A few Technological Leaps in possible VR

Representing ourselves in the 3D world will be the next breakthrough for VR. Moving away from joypads, keyboards and mice is the major challenge, however they do give some advantages and people are still working out how we can interact with the virtual world. Still, being able to map the real world and most importantly ourselves is key, and there have been some ways of getting this to work:

[UPDATE] Driver4VR: Body Tracking driver for Kinect in SteamVR v1 – instructions

 

LEAP Keyboard Demo

 

Even Palmer agrees it’s important.

VR Jobs – Alternately Reality

Occulus VR Headset -> CCP Pilot Ship -> Convert ISK to real money -> Pay to be a flight pilot -> Actually have them control a real ship in space to mine -> OMG

I daydream about the future and I wonder why some people don’t any more. They are too present in what’s happening now. The best part about daydreaming is that you can root part of it into the facts and observations of the now and link it to what may just seem to be within grasp.

People have analysed and scrutinised science fiction for predictions and facts. We have 2001 a Space Odyssey with its flat screens and its pretend gravity. Some aspects of which we’re still waiting on. There was Jules Verne, perhaps not strictly seen as science fiction by some but still the use of submarines wasn’t necessarily common. Then there’re tales such as Neuromancer and The Matrix assuming that we’ll all be taken over by the machines or use virtual reality as if it’s real; but what you don’t greatly see, or perhaps no-one is noticing. Is when the virtual reality interacts with the real. It begs the question, what is real? Why isn’t it real just because it’s digital? Physical? Are feelings nought but electrical impulses firing and we’re mimicking this?

I play Eve Online. Bare with me. The premise and role of this game is that you are a person, you fly a ship in space. Your role? Anything you want. It’s open, you’re in a sandbox environment where you can build and destroy and do as you please with money and with goods and services. In fact, it is possible to sustain your subscription to the game by making in-game money to purchase more time cards, however you may have to sink a lot of time into the game to get this far.

It practically emulates life, you (can) have a job and be part of a clan, a corporation. To simplify you can be a trader, a fighter or a miner. It’s being a miner that I’m most interested in with the point I’m trying to make here.

CCP, the company behind Eve Online have started to work with Oculus Rift, this simulation or game allows you to virtually enter a spacecraft within the Eve Online universe. The craft is also directly controlled as opposed to instructed as previously done.

So the thought I had was, what if CCP effectively became a bank. Or at least could trade/buy/sell money like Second Life. In Second Life the name says it all, you’re meant to be able to have a job, create items, goods, clothing, mainly aesthetic items but also script and 3D model items to be traded and sold. It’s entirely possible there are people in the world who make a living being paid working for others in the game or at least selling their virtual goods. Even purchasing land.

I’m saying that if CCP did that, you would have a virtual job, a futuristic job, flying a spacecraft.

I’m not done.

We can bridge this gap. We already use software programming to control real life hardware. There is a virtual jump there to something physical. You create your code and you upload it to your chip, that chip can then send out signals and control hardware. This is a high level concept and there are many details which would need to be ironed out before this would be realistic in what I’m about to suggest.

What if we really mined asteroids and you controlled the mining ship from inside a rendered simulation, or a real-time feed from home using similar or the same controls which you already used inside the game, such as Eve Online ? Perhaps you could pre-configure the commands and route to do the job or you could do it live. Latency issues aside.

Mining asteroids is more than likely really coming. How we actually mine them has yet to be ascertained. Reducing life risk and cost whereby we could control drones to do it would, as I see it, be advantageous. Perhaps we’re already refining the controls and scheme to do it? Perhaps we’re already running the simulations, maybe we’ll be doing it for real within 300 years.