The lack of noise today without a roofing crew on the roof of our house has pushed me to a more whimsical and philosophical mode today. I do from time to time wander down the path of whimsical. In the world of technology, whimsy is not always as simple as it can be in the world of poetry and blogging. Between Donatella and her system view of technology and John Boyd’s OODA loops, we find little whimsy. Whimsy, after all, is a variable in an equation. Today, however, I do have a somewhat lighter, somewhat whimsical thought process. I read an interesting article proposing that 2018 was the year of Virtual Reality 2.0. Or VR 2. The reality of VR is the 1.0 products haven’t shipped yet. We are still well before the first major products. They weren’t, I would say at this point they were the year of VR.05. We have iterated VR to .2 now. VR 1 is coming.
(Dylan’s VR Dog Experience does not involve technology if anyone was interested)!
Virtual Reality will continue to improve. There are some solutions available now on the market, some VR concepts. I’ve played with several and find all of them lacking in one way or another. Technology that is hard for all to use becomes extremely niche. If to join in the fun you have to master the use of a joystick or a game controller, then well not all will succeed. I know that reduces my chance of succeeding. VR and its cousin AR have that limit today. AR opens interesting doors that VR will follow through eventually. The interesting initial reality is the Hololens Technology from Microsoft. Where you can suddenly have a heads up display for a repair person that will allow the tech to see the system the way it should be. Using the Hololen’s cameras to determine if, in fact, the problem is something already known by simply scanning and comparing. But also for the tech giving them a “this is now to do it” walk through using the AR tech as teaching, supporting and guiding toolset.
Sadly, and truly it is sad for me to say this, 2018 is not the year of AR 2 and VR 2. It is the year of 1.0. The initial promise of the features and functionality of the technology. The ending of the vaporware reality of what we have today providing us with the glimpse of beyond what is possible. AR technology is just beginning to add value in the world around us. You can buy a HUD or heads-up display built in, or added to your car. It augments the information you have, while making it easier to interact with your cell phone and yet keep your eyes on the road. Occulus and AntVR have realized impressive VR headsets and VR environments for the computer. Microsoft has both Hololens and some VR headsets you can connect directly to Windows 10. All of these products (and again I’ve used several) give you a great starting point. They are the open door of the VR technology. They, like the AR headsets and HUD displays, are, however, only the 1.0 promise.
2018 is the year of VR 1. When it reaches the point where millions of people are using it, we can talk about 2.0.