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How Virtual Reality Became Reality

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the when-two-smartphones-and-a-gas-mask-love-each-other-very-much dept.

Displays 104

An anonymous reader writes "Wired has an in-depth report on the development of the Oculus Rift, telling the story of the tech and its creators from conception to present. Quoting: 'That's because Oculus has found a way to make a headset that does more than just hang a big screen in front of your face. By combining stereoscopic 3-D, 360-degree visuals, and a wide field of view—along with a supersize dose of engineering and software magic—it hacks your visual cortex. As far as your brain is concerned, there's no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world. "This is the first time that we've succeeded in stimulating parts of the human visual system directly," says Abrash, the Valve engineer. "I don't get vertigo when I watch a video of the Grand Canyon on TV, but I do when I stand on a ledge in VR." ... The hardware problems have been solved, the production lines are almost open, and the Rift will be here soon. After that it's anybody's guess. "I've written 2 million lines of code over the past 20 years, and now I'm starting from a blank page," Carmack says. "But the sense that I'm helping build the future right now is palpable."'"

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Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048305)

Disorientation, intense headaches, eye fatigue, vertigo, sickness, projectile vomiting in extreme cases. I don't know what it is with this thing but keep it away from me.

Re:Do not want. (3, Funny)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 4 months ago | (#47048515)

I was the same way about Windows 8, but since it was only a $20 upgrade from Windows 7 I took the plunge. Now it is only mild nausea and a case of the douche chills when I have to use the terms "Charms Bar".

Re: Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049253)

You were that kid who wasn't allowed to use the slides weren't you?

My lord aren't you precious?

Re:Do not want. (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 4 months ago | (#47050071)

I guess you missed the news that low latency in the time from head motion to change in display image eliminated the distortion, nausea, etc, for pretty much all but a very very sensitive few?

Hurry up and take my money.. (1)

xtal (49134) | about 4 months ago | (#47048357)

Competition is coming.

*cough* Valve *cough*

Re:Hurry up and take my money.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048861)

Valve is busy with Dota 2.

They made 12 million dollars last week on compendium sales alone for the coming international tournament.

Re:Hurry up and take my money.. (2)

jeti (105266) | about 4 months ago | (#47048943)

Valve has no plans to produce their own hardware. And Michael Abrash, who was at the core of Valves VR research, is now working for Oculus.

Re:Hurry up and take my money.. (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#47050573)

Good. Because I would have a very hard time buying this knowing it's now owned by that cunt ZuckerAsshole.

story ends with (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048361)

sold out, tech will now probably die or be used for mass advertising thanks for nothing

Except It Isn't (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47048391)

Here's how it happened:

2 decades passed since the last time they tried this shit and failed. Now they're trying this shit again, and they'll fail again. People don't want to wear headgear for their media consumption. "VR" (stereoscopic 3D on a head-mounted display) will be a massive flop in the mass consumer market, as always.

VR will continue to be marginally useful for specific uses such as 3D imaging for medical, military, or industrial applications, as it always has been. It will continue to get marginally better, extremely expensive upgrades that take it from HUDs to glasses to headgear to actual VR. It will do this outside of the 20 year abortion cycle that the mass consumer market sees.

The Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus are abortions in progress.

Re:Except It Isn't (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47048451)

I wonder why you make the huge mistake of assuming that this is a mass-market product, but understand why you leap to erroneous conclusions because of your flawed premise. This is for a particular niche, the enthusiast gamer. There are plenty of us out there.

Re:Except It Isn't (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47048533)

I wonder why you make the huge mistake of assuming that this is a mass-market product

I wonder why you'd assume that if Facebook was interested in it it wouldn't be a mass-market product.

Facebook didn't spend $2 billion dollars on something they think hardly anybody will use.

Ownership by Facebook immediately makes it technology I don't want. Not now, not ever.

There are plenty of us out there.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 4 months ago | (#47048701)

Not now, not ever.

Well, I guess this discussion is over then. /s You're not wrong to be wary of FB, but absolutes don't advance anything here.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47048741)

>Ownership by Facebook immediately makes it technology I don't want. Not now, not ever.

Yeah, that makes me uncomfortable too. I was much more enthusiastic about this product before the purchase. There are competing devices, and one of those might wind up capturing most of this market, just because so many of us oppose having Facebook market our eyeballs.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 4 months ago | (#47048995)

Ownership by Facebook immediately makes it technology I don't want. Not now, not ever.

Yes, me too. I do my best to avoid giving Facebook a dime of my money, and unfortunately this must include OR being something I can't purchase. That FB bought them turned them from being a source of palpable excitement to a source of sadness and longing for what could have been.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

SB2020 (1814172) | about 5 months ago | (#47054619)

Ownership by Facebook immediately makes it technology I don't want. Not now, not ever.

What if Facebook bring out a jetpack?

Re:Except It Isn't (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47048685)

I wonder why you make the huge mistake of assuming that this is a mass-market product, but understand why you leap to erroneous conclusions because of your flawed premise. This is for a particular niche, the enthusiast gamer. There are plenty of us out there.

You're the one making the huge mistake of assuming Facebook is going to shove this thing into a niche that history has shown doesn't exist in any profitable form. Look at all those enthusiast gamers playing games in 3D, wearing headgear. The most successful 3D gaming platform is the 3DS, and Nintendo has dropped nearly all focus on the 3D aspect of it because people weren't bothering to play in 3D. They released a 2DS because, even without glasses, people don't fucking care about 3D. Facebook is going to patent this shit to death and pigeonhole it into a shitty marketing vehicle.

Sony's shit is nothing but a tease at this point. Maybe we'll see something substantial at E3, but the simple fact of the matter is that the PS4 is NOT powerful enough for this shit. Add on the fact that most PS4 owners will NOT have this device and you'll have little developer support for it. MS had to drop the Kinect from the XBONE (starting June 9th) because it wasn't getting used and the added price was a big part of what made them uncompetitive with the PS4. Now that it's not bundled with every system, it's a fucking paper weight. So why would Sony bundle this with every PS5 in 4-6 years and run the risk of repeating the PS3 / XBONE failures due to the added price?

