No, GorT isn’t going to talk about the Democrats’ policies and view of the world. Rather, he noticed that he’s been remiss in posting on some technical subjects recently so let’s play some catch up.
On March 25th, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has agreed to acquire Occulus Rift, a leader in the virtual reality (VR) industry. Probably most of our readers didn’t take much notice and wrote it off to some social media company is buying some tech company. Some smaller percentage might have some pattern recognition here and landed with the question, “what does VR have to do with Facebook?” GorT has a few answers and thoughts so I’ll lay them out for you:
First, for someone in GorT’s generation, the current social interaction scene is probably mind-jarring (or mind-numbing). We’ve talked a number of times in the past about the growth of non-personal interaction is changing the social dynamics. GorT sees it personally with his teenage children. Dating, planning outings, etc are all different from high school in the 1980s. One of my daughters “communicates” using Instagram, SnapChat, FaceTime, texting and a little Twitter, Facebook and email. She hardly uses the phone.* Possibly in a knee-jerk reaction to our litigious society, many schools have changed and/or reduced their offerings for social interactions such as mixers and other events that would invite a blend of local peers. So considering that change, which really has only taken off in the last ten years or so, is it that crazy to think that virtual reality is that far off from our daily lives?
Second, when many of us think about virtual reality we still think about clunky visualizations and can’t really wrap our heads around how we would use it. In addition the gear required was prohibitively expensive and awkward. These days that is changing. GorT has tried the Occulus Rift headset and it is impressive. Let me back up and say that there are a variety of VR technologies – some involved multiple projectors and screens and have the person in a space surrounded by video (and sound), others use multiple monitors and then some rely on headsets to project directly to the eyes and obscure the surroundings. One could also argue that Google Glass type devices are VR, but I tend to characterize those as HUDs – heads up displays. Ok, back to the Occulus Rift. I ran through two demos – one of which you are an elephant walking through an environment smashing stuff with a trunk. You really do get a feeling of moving through the space and that you have a huge, weighted trunk that you can swing around.
Third, so given the above is it any wonder that people like Zuckerberg are banking on what the next social interaction thing will be? Why not take a leap? The technology will only improve. Years ago the headsets were in the $30,000 range and gave your neck a hefty workout. Occulus Rift is pretty lightweight and the latest development kit which includes one is $350.
It’ll be interesting to see how things progress, but I’ll wager that the no-so-distant future will have a dose of VR in everyday life….and we thought ‘Puter was technically challenged, we can’t wait to see him don the VR headset and stomp around.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.