Immersion Hype?

I came across this article – The imminent age of virtual reality.

I think the author makes a great point.  Most people are all about getting the maximum gain from minimum effort.  We’ve gone from books to articles to blogs to status updates to tweets – the text getting ever shorter – always requiring less effort and attention.

I personally have never understood the appeal of smartphones.  I mean, I have one, but I use it mostly for email and games.  I don’t even play games on it that much, because I hate the small screen.  I’ve seen people watching movies or TV, but I don’t understand that either.  Why have a 50-inch TV at home and then spend all your time watching movies/TV on a 5-inch smartphone or 10-inch tablet?

I have an expensive digital camera, but it is heavy and awkward to carry, so unless it’s a really important event (like graduation or something), I usually just use my phone to take pics.  Sadly, my camera is old enough that my phone pics are of about the same or better quality.  But it’s a lot cheaper (usually free) to upgrade my phone than it is to upgrade my digital camera.  :/

And I’ve watched (both as a teacher and a parent) attention spans get shorter and shorter.  Kids text each other rather than speaking when they sit right next to each other.  My own child has actually texted me from the basement, rather than walk up the stairs!!

That said, these days everyone seems to be on the lookout for the next new thing.  People want the newest gadget – ‘new’ seems to always trump ‘better.’  With all the talk and hype about Facebook and their acquisition of Oculus Rift, it does seem as if the VR is headed for some explosive growth.

Maybe, maybe not.  Lots of things don’t live up to the hype.  I spend quite a bit of time in SL, but I don’t see myself spending the $ for an Oculus.  Immersion would be nice, but probably not something I would want on an every day basis.  I spend time building and creating – I can see how the Oculus might be a hindrance rather than a help in those situations.  If all I did in SL was spend my time exploring, then the expense might be worth it.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months.