These things cost way too fucking much and have way too little use for the mass market to buy in. The amount of people that do buy in is way too fucking small for developers to support, and thus those use cases are never created. You can't half-ass this type of thing, and history has shown us that. Anything that's a console accessory won't succeed. The closest to success we've ever seen with that kind of scheme is the Wii Balance Board - a device that's super simple, super cheap to make, and doesn't add any extra horsepower requirements. Yet there are exactly 2 worthwhile games for that thing - Wii Fit and Wii Fit U. And only one of those games sold well.

Maybe I'm old, but I've seen this shit time and time again. You can keep fooling yourself into thinking that "this time VR will be different", though.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47048733)

Facebook might try that, but if they do, they're obviously very misguided.

VR has worked in the past, and they've made a ton of improvements, so I don't see this failing in the gamer market. I had an eMagin HMD around a decade ago, that was already awesome despite a narrow FOV on the earlier tech. The only issue was that it depended on Nvidia for support, which was dropped at the very next driver update. Lag wasn't a problem for me.

Of course I don't hesitate to adopt new technologies, so use things like Move and Kinect, so I may be more open to new things than some other gamers.

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049419)

Maybe I'm old

Yep.

VR is not 3D (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 4 months ago | (#47049793)

You don't seem to understand something. 3D sucks because after you play in 3D for a while, the effect wears off and your brain can barely tell the difference between it and a simple 2D image. Then you wonder why you're wearing the dumb glasses.

VR is a completely different experience. It doesn't wear off in the same way, though the brain does get somewhat accustomed to aspects of it. The problem is you can't just move back to a 2D screen and get a similar experience. Games developed specifically for VR are very compelling and can't really be experienced any other way.

> These things cost way too fucking much and have way too little use for the mass market to buy in. The amount of people that do buy in is way too fucking small for developers to support, and thus those use cases are never created.

Welcome to the smartphone market circa 2005...

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050843)

You are not old because you have many years. You are old because now you are closed to new ideas.

There are multiple technologies that have failed many time... until they made it. Smart phones, tablets, electric cars, Facebook, and the list goes on and one. Most people will always be blind to them, until they actually succeed.

Sometimes being successful doesn't have anything to do with the idea. Sometimes is just correct timing.

I can see this technology becoming the next big thing in multiple scenarios. And as always, the industry changer may make it successful. Imagine if p0rn starts using it. I'd bet the whole industry will follow.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

LRAD (1822746) | about 4 months ago | (#47052159)

This thing where the PS4 isn't powerful enough is flawed logic.

The PS4 won't be able to push it's current games into that resolution, but if you can simply focus on performance (60-120 fps) and gameplay. There are a number of 3D games that, while dated, still have a solid art style going for them with unique enough gameplay experiences that people still play or will play at a discount price. Point is, lower the demand of polys and textures and you have plenty of horsepower for keeping the latency down and frames up.

Maybe you're old, maybe you're just not keeping up on what technologies and programming can do with this thing. OculusVR isn't just TRICKING everyone. The applications are many and there are even more unexplored ones.

Gaming
Medical
Remote Telecommunications (http://youtu.be/yUu1ZQDCGp8)
Military
Transportation
Logistics Coordination
Out of Body Experience Generator
Arcade Laser Tag

Point is it's not going to be a niche, it's going to be a lot of niches.

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048481)

You should try it.

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048853)

I disagree in that it definitely has applications for gaming, namely racing and flying simulations. Although those are niche markets, too.

Re:Except It Isn't (2)

javelinco (652113) | about 4 months ago | (#47049617)

2 decades passed since the last time they tried this shit and failed. Now they're trying this shit again, and they'll fail again. People don't want to use touch screen tablets to do their "computing."

2 decades passed since the last time they tried this shit and failed. Now they're trying this shit again, and they'll fail again. People want mobile phones that make calls, not play dumb games.

Etc., etc., etc.

You might be right on this one, but you aren't right because of the argument you are using. There are lots of reasons this will fail, but failing because "it failed before" isn't connected with reality, just sour grapes.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 4 months ago | (#47051871)

For what reasons will it fail, then, would you say?

You don't know what you're talking about. (3, Interesting)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 4 months ago | (#47049639)

Have you worn an Oculus? No, you haven't. Which is why you think it is an 'abortion'. I have spent the better part of a year with an early development kit and I can tell you it's already a highly entertaining experience that will only get better over time.

> People don't want to wear headgear for their media consumption.

People don't want to watch a wall-mounted rectangle for their media consumption. Both are asinine statements. Anyway, VR isn't so much about consuming media. It's about being part of an interactive experience that can't be replicated any other way.

> 2 decades passed since the last time they tried this shit and failed.

Yes, it was super expensive back then, there was next to no content and the overall experience was absolutely horrible by anyone's standards.

So what's different this time? Technology has improved immensely. Field of view is much larger, latency is way down, resolution is way up, and weight is a small fraction of the early headsets. Oh, also most households already have the computers necessary to drive a decent VR experience. And content? It's coming. There are thousands of 3d games that can benefit from VR with only a few months of additional development effort and hundreds of new titles already being built. Furthermore, VR headsets will be in the same price range as a typical game console or high end video card. It is now right in the cross-hairs of the mainstream digital consumer.

Re:Except It Isn't (5, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | about 4 months ago | (#47049841)

Hrm... I take it you haven't tried the product yet or watched the reaction of people who have used it.

I'm a child of the 90's so I used to play those VR games for a dollar for 5 minutes in the arcades and have to agree those were pretty shitty.

However, the Oculus Rift is something else to behold.

