How Far Away Are We from Matrix-Style Virtual Reality?

After years of hits and misses, virtual reality seems like it’s on the verge of really taking off. Granted, this observation may be way off base. Some big companies are working on VR, and Sony’s VR headset seems to be a pretty big hit, but it’s not at the point where tens of millions of people are using it.

That said, the available VR options are impressive. Just the fact that there is a headset that matches your head’s movement with what you’re seeing is an incredible achievement of technology.

Yet there’s a huge difference between current VR technology and the fully immersive experience we see in The Matrix or Ready Player One. In The Matrix, your body is plugged into the machine in such a way that virtual reality is no different than reality. Ready Player One doesn’t go that far, but it’s still pretty close.

For me, virtual reality becomes truly exciting when it’s a fully immersive experience. No controllers (I want to use my hands), no visual difference from reality, no limits to movement, no inhibiting of senses.

Are we 10 years away from that? 50? 100? More?

florian


8 Responses to “How Far Away Are We from Matrix-Style Virtual Reality?”

  1. Sean says:

    adding senses to that, I would say 50 years. For a VR experience where you are moving around a warehouse(large area maybe with stairs/hills etc) with gloves on, playing against people around the world. I would say 5 years away from Wireless VR with glove input.

  2. Katie James says:

    Somewhat related – have you watched any of the new episodes of Black Mirror yet? There is an interesting one on VR called “Playtest.”

  3. Hmm, this is a tough one. I personally don’t think that the solution that will get us to what you are referencing and most people are expecting will be VR as we see it today.

    I am in possession of a HoloLens Dev Kit, and the more I use it, the more I see that as being what people really want. Its completely un-tethered, integrates with any environment, and works surprisingly well.

    One of the problems with solutions like “The Void” is that they require you to have a specific environment with specific tools that is explicitly coded against.

    HoloLens doesn’t. I can transform any environment into a game of RoboRaid, place objects of any shape and size on any table, sofa, or anything in my house. Load up any other software or toolset I need anywhere I happen to be.

    I can do all of this while still seeing and interacting with my wife and without running into stuff or kicking my cats.

    Right now, its not quite as immersive, but in 10 to 15 years, I can see them getting the Field-of-View to the point that it will be able to meet or exceed the current levels of VR.

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