What We Want to See From the Future of VR

Black Plexus high performance VR and AR gloves
High performance VR/AR gloves to feel the digital reality.

The virtual reality revolution is still very much in its infancy. The Oculus Rift, perhaps the flagship VR headset, only saw a consumer release back in March 2016.

Despite this newness, the technology has already seen plenty of exciting developments. Standalone VR headsets are finally here, and AR is set to make some big impressions over the coming months and years. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. So, what do hope to see from the future of VR? We’ve outlined a few suggestions.

Higher-quality Screens

StarVR One Headset - Inside View
The StarVR One has a huge 200-degree field of view.

The dreaded ‘screen-door’ effect is evident in every headset we’ve seen so far. It’s one of the most immersion-breaking aspects of current VR technology.

Being able to see individual pixels is frustrating. Hopefully, we’ll see some much better screens with higher resolutions and broader fields of vision. The recently launched StarVR One and other forthcoming headsets promise such wonders, but will likely not reach consumers any time soon.

Better Graphics

This isn’t so much of an issue with the VR headsets themselves as the hardware that powers them. Anyone who has looked at the PC specs required to run a Rift or Vive will know that they’re absolute beasts.

Yet even with the beefiest graphics cards, many of the visuals are far behind what’s seen in standard PC and console games. A leap forward in technology would be nice, but we also hope that big studios start taking VR more seriously. A combination of these factors should see some ultra-realistic graphics within a few years.

Fewer Wires

Oculus Go - Side by Side Design Comparison
The Oculus Go was the first truly standalone (wireless) VR headset.

This is already becoming somewhat of a reality. Standalone devices such as the Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage Solo have ditched the wires altogether, but they don’t offer a premium experience.

Although there are wireless adapters for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on the market, they’re expensive and not always effective. There’s still the issue of the sensors and other connections too. Hopefully, a wire-free solution to premium VR isn’t too far away.

The Oculus Quest (out Spring 2019) may be the first real answer to this issue.

Haptic Feedback

Black Plexus high performance VR and AR gloves
High performance VR/AR gloves to feel the digital reality.

Sure, VR currently lets us see, hear, and walk through virtual spaces, and even interact with it. But we can’t feel it.

There are already some haptic feedback devices in the works, including gloves and vests, but they seem like fringe projects for the moment.

We want to see one of the big names in VR get behind these projects and start to bring them to their launch offerings. Microsoft has made some prototypes, but as it stands, such a device is likely years away from mainstream production.

Deeper Immersion

This point is perhaps more of a culmination of all the above ones. The current VR experience can definitely be immersive; users feel involved in the world they’re seeing. But it’s far from the stage where it can truly fool all of your sense.

This level of immersion, where the virtual world is barely distinguishable from the real one, sounds equally amazing and terrifying. We’re hoping we get to see something along these lines in the distant future.

Essential Software

For virtual reality to progress as a medium, there needs to be a library of innovative software, across multiple uses, which are exclusive to the format.

One of the big issues preventing VR from gaining more traction is the lack of essential software. There are plenty of entertaining games and experiences on offer, but there’s very little that you can only get in virtual reality.

For virtual reality to progress as a medium, there needs to be a library of innovative software, across multiple uses, which are exclusive to the format.

Mass-market Appeal

As it stands, virtual reality is the preserve of enthusiastic gamers and other technophiles. The uses could be literally life-changing, and there have been some excellent implementations in recent years. However, the tech is lacking mass-market appeal.

Premium headsets and the hardware to run them are prohibitively expensive. Besides, there just isn’t enough to do with them right now. Casual gamers or those who aren’t tech-savvy don’t have many reasons to buy the technology. For virtual reality to really progress, that needs to change.

  1. All I want are lower requirements or better quality apps and games. It’s ridiculous to demand high-end gaming computers and expensive equipment for games that are often worse than those we used to play 15 or 20 years ago.

  2. Lower prices is the only thing I want to see in next year. With lower prices more people will get into VR and that would boost development for sure. I hate to see how demanding and expensive headsets still are.

  3. I don’t care too much about haptic feedback devices, I feel like things could get too real with all those devices. I also don’t think I would feel comfortable playing while wearing all those things. But I would love to see headsets more independent and less demanding. It’s ridiculous to demand high-end gaming PC while at the same time headset can’t even show decent picture.

  4. Better graphics is what I really want. It’s ridiculous that headsets require crazy gaming configurations yet graphics are what we used to have twenty years ago.

  5. Agree! VR is still way too expensive and too much trouble and it’s no surprise people are rather buying gaming consoles than VR headsets which require powerful gaming PC or smartphone and tons of gadgets to make the experience enjoyable. I hope Quest will change all of that.

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Lenses of the Google Cardboard VR headset, front.
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