I own a dev kit and I actually get "Oh shit" moments in the Rift playing the roller coaster demos. Regular games don't do that for me. I get vertigo playing Minecraft in the Rift when I am high up building something. Regular Minecraft doesn't do that.

When I play Euro Truck Simulator 2 in the Rift I find myself looking left and right and checking my mirrors just like I drive a car in real life. I even look out the window to look at the scenery. Without the Rift I don't do that.

And this is a low rez version without positional tracking.

Its not a gimmick and its not going away. 2 billion dollars says its not going away. Even if you hate Facebook you can invest in one of the other kickstarters like AntVR and use their product.

I've been participating in the RiftMax shows and it reminds me of the scene in Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex where they are in a virtual chat room on the net.

This is going to be big.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | about 4 months ago | (#47052239)

I've tried Occulus and agree with the parent (I'm also 40 and have been around this block before). VR will never be a mainstream, mass market application. Now that the tech is mostly working (OR is awesome - it works like we all wanted it to the first time Jaron Lanier was in the news), it needs applications. Sure, core gaming will change as will some industrial applications, but otherwise there aren't a lot of good reasons to put an app in an head mounted display. HMDs are not exactly a great fashion accessory (even at the scale of google glass).

-Chris

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 5 months ago | (#47054363)

When I was playing WoW, one of my guildmembers inherited a sum of money, and decided to use (some of) it to buy himself a cool gaming rig. He was one of these people who always had a machine barely able to play the game on low settings etc.

He got a 3D screen and glasses setup with dual Nvidia cards. His testimonials really make me jealous. He was explaining how instead of one character occluding another, you could actually tell that they were 'behind'.

The game was completely different in 3D and he couldn't imagine ever going back to simple 2D.

I experienced something similar playing Crysis 2 on my friend's XBOX360 on a 3D TV. It completely changes the game when you can perceive depth.

The ONLY thing stopping me buying a 3D monitor for my PC, is the apparent nearness of the Rift commercial package now.

You're wrong, and here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049929)

Two simple words: video games. Twenty years ago, video games were a lot different. VR didn't make sense because there wasn't sufficient graphical detail for it to be a useful upgrade to immersion. Now, we have that capability. I play a lot of video games and I know a lot of gamers are excited about this, at least those that I know. It probably won't be immediately the most popular thing ever, but it doesn't need to be. It'll start with some gamers who talk it up and will move from there. The applications you mentioned will also help it gain traction. I don't know if it will ultimately sink or swim, but I do know that your cynicism is unwarranted; there's more of a chance here than you're giving it credit for, and I don't see why you're +5.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | about 4 months ago | (#47050623)

Jesus, when did Slashdot become populated by Luddites? 20 years ago, VR was populated by overly heavy, underpowered, expensive systems. the 2000su system (the first vr system I ever had a chance to experience, coincidentally) was a second gen system, and yet still cost somewhere around £10,000 [http://www.retro-vr.co.uk/test/vr2000su.html]. The head sets themselves were about a half pound heavier than the oculus rift (50% increase), had a resolution of 756x244 pixels, and a view range of under 60 degrees (with only 47 degrees in the vertical dimension!). [http://www.arcadianvr.com/SU_2000_TECHSPECS.htm]So yes, 20 years ago, this was a bad idea.

Well, wait. "What about the virtual boy?" you might ask. let's look at that one and see why it failed. resolution? 384x224 resolution (4 color with 32 levels of Intensity). head tracking? no. processor? 32bit RISC 20mHz Clock speed. Check out that speed. [http://www.goliathindustries.com/vb/VBSpecs.html]

So the Oculus Rift is higher res by a factor of 5: 960 x 1080 per eye. It has a higher viewing angle, 100 degrees. it weighs one third less than the old standard. the system is just a display for a computer, so the processing power is both upgradable and much faster than before. and the development kit, not even the production version which will be cheaper due to scaled production, is only 350 dollars. And software wise, there's a lot of work out there to provide interesting experiences from standard gaming to straight simulation of flight.

Being a naysayer is boring. Next time try to imagine what could be instead of thinking your perfect little view of the world is the only way.

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050765)

You are using Luddites wrong, as it is often the case. They didn't hate technology, they just did not want technology to replace their jobs. But whatever :)

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47051511)

Good catch, you are correct and I am wrong there, but you hopefully get the point. posting as Anon to avoid the off topic scoring on the reply

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054571)

Well, wait. "What about the virtual boy?" you might ask. let's look at that one and see why it failed. resolution? 384x224 resolution (4 color with 32 levels of Intensity). head tracking? no. processor? 32bit RISC 20mHz Clock speed. Check out that speed. [http://www.goliathindustries.com/vb/VBSpecs.html]

To say that is why virtualboy failed is revisionist and lacking a consumer viewpoint (who cares little about specs -- they care how it PLAYS and how it FEELS).

It may be nothing to you NOW, but that WAS the advanced state of the art, at the time. At least, what could reach the consumer for a reasonable price.

You can say current technology has made things more realistic, sure. But I would not look to the past as a reference point.

That makes you a Luddite yourself.

"OMG EVERYTHING IS GETTING FASTER!" is not a reason to embrace anything, it is a reason to be highly skeptical and suspicious that techies don't have a clue that non-technical people don't give a crap about the specifications. 32mhz is MEANINGLESS to everyone else. [1]

If you had said "the hardware is finally fast enough this time" that is different. If you had said "its finally cheap enough" that is different.

But "OLD SYSTEMS WERE THE SUXOR" is just garbage. They were the top of the line at the time. They made the same exact claims you are making now.

You can say things have passed a threshold, sure, and it really is different this time. But you seem clueless about history.

The proof will be what developers do with it. The proof will not be:

- specifications
- OMG ITS SO MUCH FASTER

All that matters is the developers can actually utilize it. They need to prevent what happened to the PS3 and the Cell.

Technical hype will not convince anyone. Demos and games and applications and experiences will.

