"second life", 360 degree camera, oculus rift, virtual cinema, virtual reality, virtual worlds, vr technology
Although most people by now seem to realise the huge potential the new VR technology (in the shape of the Oculus Rift) could have for virtual worlds like Second Life, some still think that it will be a niche thing.
That only a few people will actually end up owning this gadget and that eventually it will end up in the cupboard, dusty and forgotten or only used by a few nerds.
I think that the Oculus Rift (or any other kind of virtual headset) will actually end up in almost every household.
People don’t always see that virtual reality can and will be used for much more than just playing games and having fun in virtual worlds.
I think that this technology will be used to watch movies/tv, to go shopping, for education, as social media, for exercise, to work, etc, etc.
I will try and explain why I think this.
Virtual reality & film/tv;
This video shows people enjoying short clips shot with a 360 degree camera, the camera is stationary, it does not move, the person watching moves his head to look around “inside” the film.
Walking around in something that was filmed in this way is at this moment not yet possible but I don’t doubt that this will be possible soon.
And yes, many of us would probably prefer to enjoy our movies in the old fashioned way but imagine watching the last episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ while actually being inside it, watching an exciting scene… and then suddenly realising someone is standing behind you…
It may not be your cup of tea, you may prefer to watch a movie the traditional way, but it is obvious that many people will enjoy this new possibility as well.
That makes this video so interesting, it is a big step in that direction.
Another option is to watch a movie together with friends in a virtual cinema;
I think that this is another interesting and fun way to watch a movie, it brings the magic of the cinema to your home without the noisy people, mobile phones or sticky floors.
And you can perhaps also pick a certain type of cinema, such as a lovely 1930s art deco one for that vintage movie, complete with an audience of 1930s people, smoking all trough the movie.
And of course you will be able to share the cinema with friends and family even if they live on the other side of the world.
Virtual Reality & Shopping;
I personally hate shopping and would love to avoid it completely but other people love it.
Either way, many of us already use the internet to shop and VR will make this experience more fun or less of a hassle.
For instance, imagine you need a new tv, you visit a few websites but the most they can offer you is a picture that perhaps, if you’re lucky, you can turn around a bit.
Whoohoo, I can see the backside of a tv.
In a virtual shop you can see 3d models of each television set but you will eventually also be able to get a free virtual copy that you can ‘rez’ in a virtual facsimile of your living room, make sure it fits in that corner, if you need a new table to go with it, etc, etc.
The tv will of course work!
And as always, this can be a shared experience.
You can invite your mother to come see you fit a wedding dress even though she lives far away.
It will probably never replace normal shopping, but I bet it will be the end of the regular online shopping experience.
Because those online shops are dull as dishwater.
Virtual Reality & education;
Now here is a big one, especially for me personally.
I am not a teacher but I work a lot with schools, museums and educational tv shows and as someone with a huge passion for history, sharing that interest and making people understand how amazing and interesting history is, education is hugely important to me.
But in the world of Virtual Reality this is also a big one to use as a way to promote this technology and it is quite simple to convince people about how well this technique could be used for this purpose.
For instance, sorry about using history again and blatantly promoting my own sim in the following bit, imagine a class room discussing 1920s Berlin as part of their curriculum.
Learning about the chaos of post WW1 Germany, the rise of Nazism, etc.
As the class begins, everyone puts on their VR set and soon find themselves wandering the streets of 1920s Berlin.
Perhaps they will use something like my crude creation in Second Life or a much smoother and more realistic version made especially for schools.
Teacher shows them some of the spots, their avatars in 1920s clothing makes them realise what they might have looked like had they actually lived back then, the place is filled with NPCs (non–playable characters) and feels alive, real.
But after after the lesson, after school, children will go home and do their homework also by using the VR set to go back to 1920s Berlin, take their time to visit more places, to investigate or perhaps just to have some fun as well.
One day perhaps the whole school will take place in a virtual reality, a scary idea perhaps but a huge solution to those children living far away from school.
Anyway, I think it is quite obvious that Virtual Reality can be an amazing tool for education, both in school and at home.
I couldn’t find a nice video about the future of virtual education, so I’ll share this old one of me giving a tour in 1920s Berlin;
Virtual reality & Social Media;
Many of us spend a lot of time on facebook, keeping in touch with friends, family and work colleagues.
