1.2 Modern VR Experiences

The current generation of VR systems was brought about by advances in display, sensing, and computing technology from the smartphone industry. From Palmer Luckey's 2012 Oculus Rift design to building a viewing case for smart phones [122,243,311], the world has quickly changed as VR headsets are mass produced and placed onto the heads of millions of people. This trend is similar in many ways to the home computer and web browser revolutions; as a wider variety of people have access to the technology, the set of things they do with it substantially broadens.

This section provides a quick overview of what people are doing with VR systems, and provides a starting point for searching for similar experiences on the Internet. Here, we can only describe the experiences in words and pictures, which is a long way from the appreciation gained by experiencing them yourself. This printed medium (a book) is woefully inadequate for fully conveying the medium of VR. Perhaps this is how it was in the 1890s to explain in a newspaper what a movie theater was like! If possible, it is strongly recommended that you try many VR experiences yourself to form first-hand opinions and spark your imagination to do something better.

Steven M LaValle 2020-01-06