VR in the Next Five Years

MoguraVR: 

So what do you think will the future of VR look like in five years time?

Palmer Luckey:

The form factor of the devices will improve; they will become lighter, thinner, and more compact. The resolution, colors, and brightness will all improve and they will have variable focus. In five years we might already see the first devices that will be controlled by your brain.

MoguraVR:

Like the technology that was announced at Facebooks F8?

Palmer Luckey:

That’s just one example of it. Competition is about to start with this technology. A lot of people will compete to make a BCI [Brain-Computer Interface] that will allow people to move virtual objects with just your brain. BCI devices that currently are available to consumers are not in a usable state. The BCI devices in laboratories are very different. If someone could make a general BCI device they could sell… the world would change.

By the way, BCI is a technology to control things just by thinking using your brain, technology like SAOs ‘Nervegear’ which sends data to your brain, exists but the technology is a lot more difficult. What I think we will see in five years is the previous of the two, technology that can output data from your brain.

SEE ALSO
Facebook is Researching Brain-Computer Interfaces, "Just the Kind of Interface AR Needs"

VR in the Next Year

MoguraVR: 

How about next year? Of course I know that there are a lot of things you cannot talk about [laughs].

Palmer Luckey:

Of course [laughs]. I will talk just in general terms. There will be no big movements in [the next 12 months*]. The hardware will not change. Of course there might be hardware from new companies entering the market, but the hardware of the major players in the market will stay the same.

In that way the next 12 months will be rather uninteresting for VR users that are just waiting for the next hardware generation. It is going to be the time of content and applications. But for VR developers and enthusiasts it will still be a very exciting 12 months. I think there also will be some announcements and new prototypes.

*Update: After publishing, Palmer clarified that he intended this section to mean “in the next 12 months.” The original article stated “There will be no big movements in 2018.”

MoguraVR:

Will there be a all-in-one integrated model?

Palmer Luckey:

Maybe, I can’t say anything [laughs].

Recorded Memories with 360-degree Depth Capture

MoguraVR:

How about the evolution of content? Are there any interesting developments when it comes to pictures or CG?

Palmer Luckey:

360-degree movies are interesting. But if you truly want to ‘capture reality’ you need to record depth information. In doing so you will be able to actually move through the recording. Live streaming 360-degree video with depth is going to be revolutionary. It will radically change VR content. There are several companies developing this technology. Once this technology exists it will be like recording ‘memories’.

Eventually VR HMDs themselves will surely have such a camera built in. Once you have an all-in-one unit like that you will be able to experience the memories from other people from all over the world. It is going to be amazing. I think this technology will be commercialized within the next five years. But I don’t think it will be available to the general consumer. I think at first the technology will be aimed at professional creators with special hardware.

Ultimately, these cameras will be installed in VR/AR sunglasses that everyone will wear and always will use it to perform scans. Surely this data will be shared and will lead to a situation in which a gigantic world map will be created. I think it surely will take longer than five years for this to happen, but I think in five years you will be able to scan your own living room. It then will become possible for anyone in the world to visit your living room. Maybe a cute girl will visit your room.

MoguraVR:

You might be visited by a virtual girl.

Palmer Luckey:

Of course!

MoguraVR:

In Japan something called ‘Gatebox’ exists… [We showed Palmer the Gatebox in action, it’s a holographic assistant for your home, like Alexa or Siri.]

Palmer Luckey:

Yes! This is it!!! It costs around $3,000 USD doesn’t it? I love this idea. It is very useful to have a AI powered virtual assistant that will tell you what to do. Looking at it another way it also is dangerous. I previously talked about the sci-fi story I am thinking about [in Part 2 of the interview], everything is being left to the computer to do for us, I think it is frightening to think about what might happen when the entirety of society does this. But I still want to use an AI waifu assistant. Though it still worries me if everybody uses it and everything will be managed by a computer system, this could become a serious situation for society. This really torments me [laughs].

MoguraVR:

Should we return to the topic of depth live streaming [laughs]? The previously mentioned living room scanning and depth life streaming is related isn’t it?

Palmer Luckey:

That’s right. Room scanning is not in real-time, it just is a recorded part. It is less complicated and will be faster to make practical use. It might even arrive as soon as next year. Real-time depth live streaming is in real-time and the technological barrier is a lot higher.

