MAbrash GDC2013 (46)

And here are some of the really hard AR problems, which unfortunately I don’t have time to discuss either.

MAbrash GDC2013 (47)

So how might this new world of gaming come to pass?

The roadmap for VR is likely to be pretty straightforward.

First, the Rift ships and is reasonably successful, and that kicks off the kind of positive spiral that occurred with 3D accelerators, with several companies competing and constantly improving the technology.

The real question is whether VR is a niche or a whole new platform – how broadly important it turns out to be.

In the long run, it’s certainly potentially a new platform; just watch any “Star Trek” episode that has the Holodeck, or read Ready Player One.

It’s just not clear how long it’ll be until we can do most of that.

MAbrash GDC2013 (48)

The AR roadmap is less clear.

We know where we’d like to end up – with seamless, go-anywhere, always-on AR like Rainbows End – but that’s much too far from current technology to even think about right now. We need to start by developing more tractable sorts of AR.

Possible roadmap #1 involves the success and widespread use of HUD-style head mounted displays like Google Glass, which show information, but don’t do AR.

Once they’re established, though, AR could become a value-added, differentiating feature – for example, allowing you to play virtual tabletop games at home, in airports, or in boring meetings.

In possible roadmap #2, living-room AR successfully ships for a console and becomes the dominant form of living-room gaming.

In either case, once AR has a toehold, it can start to evolve toward science fiction AR.

That’s definitely going to take decades to fully refine.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • WormSlayer

    My brain hurts! Still I’m excited that guys like him are excited :D

  • Patrick Hogenboom

    Thanks a bundle for transcribing the whole thing :)

  • shole

    If you want to view the two videos in the presentation and don’t have ms powerpoint, you can rename the .pptx file to .zip and the files are in there as .wmv under \ppt\media\

    • Michael Abrash


      Thank you very much for posting this!


  • Andrés

    Thanks so much for transcribing this!

  • Andreas Aronsson

    I thought I would not get to read/hear the actual talk in some time :D Very interesting, somewhat alarming, but at the end uplifting and inspiring! Thanks for this! Also, you could if you wanted to rename the .pptx to .zip and extract the videos (media folder) and upload them unlisted to Youtube and embed them on this page :) Just a thought!

  • Andreas Aronsson

    Ah, in the time it took me to read this (left the article half-read over night) shole already pointed this out :x oops.

  • Esse

    “That means that if you fixate on something while you turn your head, your eyes remain fixed with respect to the real world, but move very quickly relative to the display”

    Hum, no. If your eyes are fixed (in the head referential), they are fixed in the display referential. Because the display & the head are fixed one to the other.

    This is over complicating the subject. Only matters the head movement. Not the eyes movements.

    • Ben

      I think that, in this context, “fixate on something” means a visual fixation on an object in the external world rather than having the eyes be “fixed” relative to the head. If the head is turning while you fixate an external object, the eyes must counter-rotate in order to maintain a stable fixation (eg: via the VOR). Since the VR display is attached to your head frame, this means that your eyes are rotating relative to the display, and that’s the source of the large relative motion that causes issues.

      • Michael Abrash


        You’re correct – that’s what I meant. If you look at a key on the keyboard and keep doing that while you turn your head, you can easily get your eyes moving at several hundred degrees per second relative to the display.


  • Esse

    “The human perceptual system has evolved to be very effective at detecting such anomalies, because anomalies might be thinking about eating you, or might be tasty.”

    It is not some specific “anomalies detection system”, rather that the human brain has in-depth “routines” to analyse the space & movement, and when you broke the rules the routines fail.

    Like when you are sick in a car.

    So I guess the reaction will not be fear or drooling, more puking.

  • Ben Humberston

    Thanks for the transcript for those of us who couldn’t be there!

  • Mattso

    Yeah, just echoing the sentiments above that having it all transcribed meant I actually got to digest it really quickly. Many thanks!

    Very informative stuff – and here was me thinking it was gonna be easy. :)