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How "Real" Do You Want Your Virtual Reality To Be?


Rufferta
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I just finished reading Joel Stein's article "Inside the Box" in the August 2015 issue of TIME magazine. I was disappointed that it wasn't about virtual worlds, it was about virtual reality headsets, but it got me to thinking about how "real" I want my virtual reality to be.

I already have virtual worlds in my head - for example I have two versions of Middle Earth (one from the book, the other from the movies), and many other imaginationary worlds. True, they rely on my imagination to fill in the empty spots, but do I really need to be immersed with all my senses?

One part of the article discusses the uses of the virtual reality headsets. Some of the designers initially thought that they wanted a game where they could feel as if they were actually "running down halls shooting bad guys.." but when someone created a zombie game they found that even one virtual zombie, hardly moving, was too frightening for some people.

Will we adapt so that we are not frightened by "one zombie, hardly moving", and, if so, will it make it harder to identify the dangers in RR ("real reality"). Will people lose track of the differences between the world they see through a virtual reality headset, and "real life."

Yesterday I enjoyed sailing through part of Second Life, but at the same time I was aware of a cat near my ankle, I listened to my husband telling me about what he was watching on tv., and it felt as if I had a foot in both worlds. What would happen if I put on a virtual reality viewer that would block out everything in "real life"?

 

 

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For myself, I don't want my virtual reality to be so "real" that it blocks out my real world.  I'm not very outgoing socially, and am very comfortable within myself, but I still like being connected with what is physically going on around me - family, pets, listening to the birds, traffic or even just the sounds of the neighborhood. 

Spending time in a virtual world would not be possible for me if it involved a VR headset or other items that completely blocked me from the hearing/seeing/being able to respond to my real world. 

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You've hit on the very reason I don't put much stock in VR goggles and similar tech. I can nail it down further though:

Cell (mobile) phones extend our ability to talk, chat and communicate. They didn't replace anything, they just amplified the daylights out of what we could already do.

VR goggles replace one sense with a marginally-acceptable recreation, leave all the rest of them dangling and generally give you vertigo (or scare the bejeebers outta you).

Noise cancelling headphones allow us to focus on one source of audio input, but the sense of hearing is not the primary sense most of us depend on. We can allow ourselves to focus on one thing we hear without being in danger or causing harm to others.

VR goggles block out all other input (just like noise cancelling headphones) but without sight (and without training in being sightless), any movements we make are prone to end up in damage to us or others.

No matter how I measure VR goggles, I still come back to the feeling that they're just another really neat toy with no appreciable use or value (to the general public). Even in so-called "Immersive" environments like SL, the precision of the world rendering is too low to make VR worthwhile for anything detailed. Not to mention the bloody things are too heavy to make wearing them for the hours and hours we chat anything other than torture.

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(I like the "virtual puppy" touch at the end. Well played.)

The HoloLens is (like mobile phones) an extension of an existing sense. It takes our vision and adds to it in new and as yet unimagined ways. That's why I limited my first comments to VR goggles; they are a different breed.

What they show in that video is admittedly very enticing. It's also about 75-100 years away. There is too much of our economy, manufacturing and just plain old humanity left to so completely detach ourselves from physical "hold it in my hand" experience.

As proof of my assertion: How many people do you know that routinely REALLY use a totally hands-free device with their phone? (not counting office desk sitters, operators and the like) People like to hold it with their own paws, even when it verges on being unwieldy or downright cumbersome.

So, with HoloLens in mind, what becomes SL? What use is SANSAR?

The only thing that matters suddenly is not the platform it runs on, or the mega company that built and maintains that platform. What matters is the people ... CREATORS .. that provide all the neat active content for people to use on their HoloLens (or similar) devices.

Linden Lab, Second Life, SANSAR .. they all get folded down into one tiny box called "The App Store".

And they won't be selling VR goggles there .. at all.

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I don't think people will lose track when switching between real life and virtual reality. I think we would have heard of something by now. I do think that weak minded individuals could be affected but those kinds of people can be affected by anything.

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It's much closer than 75 years. :P  That wasn't a video of what they want to do, that was shot using hololens on a camera.

 

And does putting the phone on speaker and laying it on the desk count as using it hands free or do we actually have to use another device?