How this will develop in the near virtual future is very hard to predict.
Will it become a quick sort of virtual world where everyone has their own “page” that they can design?
Will checking how someone is doing be like visiting their tropical island, villa or castle in the sky?
Will it be something like Second Life… will it be Second Life?
Or will it be a bunch of pictures and notifications that just float in the air while you’re busy working or playing in your virtual office?
In the novel “Ready Player One” our hero has a virtual basement where he hangs out with his friends, will social media evolve into something like that?
Will facebook of the future look and feel like a virtual neighbourhood where all your friends have a home they designed themselves, with sign floating above it when something important has happened, where their latest snapshot is projected onto the lawn and where above the roof their current status is shown?
Where you can enter their home, look at their stuff and hear their music?
I couldn’t find a video about this but I did find this interesting interview;
Inventor Of Oculus Rift: The Future Of Virtual Reality Is Social Networking
Virtual Reality & Exercise;
Exercise is big business but generally it is a rather boring activity, unless you’re able to spend a fortune to buy cool toys or travel to exciting places.
But virtual reality will make exercise a lot more fun for many people, regardless of budget.
Thanks to omnidirectional treadmills you will be able to walk and run in a virtual reality, you can choose to get your exercise just walking around some virtual world, running for your life in a computer game but you can also burn calories in surroundings specially created for this purpose.
After all, where would you rather do your morning jogging?
In the street outside your home that you see every single day already or some exotic beach, stunning dessert, the rainforest, across the moon or perhaps in a world you created yourself?
Virtual reality will make this possible and this will be interesting for people who might usually not be interested in gaming, virtual reality or even computers.
For instance, I can see my mum use VR for this purpose.
This is a big market.
The Wii Fit for instance, a computer “game” that allows people to do real exercise, has sold nearly 23 million copies.
This video shows some of the options, but here of course all they do is watch a screen.
Imagine doing these sports in a virtual reality.
Virtual Reality & work;
It is obvious that working from home (AKA teleworking) is going to be big in the future.
Renting expensive offices, travel costs (both in money, time and pollution), etc.
Virtual reality will make this a lot easier, you will actually be able to feel part of a team, be present at a meeting, do a presentation and even feel like you’re chatting at the watercooler, while never leaving your chair at home, or perhaps even without getting dressed…
Either way, I reckon it will beat this alternative…
I am trying to explain that Virtual Reality will not just be a niche gadget for extreme gamers with more money than wisdom.
I hope to have shown that in the very recent future Virtual Reality will be something you’ll find in almost every home, the VR set will be as common as tv sets are today.
And when everyone has access to Virtual Reality and when Linden Lab manages to keep up and make it work very very well in Second Life… our virtual world may become bigger than it has ever been.
The minute people get their hands on a VR set for the first time they will want more than the demos and games.
And then they may remember Second Life, see that advertisement, hear that story, see that youtube video and realise that it still is the biggest online virtual world there is.
And that it can be more fun to explore something you have build yourself than some place build by some game designer, some place everyone has seen a million times before.
And maybe you will realise that some of the VR experiences you’re about to pay for… can already be found in SL, for free.
In short, we’re at the dawn of a Virtual Reality renaissance and I think that this could also be Second Life’s renaissance.
There WILL be a Second Life for Second Life… as long as Linden Lab plays its cards right… and fixes its Terms Of Service!
Dirrogate (@Dirrogate) said:
Good post. VR will eventually give way to full see-thru AR. Today, Digital see-thru (via camera supplied visuals) is already in slick profile visors such as from Vuzix.
For more food for thought on where VR/AR will go see this link:
Will Google enable tele-travel in a Surrogate reality World: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/desouza20130826
Jo Yardley said:
I think VR and AR will exist alongside each other.
Because when using a virtual world like Second Life or playing a game, I really don’t want to experience any kind of reality seeping trough.
You want to enjoy those while completely shut off from the world.
I use a large 24” monitor for SL. However most of the people that I meet run SL on their Laptop, which is not a very good experience, since the screen is so small. Now more and more people even replace that small Laptop with an even smaller tablet or smartphone in their daily life. A long time I thought that could be a killer for SL, but with devices like the Okulus this could actually work. Smartphones get faster and faster all the time. With the Okulus you could soon experience SL on a smartphone like you can do it now only on a desktop computer.
