By David Ponce
The mid-90’s… Those were the days, man. The Net was upon us, extracting hordes of BBSers from the dark and dank world of ASCII, and paving the way for countless soon-to-be has-been dotcommers. Duke Nukem 3D was the game to play, and “triumphantly” ushering in a taste of the new millennium… was Virtual Reality, the bastard child of clunky product design and ambiguous usability. Like a few other revolutions of the era, it failed miserably, though that hasn’t stopped some people from beating a dead horse.
Company Sensics is still hammering away at VR, convinced that its failure was rooted in inadequate technological implementation, rather than limited marketability. It is making a product called piSight (notice the surreptitious addition of a “p” before the dreaded “i”), a 2 lbs VR headset that allegedly will succeed where others failed because:
Before the Sensics piSight system, VR users have been forced to choose between “tunnel vision” headmounted displays with narrow field of view [around 60 degrees] and cumbersome auditorium-based CAVE systems that, though expensive, fail to deliver true sense of space and mass.
The solution? Develop a headset that displays 24-bit color, panoramic 150-degree views in 3D, 2200×1200 pixels per eye and offers an integrated precision motion tracker with six degrees of freedom. It does this by combining 12 microdisplays for each eye and forming one large, wrap-around image.
Um hm… Okay, well, it seems it’s for military and industrial applications, and perhaps it should stay that way. Cool as it sounds, I can’t imagine falling for VR again.