ha, get the pun in the title? Virtual reality is something that the technology industry has been tinkering with for years. Does anyone remember the Virtual Boy from Nintendo in 1995? Yes, it was a huge failure, but it was one of the first commercial attempts at virtual reality. Since then, there has been more tinkering, but no serious attempt at a new VR headset. This past week, two companies released new prototypes of VR headsets- Oculus with their second Oculus Rift development kit, and Sony with their Project Morpheus for the Playstation 4.
The Oculus Rift started in 2012 as a Kickstarter program, which means that it was crowdfunded by donations to Oculus. Since then, developers across the world have 50,000 units to create games and applications for it. There is no consumer version yet, but that is hopefully in the works for the future. The second development kit released this week, moves closer to a production model with increased resolution, decreased motion blur, and improved positional tracking.
Sony’s Project Morpheus, (which is a reference to The Matrix) is most likely going to be a commercial product before the Oculus Rift. Sony is the creator of the Playstation, and is interested in a VR headset for its Playstation 4. As an owner of a PS4, if the price is right, I would be really interested in having one of these headsets. The Morpheus is very similar to the second Oculus Rift, with nearly the same specs. The only real difference is that the Morpheus is designed for the Playstation 4, and therefore fits the design of those products with its blue LED lights and white and black color scheme. The Oculus Rift is open source, and is for any application that it can be programmed for.
It’s exciting to see where technology is taking us. In a few years, these virtual reality headsets will be available to consumers and will further push the boundaries of our technology. This is what drives my love for technology- the innovation and creation of new technologies that we thought could never be done, becoming an actual reality (or virtual in this case).