Jo Yardley said:
I’ve always used a laptop and that monitor is big enough for me.
But I have no mobile devices and probably never will.
Shao Hsing “healingshoes” Lee said:
much food for thought here.
wheels within wheels.
BUT… we need to look at it all as a river of time, with the present being the bottom of a long, long, descent down a magnificent sky-high waterfall.
as each thing reaches a tipping point, each drop of water a new meme being introduced into the present, crossing over from the realm of hopes and dreams, and making a splash on what we call “reality”… 4D spacetime, our lives are forever changed by the presence of the new meme.
I think dirro is correct that eventually, the lines will blur. An AR overlay, internally embedded using nanotech to integrate the augmentation directly onto the visual, auditory, and olfactory cortexes, will become the social norm.
But that type of social engineering takes time.
There’s a development path of both tech and social normalization of new paradigms which is required for these things to happen, and be accepted, without causing chaos, panic, and a violent and bitter brother against brother culture war.
People – most people – fear what they can’t understand. And the list of what they can’t understand and can’t relate to, can’t empathize with or feel compassion toward, is a whole lot longer than the list of what they can understand and relate to and feel comfortable with.
You have to try and put yourselves in the shoes of the rural agrarian farmer, or the child or grandchild of the flower power era hippies, who lives in a commune, or on a remote island on the west coast of north America.
Or in the shoes of a First Nations tribe in the Dakotas, or New Mexico, or Nunavut.
Or the few remaining indigenous peoples in Oaxaca.
Or the descendants of the first free African people in Haiti, who through off their oppressors and won their freedom.
Or the rastaman living in the beautiful and bountiful lesh blue mountains of Jamaica.
Or the grouchy old shopkeeper in Chinatown who still uses an abacus and buggy cart.
This new paradigm shift is going to introduce robots with self awareness and autonomous freedom of movement and action into our lives, in the near future.
Much sooner than people think, or are prepared for, for the most part.
The Japanese are further ahead in this regard because of their huge aging population of elderly citizens who have robotic caregivers.
People need time, guys. Jo is right in this regard… a jump from normal 4d material world spacetime to an immersive blend of AR and VR overlaid on our world is just way too much system shock for the majority.
And way too dangerous a recipe for disaster, until we know more about the impact this immersion will have on our central nervous systems.
You’re talking about artificially introducing a sixth, and perhaps a seventh sense to our signal processing load.
burning entirely new parallel processing modes and neural pathways onto our brain’s firmware.
you understand that this is IRREVERSIBLE, yes?
it’s like that buck nasty, most god awful fart you ever smelled, the memory of which lingers on forever.
or learning something about someone you wished you hadn’t found out, but can’t unlearn, and that memory is always going to be there, lurking in a corner of your mind.
this is way, way more permanent than that, because it’s way beyond just a long term and short term memory re-write.
we’re talking about, in computing terms, writing new bios code, and new root OS modules for the new bios.
so what happens if something goes very, very wrong, and we end up having to pull the plug?
guys… people who lose a sense… sight, hearing… many get suicidally manic depressed. those who lose their legs experience the same thing.
and this is worse.
this would be taking away godhood, more or less. stripping omnipotence and omniscience away from a divine being, and casting them down to mere mortality.
This is something I have some experience with, on a lower level of divinity.
I was born with certain gifts, extremely accelerated data input and processing speed, and higher rate of retention, than most people. Probably 5 times or more the
processing speed, sensory input, and with all of that, cognitive skills which are in many ways, literally computer-like in their efficiency.
I can run circles around people in debates, internet forum fights, wherever, whenever, however, 5 on 1, 10 on 1, doesn’t matter.
I win. I always win.
School was the same way.
Life too, pretty much, lol.
Lack of an inhibition filter, low latent inhibition, effectively made me god-like in my ability to communicate, influence, manipulate, and create.
And then,I believe as a result of excessive exposure to scopolamine via the transdermal patch behind the ear for motion sickness, the unimaginable happened…
I began falling to earth, experiencing less than superluminal every day mortality.
