The new and improved Oculus Rift was all the rage at CES, but there are still some kinks. In an interview with PC Gamer, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey tackled our biggest concerns, such as this one: when will this thing look less stupid and not make me motion-sick so I can use it for business travel?
You’ll look cooler! We’re making it look cooler. It’s getting a lot cooler-looking. Even these prototypes are a little misleading on our progress. This prototype is smaller than the original dev kits, but it’s a little longer and it is still kind of bulky. A lot of that is because these are all hand-built prototypes that we had to leave room to assemble things and hand-wire inside. So if it was actually a manufactured good, even right now, it’d be quite a bit slimmer. So you won’t look as stupid.
No matter how good you make a VR headset, it won’t necessarily let you do everything you can do on a monitor without feeling disorienting, and that’s because a lot of things that you do in traditional games would make you sick if you did them in real life. The only reason it works is because your brain doesn’t actually get tricked into thinking it’s in a virtual space. So even if we make a perfect VR headset and make everything flawless, there will still be certain experiences—barrel rolls in a fighter—that are going to make you sick. Or very fast altitude changes, which makes people sick in real life, or even just vertigo, looking down from a great height.
When VR is going to be exciting is when it gets as good as real life at everything, and you start to say, well, why would I travel on a business meeting across the world just to go sit face-to-face with people, if we can just plug in Rifts and get all of the same nuance of communication we could have gotten otherwise.
In other words it’s the perfect gift for the entrepreneurial businessperson unconcerned with fashion.