In just a few months’ time the first consumer-ready version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) will finally be available. The kit launches on 28th March 2016 for those that got a pre-order in early, but it’s still far from the perfect VR device. While position tracked controllers like Oculus Touch will allow us to bring our hands into VR, there’s still plenty of areas to improve on until the tech reaches an experience akin to Star Trek’s iconic Holodeck experience. According to Oculus VR itself, those kinds of experiences are 15 years out.
Head of Mobile Max Cohen suggested as much talking to Pocket-Lint. “Everyone wants the Holodeck, but we’re not there tomorrow. We’re not there in the next five years. In about 15 we’ll be there,” he said, later adding: “We’ll get there incrementally. We’ll basically attack different sets of problems and we’ll try to make the experience as good as possible.”
Of course, as Head of Mobile, Cohen looks after Oculus VR’s other HMD, the Gear VR, which is made in partnership with Samsung. This device has one key advantage over the Oculus Rift as it runs off of a Samsung smartphone, thus doesn’t need wires attaching it to a PC. The trade-off is that the kit has no positional tracking and the phones that run it obviously don’t stack up to high-powered PCs. The future of VR is a hybrid of these two systems, with on-board computing for a teatherless HMD, but it will be a while before such a device is possible.
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