The Virtual Reality Headset news has been re-ignited recently with fresh talk of Samsung and Oculus VR teaming up. The new VR headset is a mobile alternative to the Oculus Rift and is named the Gear VR. It basically involves taking a Galaxy Note 4 and slapping it on a headset. Then using your smartphone’s software to split the screen and provide the wearer with a virtual reality experience. This is basically a plastic version of Google’s cardboard VR headset.
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has been in development for what seems like an eternity – and for good reason. Ever since 1993 when the first attempt at a VR headset called the Sega VR project took people into what was known as the “Barfogenic zone” Virtual Reality has remained a place where few dare to tread.
Oculus VR and it’s $2 billion investment from Facebook has brought the technology forward to try and overcome the motion sickness problem. Involving ridiculously fast refresh rate speeds, to keep track of head movement with a response time of just 2 milliseconds.
The most important new innovation to overcome motion sickness when using a virtual reality headset is Positional tracking. This requires an additional external camera to track head movements, adjusting your in-game position accordingly.
There has been no mention of positional tracking technology being implemented with the Gear VR headset. I think this will be the fundamental reason for its inevitable failure. This may be why they are labelling the Gear VR as the “innovator edition.” Stating that it’s an early access beta version for developers and enthusiasts. It should actually be labelled: “The Motion Sickness Edition” only suitable for Fishing boat captains and those who enjoy the feeling of nausea.
I’m sure there’s a fairly large portion of people out there, who have never experienced the sensation of motion sickness even as a child. These are probably the same people who hardly ever brush their teeth, yet don’t have a single filling.
As a child I had possibly the worse car sickness imaginable, I would become nauseous within a few minutes of taking my eyes away from the window. In fact, my motion sickness is so bad that I’m unable to play certain PC games.
If you happen to blessed with strong teeth and an iron constitution then I hope you have an amazing experience with the Gear VR headset, For the rest of us, I’d strongly advise waiting for Oculus Rift. A truly functional virtual reality headset, in my opinion, should not require anti-sickness medication or a sick bag to use.
For more interesting products on the horizon, check out the future technology section.