Chances are you've already seen this now-viral video of a 90 year old woman fully freaking out from the joy of experiencing a virtual recreation of Tuscany through the Oculus Rift headset, and I really hope everyone at Linden Lab has seen it too, because... well, just watch:
We were just talking about whether Second Life can become the killer app for the Oculus Rift, but this video makes it far more clear what the opportunity is: A means of bringing the virtual world experience to everyone, easily, without them necessarily having to learn how to use a complex user interface to get the basic experience. Not to mention an experience that seems to be far more profound and immersive than just seeing the world on a flat, single screen. With the Rift, all that's required is the ability to move your head. But like I said, here's the key challenge:
To be a true killer app, Linden Lab would need to spend millions making sure Second Life was optimized to work with Rift, and even packaged together with it somehow as a consumer product.
The creators of the Oculus Rift themselves have said that a world like Second Life is very much a use case for their technology. All that's needed is enough money to elevate this from tech for hardcore geeks and gamers to a consumer-ready, off-the-shelf product that people like grandma here can use. (With maybe just a little help from her family, or other caregiver.) Because I hope you're thinking what I'm thinking:
Only a few months ago, I wrote about Fran, an 85 year old woman who plays Second Life, and reports it helped her gain significant recovery from her Parkinson's Disease. But to make what she experienced accessible to millions more like her and beyond, Second Life will need to get away from being a PC-only experience, and move toward technology like the Rift. (Not to mention gesture-based tech folks like Philip Rosedale are working on now.) Fran's story helped restore a lot of my faith in Second Life. The Oculus Rift is helping restore my hope that Second Life might still become a mass market product. All that remains is the company that owns it to commit. But will they?
Please share this post with people you like:Tweet