If you would have asked me when the book came out, I would have said the futuristic gaming culture of “Ready, Player One” was maybe ten or fifteen years off. Ask me that again today, I would say that it’s coming sooner than we all think.
For the uninitiated, “Ready Player One” takes place in a dystopic future where literally everyone lives in dual environments: the real world, which has been ravaged by mankind, and a digital eutopic world known as OASIS. Everyone in the future has a rig to access OASIS, even if you’re poor, and that’s because the government provides the most basic setup: A pair of virtual reality goggles, and a set of haptic gloves.
You can see where I’m going with this I’m sure.
The headset and the gloves are what I plan on talking about here. Right now there’s an veritable arms race going on to develop these peripherals along with the software that drives them.
Right now I don’t think there’s a soul out there who hasn’t heard about the Oculus Rift, but that’s not the only competitor in the race. Sony has it’s own answer to Oculus, known as project Morpheus and set to come out next year. For those of us who can’t afford the luxury of a full headset, there’s Google cardboard. You can pick up one of these things for four bucks, or hell even make one yourself if you’re that industrious. It’s basically a piece of card board that holds your phone in place so you can experience or watch 360 videos, which because Google owns YouTube, there’s a ton of content for. Gamers are taking VR tech to new heights already, recently a gaming arena which relies soley on VR headsets was announced:
But in the world where VR reality is slow to come to life, alternate reality might actually take the lead on something we’ve all been waiting for. Conisidering OASIS’s function in the book as the place where everyone goes to school and learn, AR might end up being the way to go. The first taste we got of an alternate reality headset, Magic Leap, whose video quietly dropped then proceeded to make the children inside of us giddy with excitement.
Who came completely out of left field to bring us a completely insane pair of alternate reality glasses that hope to change what our world looks like
And Microsoft hit us with HoloLens, which IGN is already saying is completely mindblowing:
The next five years are going to be the most pivotal the world has ever seen, because once someone cracks the code on how to get all of your entertainment needs on one of these things, life is never, ever going to be the same.
Headsets only make up for half the equation though, it’s time we dig into…