My first taste of Virtual Reality

I recently made a childhood dream come true and bought myself a Virtual Reality headset. I have been following the technology since the very beginning.

Oculus Quest 2
Photo by Vinicius "amnx" Amano / Unsplash

I recently made a childhood dream come true and bought myself a Virtual Reality headset. I have been following the technology since the very beginning when we used to gather at my aunt and uncles' house for the holidays. My cousin had a little color television in her bedroom and all of the cousins would bring our red and blue colored 3-D glasses and watch the special 3-D broadcasts on TV. We were really far away from the city, so the television reception was terrible (they didn't have cable television out in the country). If you've seen the white noise generated by a television tuned to a channel with no signal, then you can imagine what we were seeing. It was a blend of white noise and little bits of 3-D movie. We would say to each other gleefully, "I can see 3-D!" While the experience wasn't something you could call a 3-D movie experience, it was still something that I will never forget. I was seeing things taking place inside the television, not just on the surface of the screen. From that day on, I followed every advancement, dreaming of the day when I would one day be able to utilize virtual space for all of the ideas I had.

Vintage color television tuned to a channel with no signal
We've come a long way since then...

By using VR, I'm trying to develop a productivity environment that lets me accomplish all of my daily work faster and with more ease than the current setup that I'm using. I spent the recent holiday weekend learning how to use my computer from within the virtual environment of the headset's home screen. I was able to pin my monitors to my view so that they were always available no matter what I was doing in VR. Then, I could watch a tutorial video on YouTube and follow along or watch a movie. I used it to monitor the chat of a live stream while I was working in another VR environment. I want more, though. I need an integrated development environment created specifically for VR (alternate link) that is geared toward building VR applications while in VR. Much like Quill is to art, I want to make a VR program to software development.

None of this technology is new, so it's not my goal to educate you about its existence. My goal is to communicate the potential of the technology for reducing the daily workload by orders of magnitude.

My scope is limited to technological discoveries rather than things like Medicine and Agriculture, because that's what I've always been the most interested in (outside of Egyptian mythology). I was a kid when online Bulletin Board Systems gave way to the commercial Internet. I've seen online speeds rise from 300 Baud (1 bit per second) to 1 gigabit per second (1 billion bits per second). I've been alive to see the birth of Amazon.com, the invention of the iPod that eventually became the device that enables people from all walks of life to access infinite amounts of information and communicate with each other, even across language barriers (thanks to the translator apps).

All of that to say that I believe that Virtual Reality (and Augmented Reality) will usher in another paradigm shift as big as the Internet was. I am developing a 10-year plan involving using this evolving technology as a tool to work on my daily tasks.

It's an exciting time and I feel that we're at the starting line of another big technology run. The barrier for entry is "only" $300 (Oculus Quest 2)

You can get into the technology using more expensive hardware, but the latest standalone Oculus Quest 2 is very capable and has opened my mind to a whole new aspect of reality.

My brain is growing, and my depth perception is improving the more I use it. I can feel the changes in how I perceive the real world after spending a week immersed in the virtual ones.

This is big...really big.