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the direction that technology is going is to give us information and freedom, they dont want us to be blocked from real life, they know the inconvenience of having to stay in one place to access information like desktop computers, or having to look to a small screen to obtain information, they want us to be free to walk around and do things in rl and recieve information that we want with minimal interruption, Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens are taking the burden out of our hands and having to get distracted from real life to access information, they are bringing virtual reality to real life, they are liberating us from the screen (in a way, because the lenses have screens themselves), allowing us to have a real life less interrupted than looking at a small screen on our hands, maybe the goal is to deliver information directly in our brains with minimal intrusion to our bodies, technology don't want to block us from real life, they want to liberate us to work well in real life, and still have access to information.

today people knows what is virtual and what is not because of the physical indications, for example they know there is a flat squared screen in front of them displaying the objects, or that there is an object on their heads, in the future, there might not be those indications, but by that time, i think that they will adapt to know the difference as technology evolves, maybe a few will have trouble knowing the difference, but the people that are used to it will not get confused.

the balance between virtual and real will be decided by the users, maybe some will abuse the system and prefer virtual over real, but our physical bodies will make them go back to reality, by being hungry for example, personally, i enjoy the benefits of virtuality, i accept it in any way as long as it doesnt interrupt my real life functions.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

It's much closer than 75 years.
:P
  That wasn't a video of what they want to do, that was shot using hololens on a camera.

And does putting the phone on speaker and laying it on the desk count as using it hands free or do we actually have to use another device?

As Canoro points out, the future is tied to mobility. What's taking HoloLens and Google Glass so long to become "real" is the current high cost of data and power. Data costs have come way down, and with WiFi where it's at now, it's virtually free. But power to run the device? That's still expensive in lots of ways. Cost of the materials is just the start. The number of times you can recharge before the batteries need replacing is still too low, and their weight is still too high. But .. improvements are being made.

Putting the "HoloLens on the camera" means they digitally overlaid the computer generated imaging on the video footage they had prepared, measured and blocked off (in the Hollywood movie sense). The movement is too smooth to be based on today's inertia-based position detection systems and a wearable rendering computer. I promise you that the quality of images shown were not generated on a battery-operated hip-slung microcomputer; they came straight off a render farm.

Every time I estimate a "Time To Delivery" people always tell me "Nooo way! You're way too pessimistic!" Except, I've been right far too many times, so I'll stick with my original 75-100 years. (But you'll have to come tell me in the afterlife cuz I am NOT sticking around that long to find out! Blech!)

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Rufferta wrote:

 

Yesterday I enjoyed sailing through part of Second Life, but at the same time I was aware of a cat near my ankle, I listened to my husband telling me about what he was watching on tv., and it felt as if I had a foot in both worlds.

As it should be, IMO. Google 'Mark Knapp second life' for an extreme consequence of too much immersion.

Still, there will be people who willingly choose to cut themselves off from the real world (I've met a few people inworld who are dangerously close to that already). Looking forward to a bright future of cops kicking in apartment doors to collect emaciated corpses in OR goggles, and SL addicts in soiled clothes running around the streets with blood pouring from their eyes, screaming at passers by and pointing at trees in awe!

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BobbyGeorge wrote:

As it should be, IMO. Google 'Mark Knapp second life' for an extreme consequence of too much immersion.

--------------------------------------------

 Yes; that was tragic, but I can understand how people can be addicted to video games. The worse your real life, the more enticing Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc...can be. It can become a vicious cycle because you find yourself playing so long that you neglect things that could improve your 'real' life.

I realize that I myself sometimes turn to virtual realities when I'm not ready to deal with real reality.  I have to set a timer by the computer to remind myself (although sometimes I ignore it.)

Does anyone remember Red Dwarf's "Better Than Real Life" episode (there was at least one follow-up novel called "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers."?

Now I need to go do some real life stuff.

Added 8-10-15. I tried to find out more about the "Mark Knapp" situation. Turns out that the child had leukemia, and the parents were charged with severe neglect because they didn't seek medical treatment. Also turns out that the mother had apparently also earlier been charged with neglect of another child because of her drug use at the time  - but of course, that wouldn't make as interesting a headline - "Toddler neglected because mother uses drugs." because that is, unfortunately, not news...

