After Facebook bought the Oculus, it seemed as though half of the world went crazy. The game-worshipping half of the world immediately berated Oculus for “selling out” for a measly $2 billion (chump change). The extent of the disappointment reached ridiculous levels when people flooded the CEO’s inbox with death threats because, in their opinion, virtual reality has no place outside of gaming. More sane parties calmly and quietly expressed their surprise in an appropriate manner, wondering why a social media site would have any interest in virtual reality and remarking that buying Oculus was such an unexpected move. As it turns out, the extent of virtual reality goes beyond mere games, and not only is Facebook interested in the emerging technology, but other companies are as well.
To the relief of game lovers everywhere, Sony has thrown their hat into the race, or perhaps more aptly put – they threw their VR goggles into the race. It has been announced that the Renaissance corporation is trying to revolutionize the game market again after being reinvigorated by the PS4’s monumental sales numbers and have begun working on Project Morpheus. Though not much information has been released by the company yet, there was an introduction of the project on The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon and Channing Tatum squared off in a medieval game demonstration. However, after the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) takes place, there should be a lot more information flooding in.
The Oculus Rift premiered at last year’s E3 and took home the coveted Best of Show award in the category of hardware. Now, Oculus is racing to put out a retail prototype in light of them not being the only ones in the virtual reality race, as Facebook is just one of multiple companies exploring the avenues that the technology has to offer. When Facebook announced their plans to make a platform that had the capability of bringing pen pals across the world together without either having to leave their respective rooms, it sparked ideas of using the platform for business meetings or classes.
Control VR is another company that is bringing the playing field to a whole new level. The company claims that virtual reality headsets have been available for decades, but the problem preventing its widespread distribution has been weight and cost. Now that both issues are manageable, Control VR have brought a whole new element to the game – gloves. The company says that the addition of the glove will be revolutionary because it will have uses in healthcare, military operations, animation, education and even robotics. Alex Sarnoff, CEO of Control VR, said in an interview with Forbes that he would like to see his technology helping people that have suffered strokes to be able to take physical therapy from the comfort of their own homes. He continued to say that virtual reality will prove to be the greatest advance in technology of the 21st century. That may or may not be true, but virtual reality is a game-changing concept that will drive innovation, and Facebook is not the only interested company.
By Eddie Mejia