Siggraph: Oculus Rift Creator Says Wider Use of Virtual Reality is “Inevitable”

By August 11, 2014March 24th, 2020Newswires

Panel talk warned that the industry needs compelling, immersive content while also overcoming technical hurdles.

By Carolyn Giardina

VANCOUVER—Palmer Luckey
, the original creator of Oculus Rift and co-founder of Oculus VR, said that the mass adoption of augmented and virtual reality is inevitable, but it was premature to say it was here already.

Speaking Sunday during a crowded session at annual CG conference Siggraph, he said that this area, which has had been a niche market for decades, “will not disappear again. … It will happen; it’s a matter of when.”

He projected that the innovation will be led by the hardware, which he said needs to become “commoditized” in the same way that televisions are, meaning that there are multiple manufacturers, not just one, so that it goes mainstream.

“As a result, I think it will be VR content and software that will drive the industry long term,” Luckey added. “I’m looking forward to the point where nobody can think of more [technical] improvements, and instead are thinking about compelling killer apps.”

Panelists agreed that content is king. Henry Fuchs
, professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, asserted that a key obstacle to mass adoption is that “it’s not clear what the application is that millions will want to use augmented and virtual reality for. Until we find that, we’ll be limited to a few hundred thousand users. Not millions.”

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