Continued on Page 3: A Tease of Palmer’s Next Project »

1
2
3

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Lucidfeuer

    I don’t understand how “mechanical” in their thinking but clearly poor thinkers those great engineers like Luckey or Musk are, to stop at “Neural link”. What do they think is at stake here? Do they know they still have no clue how to convert brain electro-chemical interface in any form of data whatsoever, that we don’t know how consciousness operate and quantum interpretation barely manage to scratch it’s surface, but most importantly the implications of “Substitution Reality” imply that technology alone will never allow us to achieve anything significant in the alteration or reprogramming of reality.

    But then, we don’t even have a real VR device or market yet, so…

    • Mei Ling

      Well that’s the problem; we don’t fully understand how the brain works and that’s why there’s the HBP and numerous other collaborative research organisations working on solving the intricacies of the human brain step-by-step. It will take a very long time before any meaningful discoveries are made and until then it’s not realistic to expect a smooth stable road ahead for the whole neural link business as proposed by Elon Musk, and in fact it may even end prematurely.

      • Michigan Jay Sunde

        I think of it like the problem of animal speech. Animals bark or make sounds, but they have no shared language – they all speak their own. Animals that grow up together can share some “words” but they won’t have those words in-common with other animals at the park. Where information gets stored and referenced in our brains, how our brain interprets new information… it seems we grow these systems each in our own way. No unified operating system for the brain. Am I wrong?

        • Harry Hol

          Given hoe extremely similar human children develop (you can predict all sorts if behaviour with week-precision (ie: in week 32 the child will do x) and the fact that we all develop the same hardwired skills like language and reason, I’d say there are several parts if the brain that are quite predictable in their way of handling data.

          • Get Schwifty!

            From what I gather it appears that there are certain common large scale structures, but at a certain level encoding and so forth are “random” per person. I suspect this will be the ultimate problem… each brain is a fingerprint, so unless you “know” the exact self-ordering each brain takes, you cannot fully integrate except through the sensory inputs “farther out”, i.e. optic nerve, spinal nerve, etc. and let the brain do the rest… at least for a long time.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Rather I believe there’s a universal encoding with slight structure variation. But “2” is always 2 in all brains capable of counting. Rather I think this encoding is simply way more complicated than simple math.

          • Get Schwifty!

            At the bottom it is just a web of synapses… where and what form “two” take may depend on the person. Obviously two is the same for all people as a pure idea, but math and numbers are not the same as other conceptual ideas. An idea like “democracy” is almost assuredly not as it would depend upon a merging of many secondary concepts and experiences. That “slight structure variation” is probably responsible for tremendous differences… much like the slight variance in DNA for humans vs. lower primates…

          • Lucidfeuer

            DNA doesn’t vary for the same character strand from human to human. The same RNA sequence for one means the same RNA sequence for another, epigenetic switch have the same effect for all people, but the countless combination are just hard to fathom, it doesn’t they’re random.

            The same goes for the brain, 2 can not exist only as a pure idea, everything that exist, exists, so it has to have some physical information existence of sorts. In fact the brain is probably 100x more complicated than that: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/quantum-brain/506768/

          • kool

            I think there are types of minds which once they find your mind type it will be easier to decode. We all know like minded people.

        • Lucidfeuer

          Not exactly true, why do animals, newborn babies, insects or primates alike all know since birth what “water” is?

          Another cue: when we think about “dragons” an abstract imagined idea that doesn’t exist in real-life, what makes it so that everybody will more or less have the same image of a big green/red reptile with wings, pointy tail and long beak?

          Unlike Get Schwifty I believe neural encoding is way more organised and universal than we think, except this encoding is nowhere near the current mathematical or coding language we use, it might even be more complex than quantum coding, which in itself is already quite complex.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Agreed, although a lot of science, especially regarding technology, has always kind of moved forward in abstract (without fully or at all understanding it, but still being able to create mechanical processes from theoretical understanding).

        And again it’s not just about the brain: 80 years from now, there are neural link with complex pods, for elderly who chose to transition to a Virtual afterlife a la San Junipero in Black Mirrors or Vanilla Sky. The truth is how do you operate and rule such a reality given the limitation of consciousness, for exemple the life that human are unable to bear anything eternal.

        • Solaire Of Astora

          Certainly not always. Jet engines came before theory. Birds can fly fine without any theory telling them how to do so. Trial and error, tinkering, is an extremely powerful process. And no, before someone thinks I’m saying ‘theory is useless’, I’m not. I’m saying it in no way must precede invention (just preempting binary thinkers from coming at me with ‘refutations’ of things I never said or implied).

    • It will be eventually understood how it all works. The brain and all the human senses are basically mechanical and electrical mechanisms. You just start with light entering the eye, understand that part, then understand how the cornea works, then understand the signals in the optic cord, then look at the part of the brain that receives that, then you can make an artificial signal (as people now are doing) to replace human vision with artificial vision, do the same for other senses and you have full VR.

