/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The State of Virtual Reality Hardware

Well done piece, suggesting we will soon be there for general usage wearable screens for our eyes to give the illusion of three dimensional immersive experiences. Saw examples in industry in the 80s,  is it ready?  Leading to 'smart glasses', or even embeddable devices.  

The State of Virtual Reality Hardware,  By Logan Kugler in   Communications of the ACM, February 2021, Vol. 64 No. 2, Pages 15-16   10.1145/3441290

For decades, virtual reality (VR) has seemed like a futuristic dream that is just around the corner, but never reaches its full potential. This time, however, might really be different. Recent advances in the power of VR hardware, notably the headsets and processors used to produce realistic VR experiences, suggest that VR is finally powerful enough and cheap enough to go mainstream.

VR broadly refers to immersing yourself in a three-dimensional (3D) digital world using sophisticated hardware and software. While a video game is experienced through a screen, VR often is experienced through a headset that shuts out the external world and transports you to a virtual one. It can also be experienced through room-sized systems that use special projectors and glasses to create VR experiences.

Historically, VR has relied on clunky headsets, expensive computers, and complicated peripheral hardware to produce immersive experiences. VR in various forms has been commercially available since the 1990s, but the technology has been widely criticized as too expensive, too complicated, or too imperfect to produce powerful, affordable virtual experiences that inspire consumers to open out their wallets.

That is beginning to change. Today, powerful commercial VR headsets are sold by Sony, Facebook, HTC, and other major technology players. Sophisticated augmented reality (AR) devices (like your smartphone and Google Glass) are available from the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The market for VR is growing accordingly, with research firm Marketsand-Markets forecasting industry growth to reach $20.9 billion in 2025, from $6.1 billion in 2020.

Why is VR (finally) having its day in the sun?

It all comes down to better hardware. VR heavyweights now are able to produce headsets that are cheaper and more powerful than models from just a few years ago. As a result, consumer demand for headsets is rising, driving more innovation and investment in VR hardware. Companies are even researching entirely new techniques and designs to make the next generation of VR hardware so light and powerful that it transforms one's daily life.

"Over time, we would like a device that is nearly the size of your reading glasses or sunglasses, but performs all of the functions of your smartphone, tablet, PC, and even TV, and enables new, 3D (three-dimensional) and spatial functions," says Siddharth Saxena, founder and CEO of Oblix VR, a VR software startup.

That day might not be far off.  .... " 

No comments: