Is this really the future of computing and entertainment? This article is a good introduction to the virtual reality that is in active development.
As a company that deals in vision issues, trying to help people see better every day, I can’t help but wonder how these products will affect people’s vision when they’re staring at screens 2″ from their eyes for hours a day.
I also wonder how isolating these devices may be for many users. We all know people who already tune out their surroundings by use of headphones or always having their face buried in a phone screen or PC. I can see the potential for these products to be incredibly useful tools for any number of industries, but it’s the entertainment aspect I worry about.
In the video produced by Microsoft, the man creates his Minecraft world in 3-D all over his living room- a very cool demonstration of the technology to immerse yourself in a world of your own creation.
However, most people have no idea how many hours that man has spent creating that environment for himself. That small town could be hundreds of hours of his life spent inside that game; hundreds of hours not spent interacting with his family or close friends; hundreds of hours not reading, not learning, not pursuing activities outside of that virtual world. We’ve all read and heard about people who’ve lost themselves in World of Warcraft or other role playing games. What social and psychological effect will 100% immersive, holographic 3D have on people who already prefer a virtual world to the real one? Time will tell.