My memory and cognitive skills began slipping away here and there, from time to time. Barely noticeable at first, but as years passed from the late 90’s till now,
progressively worse… longer durations, greater frequency, more debilitating, more encompassing, hitting more areas at the same time, for longer periods of time.
Kind of like a frog in a boiling pot.
It’s like dying. Seriously. Having that state of being and state of mind, when it’s a part of you, losing it, having it taken away, is like dying, but still being there in spirit,
looking down at yourself, your pathetic useless shell which can no longer read a book in two hours, and wishing your body would die so it could no longer torture you
with what was, fearing it will never be again.
But I found a way to cope, to push back the shifting foggy veil.
And it works. BUT, it too has a price.
ANd if i was not fortunate enough to be born wealthy, I would be so screwed right now, lol.
I spend thousands of dollars a month self-medicating, in order to retain this superhuman state of superluminal cognitive skill.
I do it because the alternative is unimaginable, unacceptable, unlivable, because I remember what I used to be.
And then I feel what is, in the here and now, when the foggy veil returns, and it’s a living nightmare.
It’s a nightmare because I cannot stand having to endure a lesser state of being, where things don’t come easily, facts are no longer guaranteed to be instantly
recalled and accessible and integrated into a new thought or concept.
THAT is what losing one of the senses, when that sense takes one to a higher plane of existence, to a higher form of being, and elevated mind, is stripped away from
And that’s why I’m allowing myself to be guinea pigged day in day out, in hopes of sparing others this nightmare, when these technologies are ready to roll out.
You think drug addiction makes people desperate?
lol… believe me when I say that this is much, much worse.
When the veil creeps over me, especially if it comes overnight and I awaken in that horrible mortal state, I’m a bird with my wing feathers plucked, wings nailed to the
ground, watching the other birds circle around overhead, laughing at me, in a state of total panic, not knowing if this time is the time when the veil will end up staying,
and never go away.
I would not wish this fate on anyone. Not even my worst enemy.
Which is why we must – WE MUST – proceed with caution, and patience, and let people like me fry their nervous systems first, to minimize the potential impact these
new sensations, and the potential loss of them after imprinting, will have on others.
Better to let those of us who are already damaged goods be the scrambled eggs, wouldn’t you say?
Because I know what you will go through if we don’t iron the bugs out first.
So be patient, ok?
Because this IS the future, and it WILL be a world of wondrous miracles.
And Oculus VR is going to usher in the age of living our hopes and dreams.
And eventually, internal AR systems will make us into omnipotent beings.
But first, we need to scramble a few eggs, in the name of safety and due diligence.
Trust me, it’s better this way, ok?
Shao Hsing “healingshoes” Lee said:
PS-> Please feel free to republish the above response written by me if you desire. I feel it’s important that these new extensions of our body to mind sensory data processors proceed with optimistic enthusiasm, but also with caution, and awareness of the grave responsibility we early adopters have to help the makers get things right the first time. It’s a must. Sniper protocols. Get it in one shot, dead center forehead, bullseye. Booyah, touchdown!! lol
Future Netowrk said:
“That only a few people will actually end up owning this gadget and that eventually it will end up in the cupboard, dusty and forgotten or only used by a few nerds.”
Absolutely not. Well, the Rift could maybe turn out like that, but not Virtual Reality in general. I don’t think people understand that by 2050, Virtual Reality will be more apart everyone’s life than actual reality will be. (For developed countries, that is.)
We always wanted a future with flying cars, and futuristic cities, and being able to travel across the galaxy in a space ship. By 2050, we will have ALL of that…and MORE. But, it’ll simply be in another reality, another word which everyone will be shot into every day: the Virtual World.
Flying cars in the actual world would take billions of dollars, time, and research. Flying cars in the Virtual world can take less than a snap of a finger to render a virtual one right before your very eyes. With VR equipment, you will be experiencing the flying car as if it’s really there, just as real as real life. Think about it. It’s 2013, and people go nuts over the Roller Coaster rift demo. Imagine how real everything will appear in 2050.
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the thing that excites me is imagine the capabilites in sport they could have small camera’s attached to someones head and you could watch a game of soccer or golf or tennis or really anything from their point of view imagine how amazing that would be
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