[1] MHz is meaningless to technical people as well. A DSP of the same MHz will trounce it with matching code. A different CPU of lower MHz can wallop it. A crappy language or compiler can make things crawl. Crappy code can make things crawl. MHz means NOTHING unless you are comparing the same instruction set, the same processor and family, the same code, and all the other hardware is as close to identical as possible. Even then, MHz means NOTHING if the time spent on particular instructions differs. It is not unusual for old instructions to persist in newer CPUs and become (relatively) slow. Not everything magically gets faster as MHz goes up.

That does not make you wrong, it is just not that simple.

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054593)

With your "32 MHz blows" you are comparing Apples to Orangutangs my friend.

If the processor does pipelining, code that used to be super fast on a CPU that uses the same instructions, will lose to code that is optimized for pipelining and the particular processor.

There is a lot more to processors than MHz. There is a lot more, than simply "what instructions are fast?" too.

The lesson from the old days of tweaking assembly for the best speed (or because it was the only option, whether RAM-wise or otherwise) is : MHz means very little, you have to actually measure things, you should not even blindly trust the manufacturer's documentation on how long particular instructions take, without benchmarking your own code and verifying what is true.

32 MHz from 1996 means very little even versus another 1996 CPU at 40mhz. Time the code, weigh that with how simple it is to write for a particular CPU (or translate from elsewhere, if you are porting code or doing a multi-platform codebase)

Re:Except It Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054623)

You said VirtualBoy was 32-bit 20 mhz (not 32mhz) but the point stands .

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

loopdloop (207642) | about 4 months ago | (#47051573)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Re:Except It Isn't (1)

strack (1051390) | about 5 months ago | (#47053337)

Oh how Id love to be there when you try a Oculus rift on for the first time. I dont think I have ever seen someone gain 12 pounds in 5 seconds from the the amount of their own words that they eat.

Alternatives are coming. (2)

CdXiminez (807199) | about 4 months ago | (#47048393)

Since the Oculus Ruft now has a certain backer, I'm looking at alternatives:
http://www.roadtovr.com/castar... [roadtovr.com]

Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bought (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 4 months ago | (#47048443)

...it, but just because a decent low cost HMD is finally coming out doesn't mean "Virtual Reality" has been made 'real.'

There's so much more to VR than just the visuals. Haptic feedback is critical, audio is critical, olfactory stimulation is critical, and yes - visual is critical.

I am very much looking forward to the HD Rift (provided there's no bulls*** FB related lock-in or stupid licensing), but mostly because it'll make games so much more enjoyable (especially flight simulation.)

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bo (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47048807)

Facebook isn't going to do anything that will inhibit this device, not while it still hasn't established a market for itself. They aren't stupid. In the very worst case, they require any avatar/profile to be associated with a FB account, which is a minor privacy annoyance, nothing more.

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bo (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 4 months ago | (#47048909)

No offense, but I don't give FB the credit that you do.

They aren't stupid, but they are incredibly greedy, a publicly traded company, and known for corrupting the things they buy. My real concern is that they fail utterly (like with their phone) and then inhibit the burgeoning HMD market with patent and IP threats.

<Ripley>I HOPE you're right - I really do</Ripley>, but historical precedent suggests otherwise.

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan b (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47051281)

Let's put it another way: Facebook is platform agnostic, much more so than their competitors. They don't care iOS vs Android, PC vs Mac vs Linux vs consoles, XBox vs PS4 vs Nintendo. If you have a Rift application you want to build, they will shrug at your platform choice and only provide comments about the VR contents itself. Maybe because they are a Social company, they will prefer your VR thingie be multi-user, but I don't see them saying no to anything of decent quality. Even adult content should be ok if it has adequate age restrictions implemented.

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan b (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 4 months ago | (#47051365)

Even adult content should be ok if it has adequate age restrictions implemented.

You're missing the point entirely.

It's a piece of hardware and an SDK, and it should be able to be used for whatever the hell people want to use it for. I don't want Facebook doing anything other than collecting my money to buy the hardware.

Your scenario is exactly what everyone who wanted to write code to integrate the HMD prays does NOT happen.

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan b (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47051913)

Of course they will give out the SDK, and of course you can do whatever you want with it. It's like Apple, though... if you want to distribute your VR IP through the Rift store, probably your IP will have to comply with ToS. Even Google Play Store has that, if perhaps a more forgiving one. And, as far as adult content goes, you think an independent OR company would be any different in their rules? They would still be based in the USA, and still have the same legal and PR concerns. Having seen some of what happens in Second Life, it's clear that VR adult content can get pretty, um, "imaginative", and not putting age blocks on that is taking a huge unnecessary risk.

Re: Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan b (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 5 months ago | (#47052681)

...the Rift store...

Where are you getting this?

You, yourself, were trying to argue that FB are platform agnostic, so how can you have a "Rift store" and be platform agnostic? It wouldn't make any sense.

... independent OR company would be any different in their rules?

Are you confused about who OR was? They made hardware? That's it. Like all hardware, it had drivers or an SDK to make use of it, that's it.

No "OR Store"...

Again, you're missing entirely what everybody who was planning on making use of OR was afraid of when FB bought them. That they'd do exactly what you think they're supposed to do, lol.

The only thing developers want out of OR is a great HMD. That's it.

Re:Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bou (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049053)

Complete Lawnmower-man VR is so far from being achievable that, I think, most people use VR to mean only the visuals. If I were able to look into the distant future, it would be fascinating to see which type of complete VR happens first: lawnmower-man VR suits, startrek holodecks, or TheMatrix neural interface implants.

Re:Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bou (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 4 months ago | (#47049911)

olfactory stimulation is critical

Yeah, I hear you... smelling the pussy would increase the realism tenfold. Too bad I'm allergic to cat hair.

Re:Look, I loved the Rift right up until Satan bou (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 4 months ago | (#47050013)

Maybe a little chanel no. 5... ;)

Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048467)

Can someone, in a few sentences, describe how Oculus rift is "revolutionary" aside from having self-contained accelerometers/gyros and probably including a higher definition display than previous models? I remember using a VR helmet 20 years ago that allowed free view, and sure the 3d was shitty compared to today, the textures and colors were basic, but it was the same thing as this claims to be "the first" of. Where is the magic?

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 4 months ago | (#47048639)

The magic is that it sold for two billion bucks. That's a lot of money riding on something cool to get out of it. It could be the next cool thing or the next MySpace. Either way that's a helluva lot of reasons for Facebook to do something with it.
First and foremost I'm hoping they make Farmville VR so I don't have to drive 10 minutes to see what farming is like.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47048695)

Can someone, in a few sentences, describe how Oculus rift is "revolutionary" aside from having self-contained accelerometers/gyros and probably including a higher definition display than previous models? I remember using a VR helmet 20 years ago that allowed free view, and sure the 3d was shitty compared to today, the textures and colors were basic, but it was the same thing as this claims to be "the first" of. Where is the magic?

The magic is in the soon-to-be-dashed hopes and dreams of the fools who funded that shit on Kickstarter.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049159)

The Oculus Rift HMD is an under-performing piece of hype and certainly not revolutionary. I spent the 90s working in VR and am quite familiar with the HMDs from that era. In mid April I tested an Oculus Rift HMD at the Robotics Block Party in Palo Alto and I was shocked at how poor it was. The alignment between the eyes was off making it hard to concentrate, the resolution was low, the FOV was narrow, the colors were washed out and the device was uncomfortable to wear. Certainly it was no improvement from previous HDMs. Somehow they managed to get big $$ invested in themselves, which is the only magic I can see.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053515)

I work in VR for military applications, you were using the DK1, try DK2 and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Eye alignment unfortunately does need to be set for the person using it, as do the lens. The biggest benefit is the bloody price tag, no longer do we have to spend $20,000+ for essentially the same package but bulkier, now it's about $500.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (1)

jasno (124830) | about 4 months ago | (#47050119)

The magic is marketing and timing.

Oculus used the technological leaps which are going to enable many companies to produce affordable, low-latency VR displays. Then they allowed people, including marketing and media folks, to play with their alpha-quality hardware, generating tremendous excitement.

Oculus is just another hardware company. Given that they have so much expertise under one roof, they may solve some of the integration issues better than others, but they really aren't doing anything new on a grand scale.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050187)

Low persistent display technology and very accurate, low latency head tracking? That's basically the magic. Those eliminate the notorious VR sickness.

Re:Too lazy, hack my cortex in the summary please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050231)

Have you used it? I would have said the exact same thing a few weeks ago then I tried it.

I was on a random roller coaster and as I go over the edge of a drop my brain decided it was real and I got butterflies in my stomach and I felt like I was actually falling. The units from 20 years ago could not do that.

It really feels like magic. I went from a "meh" to a "I MUST OWN THIS IMMEDIATELY" opinion in less than a minute.

No I think you mean... (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#47048505)

No, I think you mean, "How virtual reality literally became virtually real virtually overnight". Also, don't forget to work "cyber" in somewhere.

Still hasn't arrived (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048509)

"the production lines are almost open"

Uh hua. I'll believe that when I see it on store shelves.

Re:Still hasn't arrived (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 4 months ago | (#47048713)

The Ouya made it to shelves. That might not be the line in the sand you're looking for. ;)

mod do3N (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048539)

user. 'Now that dim. Due to the out" of business To the politically win out; either the BE FUN. IT USED GAY )NIGGERS from chronic abuse of There's no

Vertigo or Nauseous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048585)

"I don't get vertigo when I watch a video of the Grand Canyon on TV, but I do when I stand on a ledge in VR."

I think this has pretty much been the problem with VR since the beginning. I'd phrase his comment thusly:
People still get nauseous using VR.

Vertigo or verisimilitude ? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 4 months ago | (#47048855)

yeah, they really oughta patch that vertigo problem at the Grand Canyon, it's horrible.

Re:Vertigo or Nauseous? (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about 4 months ago | (#47048887)

I have an Oculus Rift. I remember playing Half-Life 2 with it, and I got up to a window and looked down. Sure enough, I got some legit vertigo. It was great.

And yes, there is some motion sickness and nausea. I do believe that VR is an inevitable medium, regardless. Even with the Oculus Rift, which doesn't have the fastest headtracking and does have most horrendous resolution imaginable (effectively 640x400 per eye, mere inches from the eye. Just a horrible mess of blurry pixels) many people get the motion sickness under control.

Eventually VR will have greater FOV, greater resolution, and less head tracking delay. Not to mention better spacial awareness of the position of your head. All these things will greatly reduce motion sickness and nausea. I'm looking forward to it!

Re:Vertigo or Nauseous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049323)

You should read the article.

Looking over a ledge should give you vertigo as it would in real life.

But just walking around in VR shouldn't.

The DK1 isn't bad but it does cause some nausea until you get used to it.

The DK2 however fixed a lot of that.

And the article seems to indicate that's a huge thing they're working on and the consumer version will should have solved it completely.

It's not an issue anymore (or won't be).

When did he sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048719)

Carmack wrote 2 millions lines of code over the last 20 years? My math might be off, but if he took no breaks that means he wrote one line of code every 5.256 seconds. I for one applaud his dedication to programming. Keep up the good work!

Re:When did he sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048739)

Every 5.26 MINUTES rather.

Re:When did he sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47048831)

They were mostly printf"look how great I am"

Re:When did he sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049851)

It's more like 48 lines a day, assuming he worked 52 weeks a year and 40 hour weeks.

Re:When did he sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049961)

Oops, 48 lines an hour.

2000000/(365.25*20) = (2)

elwinc (663074) | about 4 months ago | (#47049041)

2000000/(365.25*20) = 273.785 lines per day; 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year.

If we assume a very heavy work schedule of 3000 hours per year, approx 60 hours per week, that's 66.667 lines per hour of fully debugged working code. Seems a bit of an over-estimate to me. (Exaggerate? I don't know the meaning of the word!

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049329)

You know anybody who can network 8 connection machines and debug 2 million lines of code for what I bid for this job?

Dobson, we've got dobson here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049783)

See nobody cares.

Lol, first thing I thought of when I saw the 2 million lines of code remark. Great minds....

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (1)

majid_aldo (812530) | about 4 months ago | (#47050157)

i think he included coding projects that he supervised.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050375)

Readable code uses more lines and less characters per line.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47052057)

It's the myth of the Super Coder. This myth persists in the coding community decade after decade. It's the guy who mysteriously is 10x more efficient with his coding time than everyone else, but nobody can actually find him. Startups want to hire this mythical man. Corporations hunt for him with coding contests.

If you really want to find the Super Coder, just look for the guy that codes all night in addition to his day job, and discover that his productivity is maybe 1.5x or 2x that of an average joe.

2000000/(365.25*20) = (1)

segmond (34052) | about 5 months ago | (#47053259)

2000000/(365.25*20) = 273.785 lines per day; 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year.

If we assume a very heavy work schedule of 3000 hours per year, approx 60 hours per week, that's 66.667 lines per hour of fully debugged working code. Seems a bit of an over-estimate to me. (Exaggerate? I don't know the meaning of the word!

I don't think so. John is on a whole other level. 66.7 lines of code an hour is a just over a line a minute. One line a minute. Yup, I believe he cranked it out, read about him. He is a machine. Sure, many of us are not that good, and perhaps average out 5 or 10 lines an hour. He write's code like we write sentences. I just wrote this in under a minute. Some people are that good.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47053829)

Each ID Tech engine was over 200,000 lines of code each. Those where released in 1 year intervals through the 90s(Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3). Furthermore Michael Abrash in the Zen of Assembly Language Programming said that John would write no less than 10 distinct test engines before deciding on the most appropriate technology to move forward with during each ID Tech revision.

I do not think John is exaggerating at all.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054019)

I see you haven't seen code before. Copy and Paste is a common practice (bad, but still common).

IDEs can also generate a lot of boilerplate code for you.

So 2M lines of code is easy to do. Really easy.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054177)

that's 66.667 lines per hour of fully debugged working code.

Part of your sentence was Carmack's, part was not.

Re:2000000/(365.25*20) = (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 5 months ago | (#47054501)

Copy and Paste works wonders!!!

hindsight is always 20/20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049177)

Have used the rift extensively -- it's an incredible device. make no mistake, this is likely to kick of a massive change in computing and entertainment.

There's something about the promise.. (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about 4 months ago | (#47049203)

..of VR that makes writers ignore reality and talk about fantasy as if it really exists

This is an important step toward the answer..but NOT the answer..yet

VR is harder than anybody realizes

Hyperbole much? (2)

P1h3r1e3d13 (1158845) | about 4 months ago | (#47049261)

As far as your brain is concerned, there's no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world.

Total bullshit.

"This is the first time that we've succeeded in stimulating parts of the human visual system directly,"

Total bullshit.

You could have said exactly the same things about the upgrade from movies to 3D movies, or from pictures to movies, and they would be just exactly as true as they are here.

Re:Hyperbole much? (1)

LRAD (1822746) | about 4 months ago | (#47052319)

The difference is presence. They mean that your brain accepts the visual scenario as "real".

Re:Hyperbole much? (1)

P1h3r1e3d13 (1158845) | about 5 months ago | (#47052761)

Again, you could say that about movies or existing video games, any time you get “sucked in.” Until a double-blind test demonstrates indistinguishability, I'm taking any statements about your brain's acceptance of reality as marketing hype.

Source: cognitive neuroscience degree

Alternative and more on those mentioned... (1)

SenatorPerry (46227) | about 4 months ago | (#47049317)

It seems pretty common to complain about the resolution. There are other projects that appear to have resolved the issue: http://www.avegant.com/ [avegant.com] And their kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com] And for Abrash's book: http://amzn.com/1576101746 [amzn.com] And a good story on Carmack's background: http://amzn.com/0812972155 [amzn.com] Abrash's book is dated, but still pretty common.

It's not reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47049385)

Until the porn industry starts using it.

Re:It's not reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050463)

I think you can already find some OR porn out there already!

No difference? What about eyeball focus? (2)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 4 months ago | (#47051027)

I can think of one difference right off the bat. In the real world your eyes converge on the distant object and each eye's lens has to focus to the distance that object is from you. In any 3D tv or headset, the eyes will do the converging part, but nobody has figured out a way to trick the eyeball into focusing at the correct depth yet. In a TV or screen, your eye will focus at that surface. In a head mounted display the focus depth may be out a bit from where the actual screen is due to the way the lenses in the head mount change the focal depth of the apparent display, but your eyes focus there and not on the 3D object you are looking at.

Re:No difference? What about eyeball focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47055431)

Yeah, well it's all marketing bullshit that is designed to make oculus look like the inventor of sliced bread.
In reality, anyone who can put together a few parts can make a rift. It's maybe a question what the price is going to be, but the fact remains that the oculus is an evolutionary product, not a revolutionary. That means it relies heavily on existing tech and is basically nothing special, just another thing that becomes available to the masses due to ever-shrinking technology. It is a product that was bound to happen and oculus is just the first to get it.

Re:No difference? What about eyeball focus? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#47058315)

So, perfect for people with glasses who haven't figured out how to focus on the correct depth of any object!

Seriously, why do you think this is a problem when more than half the population are incapable of doing this in real life?