 

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on the tech blogs they starting to talk about Mixed Reality

a blending of 3D tech into common RL situations not yet really explored

+

example

the single most advance in the last year or so of Mixed Reality is 3D-enabled cards in motor vehicles. NVidia just report a massive increase in sales of these cards. Way more than expected

is two main areas at the mo

3D gaming consoles on the back of the front seats for kids sitting in the back seats. Headsets are being devved to go with these

the children are stuck in the back of the car. On long trips then can put a headset/helmet on them. They be pretty happy to do that. Same their parents. Be happy (:

and 3D GPS

So the destination map is not a 2D map any more. Is a 3D sim of the road. Coming to a 3D dashboard mounted display near you. And to Google Glass plugged into the car battery while you wear and drive

 

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I am not willing to join in and will for sure not buy occular rift or anything similar. I don't want to be unable to hear the doorbell, telephone or someone shouthing for me/talking to me in RL and also, i would not want to constantly wear a headset too.

I am unsure if its an age thing ? The younger generation will be much more open for it all and i see a danger for kids by not being able anymore to keep RL and their virtual life separated ... which i find most important. I am 45 years old, up and interested at new technology but don't want to be more engrossed by all this as i am already.

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Rufferta wrote:

I just finished reading Joel Stein's article "Inside the Box" in the August 2015 issue of TIME magazine. I was disappointed that it wasn't about virtual worlds, it was about
virtual reality headsets, 
but it got me to thinking about how "real" I want my virtual reality to be.

I already have virtual worlds in my head - for example I have two versions of Middle Earth (one from the book, the other from the movies), and many other imaginationary worlds. True, they rely on my imagination to fill in the empty spots, but do I really need to be immersed with all my senses?

One part of the article discusses the uses of the virtual reality headsets. Some of the designers initially thought that they wanted a game where they could feel as if they were actually "running down halls shooting bad guys.." but when someone created a zombie game they found that even one virtual zombie, hardly moving, was too frightening for some people.

Will we adapt so that we are not frightened by "one zombie, hardly moving", and, if so, will it make it harder to identify the dangers in RR ("real reality"). Will people lose track of the differences between the world they see through a virtual reality headset, and "real life."

Yesterday I enjoyed sailing through part of Second Life, but at the same time I was aware of a cat near my ankle, I listened to my husband telling me about what he was watching on tv., and it felt as if I had a foot in both worlds. What would happen if I put on a virtual reality viewer that would block out everything in "real life"?

 

 

I think with everything, its possible to get too much of a good thing, and while I am able to experience a certain amount of immersion when logged into Second Life (or when I watch a movie or read a book), I don't want the reality to be sooo intense that my a vein in my head explodes with the intensity of the situation, or - a slightly less extreme - I get motion sickness (like I have when travelling on the mainland in one of those pod thingies in mouselook). 

But for every dinosaur like me, there are at least 10 people who will be rushing out and buying VR headsets etc. (and I expect they will be young people - I am 52 - as someone else has pointed out in this thread, it maybe down to age that some of us aren't so receptive to things like VR headsets).

There's also something very reassuring about having a foot in both worlds; a sense of being in control - except of time, which seems to go four times as fast when I'm logged into Second Life.

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irihapeti wrote:

on the tech blogs they starting to talk about Mixed Reality

a blending of 3D tech into common RL situations not yet really explored

+

example

the single most advance in the last year or so of Mixed Reality is 3D-enabled cards in motor vehicles. NVidia just report a massive increase in sales of these cards. Way more than expected

is two main areas at the mo

3D gaming consoles on the back of the front seats for kids sitting in the back seats. Headsets are being devved to go with these

the children are stuck in the back of the car. On long trips then can put a headset/helmet on them. They be pretty happy to do that. Same their parents. Be happy (:

and 3D GPS

So the destination map is not a 2D map any more. Is a 3D sim of the road. Coming to a 3D dashboard mounted display near you. And to Google Glass plugged into the car battery while you wear and drive

 

So they learn not to pay attention to what is around them.

Whatever happened to good fun games like counting how many stripes on the road were in a mile?  

And while I don't know how license plates work where you live we'd try to identify as many different States as we could.

Or great old standards like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5DJXa0n05c

Or 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzGLUlNCT-g

There were (and still are) many ways to keep kids entertained in a car.

