Thursday, October 23, 2014

Virtually Speaking

Mark Zuckerberg buying Oculus has laid news emphasis on virtual reality, hardly a new thing. The scale of the discussion has changed irreversibly.

Bringing Burning Man to the masses through virtual reality, now that's a thought.

Drones for a few hundred dollars. Virtual reality headgear for a few hundred dollars. "Don't underestimate the power of the common man!"

The Quest to Put More Reality in Virtual Reality
After the initial unfamiliarity wore off, chatting with Rosedale and Karpf in virtual space was much the same as it would have been in real space. ..... The impressive 3-D headset being developed by startup Oculus VR, acquired by Facebook in March for $2 billion, has spurred new work on virtual-reality hardware by startups and established companies such as Sony ...... hanging out in virtual space will become a new form of mass-market entertainment. ..... Second Life .. “We did our best and got to a million people and made half a billion dollars [in revenue] or something” ..... Rosedale still logs into Second Life from time to time (his avatar is younger and slimmer than he is, with a muscled torso). So do about 1 million other people each month, and Linden Lab remains profitable. But hanging out in a free-form virtual world didn’t become mainstream, as its founders had hoped. ........ people donning Oculus headsets to dip into quick social interactions or strange environments. ...... virtual worlds will open up a new era of human existence ..... the freedom to explore and experiment inside a virtual world generates a “social force,” creating positive interactions between people that are impossible in everyday life–much like the Burning Man festival he attends each year ...... When I met Rosedale in that virtual club, his avatar’s eyes sometimes darted wildly to the side because of glitches with the face-tracking technology. ...... popular enthusiasm about virtual worlds is surging again thanks to Oculus ...... Rift goggles, due by 2016 .. All are expected to retail for only hundreds of dollars. .... “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures”

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