VIRTUAL reality headsets are absolutely massive – and seriously heavy – but that won’t always be the case.
Top VR bosses have told The Sun that we’ll eventually get sci-fi style headsets that look like normal specs, and they’re already hard at work to make it a reality.
When Google Glass launched back in 2013, it was the first pair of proper augmented reality (that’s AR, which means overlaying computer images onto your vision) specs we’d seen.
But even though they had a small sunglasses-style design, they were eventually binned as a consumer device because enough people weren’t buying them – partly because they didn’t produce great graphics.
Fast-forward to 2018 and we’ve got a huge selection of incredible VR and AR headsets like the HTC Vive, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, and Microsoft’s HoloLens, but they’re all way too big.
We asked HTC Vive’s UK boss whether we’ll ever see high-quality VR specs that look like sunglasses, and he reckons it’s definitely going to happen.
“That’s definitely a future that I think is coming. That’s where it will go,” Paul Brown told The Sun.
He said that although the concept might still be “sci-fi, today”, we’ll see “a movement” where the size of VR headsets comes down eventually.
Paul said one of the solutions would be to create the high-quality graphics on a server somewhere, and then stream them to the glasses over the internet.
That means you wouldn’t need any fancy graphics tech inside the actual headsets, because it would all be done somewhere else.
Virtual Reality v.s. Augmented Reality – what’s the difference?
Here’s what you need to know…
- Virtual reality involves using a headset to simulate a virtual world
- In a VR world, everything you see will be computer-generated
- Popular VR headsets include the HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift
- Augmented reality lets you see the real world, but “augments” (or adds on) computer-generated elements
- This means you’ll be able to see computer images overlaid onto your real-world view
- For instance, you could wear glasses that overlay directions onto the road in front of you
- Popular AR headsets include Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Google Glass spectacles
The Sun also spoke to the CEO of Lenovo, a Chinese computing giant that already sells three different kinds of VR and AR headsets.
We asked Yang Yuanqing about the prospect of sci-fi style smart glasses, and he said: “That’s the direction we should drive.
“That’s exactly the effort we need to make. To make the headset lighter and lighter – just like your eyeglasses – so you’ll like to wear it everyday.”
Francois Bornibus, who heads up Lenovo in Europe, said: “The size of the glasses is very important. It has to be light.”
He also called VR a “big consumer opportunity”, and gave an example of how a travel agency could use the tech.
“When you want to book a cruise, you look in a catalogue but you never really know what the rooms are like.
“You put your VR headset on, and then you are in the room. £1,000 looks like this, £2,000 looks like this.”
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And Yang was even bolder, telling us how VR headsets could turn us all into top engineers, making it so “everybody can repair a jet engine with expert guidance remotely”.
Do you think VR and AR headsets will change the world? Let us know in the comments.
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