And if all else fails, there is always duct tape!  ;)

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irihapeti wrote:

on the tech blogs they starting to talk about Mixed Reality

a blending of 3D tech into common RL situations not yet really explored

+

example

the single most advance in the last year or so of Mixed Reality is 3D-enabled cards in motor vehicles. NVidia just report a massive increase in sales of these cards. Way more than expected

is two main areas at the mo

3D gaming consoles on the back of the front seats for kids sitting in the back seats. Headsets are being devved to go with these

the children are stuck in the back of the car. On long trips then can put a headset/helmet on them. They be pretty happy to do that. Same their parents. Be happy (:

and 3D GPS

So the destination map is not a 2D map any more. Is a 3D sim of the road. Coming to a 3D dashboard mounted display near you. And to Google Glass plugged into the car battery while you wear and drive

 

The idea of kids in the backseat wearing headsets/helmets playing on gaming consoles really bothers me.  First, I think it is likely to cause a lot of car sickness issues.  Second, I don't think that the only way to have a happy car trip is to have the kids completely engaged in electronics.  There are a lot of interesting sights and scenery to be seen while traveling.  I often talk about things I see or a quick bit of historical or interesting information about something that we're driving by when on long trips.  I don't want them to loose a sense of awe or appreciation of different landscapes and geography.  On one trip I made with my granddaughter, I made her a checklist of landmarks to find along the route, as well as a copy of the map of our route, with the town names, so she could follow our progress. 

I grew up in the era of paper maps - which were great - you could look and see all the different possibilities for getting from point A to point B on a long trip.  Then you also had to pay attention along the route, and know where you were and where you were going to need to turn. My oldest daughter relies solely on her GPS and has no idea how to get to places without it, because she doesn't pay the same type of attention to the route while she's driving.  I don't care for GPS's because I like to be able to picture the entire route in my mind.  A 3D GPS would just be another added distraction, I think.  

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Just take my brain out and put it in a jar. Goodbye, meatworld!

This was an enjoyable thread to read, lots of diverse opinion. I get the feeling however, that a lot of people expressing skepticism haven't actually tried VR - understandable given that its not readily available yet.

We're in the very early days of this tech. If you're old enough to remember the early 90's, you might remember how clunky, slow and gimmicky the web was. 25 years ago, there wasn't a lot of overlap with RL. Now, its utterly interconnected. A lot of VR skepticism stems from the current interfaces available, which is fair enough, but kind of like judging the potential of the web based on your 28.8k modem.

Lots of comments about how you don't want to be completely disconnected from reality - you want to be able to hear the doorbell, etc. Well, that's an issue with headphones, not VR.

As someone who gets motion sickness, I kind of agree that it doesn't sound like a good idea to put full immersion headsets on kids in the backseat of a car. But what about AR goggles? What if they could look out the window and be educated about what's passing them by? What if they want to see what the town they're driving through looked like in the 1950's?

The educational and psychological benefits are HUGE. Consider the child confined to bed in a hospital. Consider the person with cerebral palsy. Consider the most agoraphobic person you know in SL and the potential for them to experience things they would never have the chance to otherwise. This, IMO, is what we need to be thinking about, not how VR will change the life of an average, neurotypical human.

Me, I just want the ability to 3d model with my hands, inside virtual space. :)

 

 

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it depends really on what kinda games are on the consoles

kids (little children specially) like driving the car. So I think that be pretty popular. Like they can drive the car in the game. The actual car they are in. on the 3D view of the road ahead

or even for older kids they can drive their own virtual car and follow, chase and pass their mum or dad who driving the virtual rep of the actual car

and so on

+

also as well

the landmarks game can be played on the consoles as well

spot the license plate game. The console game will help to keep the scores, and also can change the game. like change to red car blue car etc

and on and on with all kinds of road games possible

and then when dont want to play any games anymore, bc the olds worn out, then can just watch or play streams for a time

or can do the old faithful when your parents dont know how to stop making you have family activities in the car. Like when you a 23yo trapped in a 13yo body with parents. Can just fake sleep it (:

+

and then theres inflight consoles coming as well

for sure can say that is the job of the parents to keep their kids occupied on flights. But yeah!. Pretty much every other passenger just hopes the parents and the kids just be quiet for a time. Like stick a helmet on that kid ok. Even for one hour ok (: Let them fly the plane ok !!

(:

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So the whole of the technological effort of the internet age is being directed to stop kids from saying "are we there yet?"

Sounds good to me. Although duct tape is cheaper and extremely effective.

Alec - a sense of proportion in an argument, which is sadly missing from this thread

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