The desire to seek new ways to entertain ourselves has driven forth a plethora of new technologies and cultural advances, from the plays of Ancient Greece to the Theatre of the Renaissance, to the radio and then film. As technology advanced, so did our aspirations for its use.
We used computers to explore an entirely new industry of gaming, and we have come a long way from the days of Pong and Space Invaders. Like every other industry, the more we got invested, the more we got out of it, like a progressive jackpot.
Games can now be designed and played in beautiful 4k graphics, with a level of animation and character that can bring forth as much emotion as the best movie or song. Yet, we didn’t stop there. We want to really experience these imaginary worlds. That’s what the world of Virtual Technology offers us, and while the technology has a long way to go, let me introduce the latest and greatest this field has to offer: the Oculus Quest.
The Oculus Quest is far from being the first Virtual Reality headset on the market.
In 1939, the View-Master was invented. The View-Master was a toy (still sold today) that are like a pair of binoculars that allowed the user to look at stereoscopic-3d images on little reels.
In the 1960s, Morton Heilig invented the Sensorama, an entirely mechanical device that allowed the user to watch some short films while triggering the users’ senses, such as driving a motorcycle and having the wind blow into their face.
In 1968, Ivan Sutherland worked with his students to create the very first head mounted display device. The graphics were simple wireframes, and the device was so heavy it had to be mounted from the ceiling.
Virtual Reality was mostly used for a long time to simulate medical, flight, automobile, and military training purposes. To give an example of just how uncommercially viable Virtual Reality was, the company Virtuality sold VR pods back in 1991 that only cost a mere 73,000 dollars per unit.
Virtual Reality wouldn’t become commercially viable for the average consumer until 2010 when Palmer Lucky designed the first prototype for the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift was bought in 2014 for 3 billion dollars, with a 90-degree field of view, larger than all FOV available for VR previously, and was displayed on one large screen.
Later versions would include two separate screens, one for each eye, which allowed the user to adjust the distance of the screens to their eyes for what was comfortable to them.
During this time, Virtual Reality became popular again, and various companies started to make competing products for Oculus, such as the HTC Vive, which featured a similar level of resolution as well as two “lighthouses” that could be placed in a room to track the position of the headset easier.
Why the Oculus Quest?
So, what makes the new Oculus Quest special? Well, what was similar between every version of Virtual Reality tech that I previously mentioned?
They were all stationary.
Every single one is restricting in some way, either because they required the user to sit, or stay in one room, or be hooked to a computer. The Oculus Quest is completely wireless and doesn’t need to be connected to a PC.
Full VR without a PC operating as the graphical powerhouse is a complete first, and that’s what the Oculus Quest offers. The Oculus Quest also has built-in audio, so no headphones required, and works seamlessly with the Oculus Touch controllers.
Sensors built into the headset track the size and the player’s position in a room, to help avoid any smashed furniture. Or smashed toes against tables. On top the surprisingly large amount of games available for it, you can be up and going in fifteen minutes in the latest and greatest games that VR has to offer.
There’s just no competition to it at this point, so what are you waiting for? Check it out!