Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Oculus VR Gets $15M in VC Funding - Virtual Reality Much More Likely to Go Mass Market

Oculus Rift Second Life

Oculus VR just secured $15 million in "Series A" venture funding, which is quite a decent amount for a first round of VC funding, and if you're like me and think the company's Oculus Rift VR headset is important to the future of virtual worlds like Second Life, not to mention many real world applications, this is really good news. As Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey puts it:

[The funding] helps us hire the best and brightest minds in VR from around the world. It lets us experiment and prototype with more cutting-edge tech. And it allows us to build a badass, consumer VR gaming platform, the likes of which the world has never seen.

Up to now, my excitement over the technology has been tempered by the fear that it might lose momentum like a lot of projects originally launched on Kickstarter have done. Not any more:

$15 million is more than enough to turn this from a fun niche peripheral for a few hundred thousand geeks into a mass market product millions can enjoy. For NWN readers, this is yet another sign to start planning for the Oculus Rift era of Second Life.

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Jo Yardley

Been planning for it for years :)
Making your sim to scale and good looking from a mouselook point of view is the first step :)

Metacam Oh

Congrats to the Oculus team, great to see them advancing Virtual Worlds

Ajax Manatiso

It will be a giant pffffft. Most of SL's visitors are free players, and if they won't cough up 8 bucks for a premium membership, do you really think they will come up with $300 for a set of these goggles? Secondly the oldbies like me who have been premium forever are constantly multitasking on SL. Switching from SL to a browser to another program, taking phone calls, and scooting from the desktop to the laptop, with glances up at the tv -- which you can't do while wearing these goggles. It will be confined to a tiny group with large amounts of disposal income. Perhaps 100-200 SL users tops.

Jo Yardley

Most free players spend lots of cash on their computers, mobile phones, ipad and other gadgets.
Besides nobody will buy the Rift JUST for SL, they will want it for games, exercise, fun, shopping, watching movies, etc

This thing is SO much more then just another way to see a game.
Everyone will want one sooner or later.

Have you tried it?
It is amazing.

Tracy Redangel

Jo is 100% correct, because I'm one of those "free players". I've spent plenty in SL on tier (I rent a 1/4 sim because I don't need an entire sim or homestead). I buy hair, clothes, shoes, furniture, houses, cars, etc etc etc.
Ajax: Why do yo have a premium membership? Either you own an entire sim, or you just like the little chotchkies LL hands out when you have a premium membership. If there is another reason for having a premium membership, please, enlighten me. Otherwise, that membership is a WASTE, since I neither need, or want an entire sim, nor do I have any use for the other "benefits" a premium membership would garner.

Hamlet Au

"oldbies like me who have been premium forever are constantly multitasking on SL"

That's just a minority of Second Life's userbase -- most SL users are only in-world less than 4 hours a month. But one big reason hardcore users multi-task so much is that SL is experientially not that immersive on a regular basis. What both the hardcore minority and the casual majority need is a way to really experience Second Life at its best and fully immersive, which the Rift can provide.

CronoCloud Creeggan

4 hours a month? a MONTH? Geebus, when I log in I'm often in for 4 hours that DAY.

But I cannot imagine the Oculus achieving any real market. I mean sure, if all you want to do is log in for a half hour and look at some scenic region in first person it would work... but HELLO.... chat? Groups? Inventory? Shopping via Marketplace? Blogging? Can you imagine anyone wearing one of those for 8 hours?

One of the great things about SL is that it's NOT fully immersive all the time, that I CAN answer the phone or door, or feed the kitty. Those wacky immersionists going on about singularities and things like the Oculus Rift are not the norm

jo yardley

The Oculus Rift will not JUST be for SL.
I predict that every household will have them, they will be used for RL shopping, schooling, social interaction, watching movies, exercise and gaming, lots of gaming.
Have you read the book 'Ready player one'?
You should, I reckon the 'oasis' is coming and if LL plays its cards right, it could be just that.

I have tried the Oculus Rift and can easily imagine wearing one for more then 8 hours, even after just trying the devkit.
I don't know if I will wear it ALL the time IN SECOND LIFE, not with the way the viewer works now, but when that improves, yes I can.
Look up a video called "World builder".

zzpearlbottom

How much can one handle before getting dizzy or with migraines?
3d is not new in anyway, all that matters is how much one can handle before the brain saus its enough?
It can work for a 5 min experience, so for sure Sl sex will become much more realistic, lol!

Tryptofaa Sands

"Switching from SL to a browser to another program, taking phone calls, and scooting from the desktop to the laptop, with glances up at the tv -- which you can't do while wearing these goggles."

It may take a while, but potentially you could do all of these things within a decent heads up display. You could be totally immersed in 3d one second, then with a quick hand gesture to your leap motion, SL will be shown in a virtual monitor floating in front of you, and thanks to the head tracking, you could have as many of these virtual monitors floating around you as you need for multi-tasking (including glancing at the virtual tv floating next to your virtual monitors). If it's done right it could truly revolutionise the way we can interact with any virtual space. Just picture standing in front of and moving your head around your latest mesh model, and reaching out to shape it with your hands using a leap motion like device, all while standing in the middle of the virtual workshop you built, with your favorite show playing on the giant virtual tv you bought in the corner.. etc etc. It could be amazing.

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