Design For Oculus Rift

Design For Oculus Rift

According to technology enthusiasts and assorted geeks of the ’80s and ’90s, the future was going to be all about Virtual Reality. But the fantastic dreams of VR failed to materialize. People wondered at the graphics and the immersive realities that VR offered, but prices and impracticality prevented the format from growing into anything more than a sci-fi geek’s fantasy.

Oculus Rift is different because the technology is superior and it will be cheaper in order to ensure widespread pickup. Find an opportunity to try one for yourself. It is likely to succeed where previous VR releases failed because unique content is being developed. Rather than just marketing the technology to gamers desperate to play Black Ops in VR so they can see all the blood and guts in 4-dimensional glory, developers and designers are likely to take Oculus Rift in interesting new directions. The fact that Facebook has bought into the technology shows that they are aiming for a wider audience. That doesn’t mean it won’t be popular with gamers. Gamers are often the first to pick up on new technologies, and I expect the OR to find its way into most households as a birthday present for the teenage son.

Many have been waiting for the arrival of VR so they can develop content that’s been in the pipeline for decades. So when it is launched we can expect to see a wave of creative content released which will greatly increase the value of the technology. The lack of decent content has brought great platforms to ruins, but OR should be secure. It should, in fact, be of great interest to designers and developers who take an interest in new technologies.

Besides social media integration, which is inevitable, there are all kinds of potential avenues for development. One of these is education. Users could be transported through time and space to witness the Viking landings at Lindisfarne or the Lombards sacking Rome. Perhaps gaming and education could be combined for a fully interactive and enjoyable learning experience. Similar opportunities arise in the field of science where students could practice dangerous experiments without any danger and the subsequent need for expensive insurance policies.

Simulations have a wide array of possible applications; from pilot training to engineering experimentation. Users could learn about geography and biology, exploring the biodiversity of the Amazon jungle from the comfort of their living room. There are so many potential applications of VR that it is likely to penetrate all areas of life in the future.

Unfortunately, as with all cool new technologies, we are likely to see a lot of arbitrary OR integration from developers who realize that it’s cool but haven’t devised a way to make full use of it. If you intend to apply a new technology like Oculus Rift to the problems of business and marketing, then you need to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of settling for any old lazy application. If the consumer doesn’t actually benefit from using the Oculus Rift product you are considering, or if they can do the exact same thing on a different medium, then you haven’t created any value. Designers need to think of ways to solve problems in a unique and sophisticated way that feels natural to the user while only working with VR. This is the challenge facing all designers looking to Oculus Rift for opportunities in the future.