I'd rather be that one guy

by Volker Weber

Photo posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook

Samsung knows how to put on a show. Sometimes they are whacky. But yesterday they hit it out of the park. They put out thousands of VR headsets and while the crowd was watching a movie, Zuck went up to the stage without anybody noticing. When people took off their headsets, all hell broke loose when reporters tried to take a photo of him. Nobody paid attention to what he said.

The big news was that Facebook is going to work with Samsung on VR. Samsung seems to be sitting on lots of those VR headsets. When you pre-order a new Galaxy S7 (Edge) you get one 'for free'. This markets needs seeding. In 2014 I tried one of those Samsung headsets and I was very impressed. At first you see the pixels on screen but your brain quickly learns to embrace the experience.

Truth to be told, I'd rather be the only person not wearing a VR headset. I'd want to be the smiling and walking guy in the t-shirt (sans his wealth) and not the sitting and staring guy in the blue shirt with his Macbook and VR glasses on, a backpack with his belongings next him and a tag around his neck.

I'd take the dog for a walk. In the rain. Where the air bites my face. The best VR is reality itself.


"The best VR is the reality" - that sums it up nicely. Could not agree more. And that's also why I don't understand all the buzz around VR at the moment. If wearing these ugly headset is really the next big thing, I am worried.

Jens Nullmeyer, 2016-02-22

I'm pretty immune against using any VR system in the near future - two words: Motion Sickness. :)
So I have to stick to walking the dog in the rain too (although, judging by her expression, she does not enjoy this all too much).

Kai Bode, 2016-02-22

I agree on your points, that no virtual reality can beat the real thing. However, I can also see very intriguing uses for that. I want to keep an open mind on that.

Hubert Stettner, 2016-02-22

I very much agree with you with respect to passive/ entertainment uses for the technology - anyhow, my only experience of this rapidly made me seasick.

But there are places where I'm sure it does belong and can make contributions - if people are going to practise brain surgery, it's probably better that they do so in a virtual environment first, rather than a real one...

Nick Daisley, 2016-02-22

Sometimes "reality" cannot be achieved.

I'm actually looking forward to getting together with some Facebook friends to watch the FIFA World Cup Final or the Olympic 100M final - from the stands.

Tony Lee, 2016-02-22

I'll add that a high tech company came to the local shopping centre with equipment to provide a free high resolution 3D scan of yourself to use as an avatar. But in this case it's not really an avatar, it's you.

Tony Lee, 2016-02-22

Reality can always be achieved. Wear those goggles while walking and you will bump into it.

Volker Weber, 2016-02-22

Wasn't facebook the company that bought Oculus Rift? Now Samsung? I'm confused...what does it mean for the Oculus?

As to the VR...it's I think a ruling class' dream. In many years, when VR is retina quality and motion sickness is removed by exciting the accelerators in the ears with the right signals, people will be able to live in a shoebox and escape to Barbeidos in the evening.

Frank Quednau, 2016-02-22

Da fällt mir nur ein: Hund ist heute bei uns eingezogen :)...

Ingo Seifert, 2016-02-22

Gute Wahl!

Volker Weber , 2016-02-22

@Frank: Samsung's Gear VR is powered by technology from Oculus, so Oculus/FB have been teaming up with Samsung for quite some time already.

@Volker: I don't see much difference between the virtual worlds and escapism provided by new VR headsets as opposed to reading a book, going to the movies, watching TV or playing a computer game on your phone or PC. It's just new technology that allows you to get entertained for a couple of hours. I don't think we will be wearing them when taking a walk al fresco though.

Jochen Kattoll, 2016-02-22

From a personal perspective, I don't see much use for VR (but I'm not a gamer). From a work perspective, augmented/enhanced reality seems much more interesting and useful (ala HoloLens).
Having a digital layer that interacts visually with the real world does seem to have some real value.

Craig Wiseman, 2016-02-22

"The best VR is reality itself."

Your expectations are limiting you.

VR is really expected to take you to things you can't physically experience. I'd love to see and feel the terrain of Mars, but that's probably not something attainable in my lifetime without VR.

Mike McPoyle, 2016-02-22

I see use in science ... downsize those big, expensive visualization caves to a headset.

Martin Hiegl, 2016-02-22

Jochen, Mike: Hear, hear!

Hubert Stettner, 2016-02-23

Rule 34 is applicable.

Volker Weber, 2016-02-23

Hubert and Volker: You misunderstand. I didn't say whether I liked it or not. In fact, I would rather take a walk or ride my bike. But that's already the case right now, with or without VR. All I am saying is that VR is not that much different from watching TV or being immersed in your smartphone. But the technology is fascinating and brings something new to the table.

Jochen Kattoll, 2016-02-23

Volker, lol ;)

Jochen, I hope I got it right, but maybe I expressed myself poorly in the two words above.
You said it so well to the point, exactly what I would want to say (if I was able to ;) ).

I think what you said is exactly the case, no judgement applied. Of course there are extremes like overusing or completely rejecting it. Misuses, great uses, whatever. But it is not so much different to other methods of escapism. And this, to me, is exactly the point which strikes me.

And yes, I also prefer to go for a 'real' run outside. On the other hand has it never been easier to expierence a glimpse of what it would be like to dive in a sunken shipwreck.

Hubert Stettner, 2016-02-23

Hubert, i did a dive in a sunken shipwreck.

Which part of this dive can you experience while wearing those goggles.

Hubertus Amann, 2016-02-23

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