Programmers everywhere are excited about the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. Valve’s Michael Abrash talked about the future of virtual reality gaming and the Oculus over at RockPaperShotgun.
In the long run, it seems unlikely [that controllers will be] the interface you’ll want [with VR]. Maybe you’ll want to manipulate objects with your hands. Maybe it could be a Kinect-like thing. It could be gloves. Who knows? Maybe you just have a little touch pad on your finger. Maybe it’s gesture-based.
It’s kind of like if you went back to 1995 and developed the best BBS software ever. How much value would that be to you now? How much value would evolving it have been? None. Because BBS is a transitional stage. My belief is that both AR and VR will eventually merge. Similarly, I think a tablet is a transitional technology, because you don’t really want to lug that thing around. But if you have the glasses with the same kind of information, that’d be far more useful – which is what Google is clearly betting on. They want to replace your phone and your tablet.
Virtual Reality’s progress may continue to be a little awkward, but when someone finally gets it right… that’s what we’re all waiting for.