Re:No difference? What about eyeball focus? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 5 months ago | (#47058429)

First of all, I never stated that there was any problem! I was just pointing out that there is a difference. Look at this from the summary:

By combining stereoscopic 3-D, 360-degree visuals, and a wide field of view—along with a supersize dose of engineering and software magic—it hacks your visual cortex. As far as your brain is concerned, there's no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world.

And just because your eyes don't focus properly, doesn't mean they don't focus at all. If your eye lenses were rigid with no focus then even with glasses you would only see things clearly when they are at the proper depth for the focus of your lenses. Like when taking a picture, the thing in focus will appear clear while the stuff closer or further is blurry. Glasses would just add or subtract a fixed amount to all focus depth that your eyes do. For glasses to help someone with a fixed focus lenses the glasses would need to change focus like the camera lens.

And in 3D displays, weather head-mounted or a screen, that is one of the things that throws your vision system off and can induce the eye strain or headaches. Your eyes diverge to the proper distance, but your lenses don't focus at that distance. It is the very reason why experts say people under the age of 7 should not use 3D systems very much, if at all. The vision parts of the brain is still developing and tricking it in this was can cause it to learn the wrong way of seeing the world. This would end up causing the person to have bad vision and need glasses for the rest of their life even if genetically they might have had fine eyesight.

VR just wont work (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 5 months ago | (#47052905)

The basic problem with VR is that your eyes (and your ears and any other senses the VR kit is acting on) are telling you you are moving in a certain way yet your balance organs are telling you something completly different.

Thats why it will give you motion sickness and cause other problems. And why, unless Occulus have come up with some brand new trick to tweak your balance organs (which I doubt they have), it will never really be able to work.

Re:VR just wont work (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 5 months ago | (#47054567)

The issue can be condensed to 2 organs, The inner ear and the eyes.

3 Scenarios:
You are a Driver. You are looking at the road, and as you bump about or turn, your ears tell you you are moving and your eyes confirm this fact.
You are a Passanger. You are looking about at the lovely scenery, same situation as above.
You are another Passenger. You are sitting in the back seat looking at the headrest infront (there may be a screen there) or you are playing with iDevice, or simply reading a book. As the car bounces around, your ears tell you you are moving, while your eyes, fixed on an object that is also bouncing around tell you you are sitting still. This confusion is what causes motion sickness. There are pills you can take that stop this communication between the 2 senses, it is also possible to train yourself to ignore the confused inputs.

In order for the Rift to work, you need to ensure that your accelerometers can detect movement, and the screen can update fast enough to fool your eyes, when you make a movement.

The reverse is so very rarely a problem, If you are witnessing movement, but not feeling it in your ears, the brain tends to let it pass. It will just assume it is hallucinating. The problem is that the vision areas are so prone to being fooled, that the brain just corrects without telling you.

Did you know that at all times, when you are looking about, your nose is in your field of view? Because it is not important, and can distract, your brain simply edits it out all the time, until you consciously try to look for it.

The brain trusts the eyes to account for balance, which is why, if you stand still and look at a spot on the wall you can stand pretty still. Once you close your eyes, only then do you feel it in your ears and realise the corrections being made constantly to keep balance.

If the brain sees you as moving, it will trust it more than the ears. This is why you get sick when your ears are screaming at you "We're FALLING to our death" in zero-gravity while your eyes are "Lol chill bro nothing gone on up here" but don't get sick when skydiving, because the eyes are now saying "Yepp, totally falling to our death, aint this fun!"

VR will work when the latency is so small the brain doesn't notice. Apparently the Rift is as good as needs be for this.

Re:VR just wont work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47055463)

" tweak your balance organs"

A mental image of knitting needles and a hammer emerges. Note to self: maybe a nice idea for a new product. LobotoPike, Zen Edition. Bring your VR in balance.

You see what it wants you to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47054229)

I can't believe Facebook bought that evil thing that's been murdering people for centuries now.

can Oculus Rift cause heart attack? (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 5 months ago | (#47054335)

could you commit suicide with the oculus rift by jumping off a fake grand canyon and suffering a heart attack? or commit murder by making someone view a frightening VR world?

Virtual Reality Timelines (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 5 months ago | (#47054853)

Virtual reality timelines are fun because predicting the future itself is a type of virtual reality. They can be from a simple "by 2020 we'll have this" bet to a series of predictions that are threaded together in some way.

I wrote out this timeline in 1994 taking care to keep everything up to that point do-able with the technology of the time. I honestly believed that a progression as described here was possible.

Several things have come to pass -- at least on the drawing board -- such as '3D' storage in bit crystals, processors based on light, even the meta-symbology of parallel MapReduce systems today is a good step towards embedding language into symbols. Vivid projection holography without mist is tough to crack and it looks like we have to make do with goggles for now.

Do submit your own timeline predictions, the more whimsical the better.

VON BURGEUR'S CASTLE
A personal vision of incidental objects, people and events in the past and to come, written in anno domini 1994 by Hocus Locus

