The future of Oculus Rift isn’t in gaming

Wanna get any hardcore gamer or tech junkie salivating like a Pavolovian dog? Just say Oculus Rift. It’s not even on the market yet, but it already has made a huge impact on what many consider to be the future of gaming.

But where I see the major impact of Oculus Rift is in everything but gaming: science, art, architecture…even space exploration.

Just consider the following scenarios:

  • An archaeologist uses a hi-res laser scanner to map the interior of a cave. Then using the Oculus, he is able to move himself around in the environment virtually, getting close up looks at structures and features that could be hundreds of feet off the ground without scaffolding or marring the environment itself.
  • A surgeon inserts a tiny camera laproscopically into a patient’s abdomen to perform a delicate surgical procedure. Using the Oculus he can zoom in and out much more easily than with a mono eyepiece and see everything in much higher detail. Oh yeah – and the doctor and the patient are separated by 1000 miles.
  • Engineers and architects move around in a 3-d model planned high-rise office building, seeing exactly how the rooms and floorplan will work, while interior designers play with wall colors at the same time.
  • On an orbiting platform, a small drone is guided by a ground control technician wearing an Oculus headset to change electrical panels on a docked satellite.

The fact is that none of these scenarios are highly plausible in the near future. Oculus Rift can significantly change major industries not just because of its hardware, but because that hardware is now much more within the grasp of everyday users. Oculus’ development kit also allows for companies to develop software that works with the Oculus headset already before it even hits the market. This makes it accessible not only to major developers, but solo programmers, college students and so on.

I for one don’t know if Oculus will make the grand change that many are hoping it will. Interaction is largely passive beyond moving your head around to look. And forget about being able to look at your keyboard while gaming.



Posted on May 10, 2014, in Tech News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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