Two years ago, virtual reality looked like it would remain a niche technology. Then, the first Oculus Quest came in and changed the course. A wireless and rather comfortable headset that could play decent games, even if they weren’t as powerful as the desktop versions of the same games, sealed the deal for many who were on the fence.
Then came the pandemic, and VR not only became fun but also necessary for escape. Families couldn’t go out to see movies together, but they could meet at a VR theater. They could also meet in VR locations with Oculus social apps. Most important — at least for myself — is the fact that VR experiences such as Thrill of the Fight or Beat Saber could provide some type of cardiovascular exercise.
As far as VR has come, it’s also imperfect and hasn’t achieved it’s goals. It reminds me of when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) became popular after a huge slump in the home video game industry. The NES proved that video games are here to stay but they also need work. They needed better graphics, better controllers, better sound, more portable systems, etc. And that eventually happened. It could be argued that the video game industry reached its magic stage with the release of the Nintendo 64 in 1996.
Along Comes Apple
The Oculus Quest 2, released last year in October, has done very well. But it hasn’t quite pushed VR over the edge of acceptance yet — or at least to the point where almost everyone you know has one. However, it has been revealed that Apple will announce a headset in the coming months.
“Sometime in the next several months, the company is poised to announce a mixed reality headset, its first major new device since 2015. If possible, Apple won’t want to make such a critical announcement at an online event. It wants employees, the media, its partners and developers in the room.”
The Bloomberg source adds that the headset will be lightweight, come with two 8K lenses, and it may include several tracking cameras. The price could punch between $1,000 and $3,000. That would make it out-of-reach for most consumers.
Apple allegedly has plans to make it a niche device for developers in the initial stages and then release a more affordable headset, possibly called Apple Glasses, soon after. Apple’s devices will allegedly be capable of both VR and AR.
If you, like others, are looking for an escape from this world, you can soon escape into a virtual world that is almost as real as the physical one. It may be a couple of years, but it will be worth the wait.