  • 1550 A letter by wealthy aristocrat Dreadnought Von Burguer to a friend telling of his plans to construct a humble residence...
  • 1570 Original architecht's drawings for castle
  • 1600 Artists' paintings and drawings of the castle
  • 1605 Von Burguer's Diary read after his death
  • 1750 Local historian assembles historical narrative accounts for the region, including histories of the Von Burgeur family
  • 1850 Historian's work is published along with related local material
  • 1860 The Index is Invented (or so it seems!)
  • 1880 The castle is rennovated, more architects' drawings, journals
  • 1910 Electricity, wiring diagrams for castle
  • 1910 Electric bills <g>
  • 1950 The computer is born
  • 1963 Historical Society purchases Castle; hotel and museum built near Castle
  • 1993 All aforementioned materials are gathered, keypunched, scanned
  • 1994 Virtual Reality technology spreading; ray-tracing feasible
  • 1994 CD-ROM issued by the Historical society. For the first time all material is in one place. Every word is indexed; every image plotted to same scale
  • 1994 Tourist uploads GIF of castle to Compuserve; castle is flooded with visitors, hotel is full
  • 1995 By popular demand, more CD-ROMs are issued with translations of all text into several different languages
  • 1998 Breakthroughs in technology again; memory crystals. Historical Society releases crystal with all languages, all images, and all texts together
  • 1998 Nasal Von Burguer, in secret chemical laboratory in dungeon of castle isolates 24 basic enzymes which when combined in different proportion and applied to the tongue or misted, replicate 90% of all discernable smells and tastes
  • 1998 ImageScript, grown out of Postscript is developed: a standard "language" for images that fractally describes them in such a way that elements of pictures (such as circles or ramparts or bricks) can be indexed
  • 1998 Deep-proceesor technology is developed, a means of constructing or growing chips with little or no propogation time; based on light
  • 1999 A context reader is developed which can "read" text and extract meaning, in such a way that sentances are reduced to thought-symbols with symbolic connections: a neural net that can be traversed laterally to make inferences or matches text elsewhere with the same meaning.
  • 2000 The World Language Project (WLP) is founded which begins establishing standard codes to basic meaning-symbols (fear,light,blue) and common idea constructs (freedom-speech,dog-bite-letter-carrier). A virtual "meaning" landscape is created, with connected maps to traditional symbol sets (languages)
  • 2002 A WLP email standard is developed to include WLP symbols in native language messages
  • 2003 The WLP Internet Gateway is formed, which allows email and documents to be interchanged through language hubs; public documents are stored, indexed by native language and WLP symbols
  • 2005 Existing ROMemory crystals are reissued, in standard WLP format. One pool of data; readers available for most world languages
  • 2009 Deep-processor technology commonplace
  • 2009 World standard for sharing of parallel processes and virtual memory; high-bandwidth communication to every household; (virtually) limitless processing power and memory available to the individual
  • 2010 Holographic fine-grain video developed
  • 2011 Obsessed tourist tours every room in Von Burguer's Castle, submits Holovideo to net; sudden slump in visitors to castle, expenses for upkeep now come from revenue generated from Von Burguer's Chameleon Tofu and Von Burguer's Dial-a-Scent; smell/taste technology still guarded secret
  • 2012 Holographic Video/Image-Script standard developed; video now sent totally in symbolic format; holographic video traffic, which was taxing even the widest data-pipes, now trickles through
  • 2012 Advanced ImageScript world rendering tools available that assemble 3 dimensional landscapes and objects; artisans create virtual cities
  • 2012 AuralScript is developed, a symbology which uses fractal mathematics to reduce any sound to its component parts: notes/chords, color of sound and sonic artifacts are expressed separately and sent in parallel streams
  • 2012 On his deathbed, Nasal Von Burguer releases private key to his files and opens his system's gateway to world internet
  • 2013 Wine catalog released with parameters for the world's finest wines, scramble is on to buy home synthesizer/colorizer units; experts scoff but refuse to submit to blind taste tests
  • 2013 AnyFood introduces its Dial-A-Food processor which can assemble Von Burguer Chameleon Tofu (now called BuFu) into any shape, color or texture
  • 2013 McDonalds completely parametizes "Big Mac"; is first in its attempt to copyright the complete symbolic description package which includes holographics/taste/nasals/aurals; net is immediately flooded with pirate Mac descriptions; McD relents and Big Mac is renamed "Mac Classic"
  • 2015 World Senses Project is convened to merge existing sense symbology
  • 2015 Universal Coordinate Project is convened to unify all existing geographical and cosmological references; system includes dimensions for movement of planetary and stellar bodies through time and space
  • 2015 Numerous court and legislative battles over sense patents on foods waged by ailing fast food chains
  • 2016 United Nations directive nullifies all sense patents, declares all five human senses "public domain"
  • 2016 Sense Language defined; meta-coders issued to combine all sense symbols into one transport layer. Standard symbols for temperature, humidity air movement, liquid droplet/mists defined
  • 2016 Universal Coordinates established; meta-coders issued to convert existing net data to UC
  • 2016 OtherWorlds Conference meets in virtual ribbon cutting ceremony: all existing virtual cities are mapped together by a meta-UC system allowing continuous travel throughout the Virtual Universe
  • 2017 the first Sense Suites are developed for the home; Sense-O-Phones
  • 2018 Sense Suites developed with treadmills that keep the occupant in the center of the suite
  • 2020 Worldwide decline in tourism. Sense Suite walking tours available for most cities; first Sense-Olympic marathon race held
  • 2020 During a routine reindexing of World Net Data, several daemon processes go into a strange loop; tied together by their parent process their operating stacks overflow into empty memory. Subsequent investigation found that a faulty bit crystal in stack memory oscillated, folding two active stacks together. By the time the error is discovered the parent process is acting so strangely that it was decided to disconnect it from the net, give it net- read-only and observe it.
  • 2020 The first Artificial Notion discovered, created by accident. The chaotic patterns continue even after the bit crystal is repaired.
  • 2021 The Notion reaches a periodic state with occasional chaotic "seizures." It begins an eerily systematic access of the entire Sense net structure. World attention is focused on its behavior, and billions of people watch it through a net-sense link.
  • 2021 Quite suddenly the displays blank, and a man apprears, dressed in old costume. He speaks at all through symbols in all world languages, telling of his plans to construct a humble residence...

___
Not far from here, by a white sun, behind a green star, lived the Steelypips, illustrious, industrious, and they hadn't a care: no spats in their vats, no rules, no schools, no gloom, no evil influence of the moon, no trouble from matter or antimatter -- for they had a machine, a dream of a machine, with springs and gears and perfect in every respect. And they lived with it, and on it, and under it, and inside it, for it was all they had -- first they saved up all their atoms, then they put them all together, and if one didn't fit, why they chipped at it a bit, and everything was just fine ...
~Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"

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