First on the priority list is haptics: the ability to use your hands in virtual worlds. Many companies are already working on that, including AltspaceVR and Leap Motion. Visuals have to improve, too. Abrash said 200 times more pixels are needed, along with better field of view and focus.
Virtual worlds also won't feel real until you can feel your own body, Abrash said. Other people won't seem real until your brain perceives avatars as human faces. There's so much work to be done.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that Facebook is testing its own virtual efforts sans Oculus with spherical videos in News Feed, which is a way for people to experience places they've never been without leaving Facebook. At F8, spherical videos were demoed on a VR headset. The two worlds are converging, but there are many questions left unanswered.
How will movies work? What will the virtual Facebook News Feed look like? What games will people want to play? How will they want to talk to each other? Not even Facebook has those answers, but with Oculus working furiously to turn its Crescent Bay prototype into a real consumer product, and with developers on board building great virtual apps, we're closer than ever before to a truly immersive virtual experience. I just hope there are no blue-and-black or white-and-gold dresses in this brave new world.
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