Toward convenience and portability

Further motivations for accepting lower levels of realism are cost and portability. As shown in Figure 1.27, families were willing to gather in front of a television to watch free broadcasts in their homes, even though they could go to theaters and watch high-resolution, color, panoramic, and 3D movies at the time. Such tiny, blurry, black-and-white television sets seem comically intolerable with respect to our current expectations. The next level of portability is to carry the system around with you. Thus, the progression is from: 1) having to go somewhere to watch it, to 2) being able to watch it in your home, to 3) being able to carry it anywhere. Whether pictures, movies, phones, computers, or video games, the same progression continues. We can therefore expect the same for VR systems. At the same time, note that the gap is closing between these levels: The quality we expect from a portable device is closer than ever before to the version that requires going somewhere to experience it.

Figure 1.28: A progression of video games: (a) Atari's Pong, 1972. (b) Nintendo's Donkey Kong, 1981. (c) id Software's Doom, 1993. (d) Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Unity, 2014. (e) Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds, 2009. (f) Markus ``Notch'' Persson's Minecraft, 2011.
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Steven M LaValle 2020-01-06