Oculus Welcomes Sony to the Virtual Reality Market

Virtual Reality – Virtual reality has been around for some time and if you like, every movie theater experience is a form of virtual reality without glasses. People like movies, but so far don’t like to wear headsets providing a similar experience in their home.  Sony and Zeiss had personal viewers in the market with very limited market success.

Bloomberg interviewed Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and he had some interesting things to say.

For one, he believes that ultimately VR will outpace consumer PC usage, with many using VR at home. He sees the current form of VR as an intermediary step to full VR in a different form factor. While today’s VR headsets are more goggle like, future systems may be more like sunglasses. He didn’t compare them to augmented reality glasses like Google Glass, but sunglasses could incorporate both approaches, VR and AR in one hardware  device. He differentiates strongly against Google Glass, which he sees as a information platform rather than an entertainment or interactive platform. Of course, Google Glass hasn’t taken off yet as a consumer device, but that may very well have to do with its soft beta release and high price.

While many see VR as an anti-social device, by creating a barrier to other people in real life, Oculus as part of Facebook sees this as an extension and perfect platform for gaming, communication and social interaction. Of course, not in the real world, but in the virtual world VR headsets create. This is not different to Facebook, which replaces real social interaction with an electronic form where direct contact with one person is replaced with virtual contact to many.

Oculus sees a great chance in its co-operation with Samsung on the Samsung Gear VR product.  Sony as a player with its own headset could be seen as a competitor, but Oculus  sees them as an important part of VR in total. The VR industry needs more than one player in order to make the VR experience a widely accepted platform.

On the final product release he stated that the product release is more than a few months but less than a few years away.  Get ready for a planned 2015 release I guess.  There was no word on the price either.  – Norbert Hildebrand