Noah J Nelson on Friday, Oct. 18th
When conversation turns to the virtual reality platform Oculus Rift, the issue of “simulator sickness” inevitably comes up. The short form: some people experience motion sickness when using the device. Enough people, in fact, that the phenomenon has begun to look like a significant hurdle for the technology.
Surprisingly one of those people is Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe, who spoke this week at the Gaming Insiders conference in San Francisco. Polygon quotes him thus:
“I’ve gotten sick every time I’ve tried it. Every time until recently,” he said. “In the last few weeks, I stayed in it for 45 minute sessions and I did not get sick with the new prototype. We are at the edge of bringing you no motion sickness content.”
If, and that’s a mighty big “IF”, Iribe’s experience of the new prototype pans out with others who experience simulator sickness this is another major hurdle on the road to a viable commercial product for the growing company.
The race to bring VR to market is on, however. Engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, both former employees of gaming juggernaut Valve, successfully launched their own VR/Augmented Reality project CastAR on KIckstarter this week. A Kickstarter project may not sound like a serious market threat, until one remembers that Oculus VR had their own humble beginnings on the crowdfunding site.
At least VR/AR headsets don’t take up as much space as TVs and Rock Band gear.