      • Lucidfeuer

        See, the problem is that all you said is false.

        Vision is 100x more complicated than that because light doesn’t rebound, enter the eye and is then converted and interpreted…that’s a scientifically materialistic and obsolete interpretation of sight that has been superseded by way more complicated quantum zeno effect ie. the light does the reverse path.

        And the thing is, the physical (optic or whatnot) part of neural link is not even the most complicated…

    • Michigan Jay Sunde

      He could be committing the sin Michael Abrash warned us about, assuming advanced technologies WILL exist just because they fit a timeline or a narrative. Somebody, somewhere has to actually solve the problems in the real world, and even Scrooge McDuck money cannot brute-force a technological revelation. Some things we cannot guess or anticipate.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Good to hear Luckey still has his core enthusiasm for VR. I think it was hilarious when people were acting like he was a done actor on the stage… I suspect he will be around and involved for a long time… and still in his 20’s with a war chest of $500 million he has plenty of time and pull.

    • kool

      I think he has a few screws loose, hopefully he doesn’t get all eccentric on us. I hope he does something else great, nobody should to have their ship jacked like that. Even if he did have it coming!

      • Gerald Terveen

        you are nuts – I totally want him to stay eccentric and not try to conform to standards! the worst that could happen is him going with conservative spending and investment strategies that lack vision …

        • kool

          I was thinking more of a Howard Hughes albatross shut in type. I hope brain implants isn’t his albatross. IDC what party he supports, but 500 mil in a couple years will test your mental fortitude.

  • Honestly I don’t agree with the fact that we won’t see anything in 2018… another year and a half without innovations?
    Some days ago Vive has announced a standalone headset that may include eye tracking; Vive is making new controllers, etc… I don’t think that Oculus will make only content…

    • Get Schwifty!

      Those items are not really “innovation” as in a first to market (with the possible exception of the eye tracking which is pretty much already available)… it’s just more of the same with existing technology in a package. The Vive controllers are not really “innovative”, you would have to give credit first to the Touch for that step. The Vive was however innovative with the tracking technology.

      • Michigan Jay Sunde

        I’m sorry, eye-tracking is not “pretty much already available” unless you count the $800 FOVE. If it would pretty-much-available, I would buy that shit. ;)

        • Gerald Terveen

          you have seen the new solution to retrofit it into the Vive that is supposed to hit the market these days? (weeks, not months)

          • Michigan Jay Sunde

            I see all. I have too much time on my hands. What I /don’t/ see, is that shit – on my desk. :) SMI was offering eye-tracking retrofits for the Vive last year, but you had to email them with the magic words to even get a price, and I didn’t know the magic words. It needs to be a standard feature in every mid-high range headset, zero exceptions.

        • Get Schwifty!

          From a technical perspective is what I mean… it’s not like years off, it’s in the early stages for consumer adoption by price but it IS here now ;) I’m thinking specifically of technologies like the Tobii eye tracking for instance.

    • Xron

      He clarified, that he meant 12 months, not whole 2018.
      So we can get our hopes up to see something 2018 summer or holiday season.

  • kool

    Dude is crazy if he thinks we’ll want implants in 5 years or ever.

    • Evil13RT

      Five years before oculus, I thought the VR idea was dead in the water.
      If someone figures out a game changing use for implants then I don’t doubt it will become a popular thing.

      • kool

        It might be doable, but I’m not getting implants for gaming. I’ll try a brain sensor, but physically invasive implants is where I get off. It’ll probably go over well with the tattoo and piercing crowd, lol.

    • visual

      The future holds many answers, not just one answer. It’s a logical fallacy that futurists only believe in one option. Some will want implants, some won’t. Technology gives us options, not limitations.

    • Gerald Terveen

      yeah – total nutter! recently heard about folks wanting to make implants to make hearts beat and give people the ability to hear. what kind of freak would go for such a thing with a clear benefit?

      • kool

        Yeah cuz health and hobby decisions hold the same weight.

        • Gerald Terveen

          who says it has to start with the hobby decisions? I’d say the path is way more likely to reach those with medical needs first …

          • kool

            I’m just saying I would get a life saving implant. I wouldn’t get one to play games tho. I’m not a big fan of surgery lol.

          • Gerald Terveen

            by the time these become a reality that surgery will likely be like a visit at the dentist :) … and not that I like to visit the dentist, but if it means I no longer have to carry a big AR headset all day …