back to article Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

Oculus boss Palmer Luckey became the butt of countless jokes Thursday when a cringeworthy photo of him showed up on the cover of Time magazine. The Oculus Rift inventor was chosen to be the subject of the news magazine's cover story on virtual reality headsets. The article, titled 'Why Virtual Reality Is About to Change the …

  1. PleebSmash
    Paris Hilton

    missing tag: cringe

    Read some of the story before loading in another browser to see the image. The headline and text did not prepare me for that level of unflattery. Even the word "joy" is cringe-inducing.

    What is up with the tether/umbilical? Aren't these things wireless yet? Isn't that what WiGig is for?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    No matter who you pick...

    ...the person will look stupid doing VR, it's just how it is.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: No matter who you pick...

      Yes, indeed. The hype types want VR to take off, but it's not quite there yet. In the meantime, I'll have beer and toast the gods that it was he on the cover and not me or thee.

    2. PleebSmash
      Gimp

      Re: No matter who you pick...

      VR is best conducted in the basement in a pool of your own filth. Lock the door.

    3. Tim Jenkins

      Re: No matter who you pick...

      they should probably have avoided picking Martin Prince, though...

      http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l7kujj0RuA1qdoghio1_500.png

    4. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: No matter who you pick...

      Once again, Scott Adams was on the money over 20 years ago:

      http://dilbert.com/strip/1994-10-12

  3. Charles Manning

    Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

    Nope virtual reality is doing that all by itself.

    I've been watching VR revolutionise human interaction for the last 20 years. It is still a toy technology.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

      "I've been watching VR revolutionise human interaction for the last 20 years. It is still a toy technology."

      I think its the other way around. Its a working technology that no one wants to take seriously. I remember playing the 1st Virtuality game Legend Quest back in Nottingham in the early 90s. Ran on a souped up Amiga I believe. Even then the 3D effect was good and the game was fun. The fact that over 20 years later we still don't have decent virtual reality hardware and applications is down to cynicism and apathy, not the level of tech required to achieve it.

      1. Grikath Silver badge

        Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months @ Boltar

        Yeeeess.... now go pull the other one, it's got bells on..

        "VR" solutions up until now were either Too Bloody Expensive, took up an entire dedicated room, had terrible resolition/ immersion, or all of the above, and then some.

        Even now, taking a set like the Oculus past demo stage and be truly "interactive" in a live environment still takes some pretty high-end hardware that's not within the usual budget of your average Joe.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months @ Boltar

          ""VR" solutions up until now were either Too Bloody Expensive, took up an entire dedicated room, had terrible resolition/ immersion, or all of the above, and then some."

          Horseshit.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuality_(gaming)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            WTF?

            Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months @ Boltar

            Why have you added a link to an incredibly expensive, bulky and piss poor immersion to prove him wrong.

            Everything he said agrees with your link!

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months @ Boltar

              "Why have you added a link to an incredibly expensive, bulky and piss poor immersion to prove him wrong."

              Piss poor? You ever use it? I doubt it. Well I did and I can tell you it was pretty good especially given the era and the actual computer hardware had a pretty small footprint. It was the detector loop you had to stand in that took up all the space.

        2. Captain DaFt

          Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months @ Boltar

          "had terrible resolition/ immersion,"

          I don't think those are one and the same.

          I played This game in an old arcade years ago. Primitive wire frame style graphics viewed through a "periscope" with controls on the handles.

          Yet it was more immersive than any higher resolution VR game I've ever tried since.

      2. John Sanders
        Facepalm

        Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

        """I think its the other way around. Its a working technology that no one wants to take seriously."""

        Yeah, because those things, you know, grow under a rock all you have to do is go get them.

        Yeah, the past 20 years of miniaturization and latests advancements on led screen technology have happened because "technology"

        Come on, getting VR right is hard and it just wasn't possible on a prototype-consumer scale up until 3-4 years back.

        Getting it production-ready plus write all these software who's going to run on it is free and happens because "reasons", and if it doesn't happen sooner is because the world is evil and that's why I can't have nice toys.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

          "Come on, getting VR right is hard and it just wasn't possible on a prototype-consumer scale up until 3-4 years back."

          If it could be done on a souped up Amiga 22 years ago then PCs have been more than ready to handle the demands for at least a decade if not more.

          "Getting it production-ready plus write all these software who's going to run on it is free and happens because "reasons", and if it doesn't happen sooner is because the world is evil and that's why I can't have nice toys."

          -1 for failed sarcasm. The reason VR isn't big is the same reason 3D film flops each time they release it and the same reason 3D TV, Virtuality arcade machines and Nintendos Virtual Boy sank - no one cares enough and no one wants to wear a headset. The exact same thing will happen to the current crop. Sure, Occulus will be popular for a while as all the techheads buy one, then it'll all go quiet. Don't believe me? I don't give a shit. I'll be proved right in the long run.

      3. Tom Samplonius

        Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

        " The fact that over 20 years later we still don't have decent virtual reality hardware and applications is down to cynicism and apathy, not the level of tech required to achieve it."

        Reverse good old days effect? Because 20 years ago, 1080x1200 screens with 90Hz update rate and 2ms persistence, weren't available. Let alone, one per eye.

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

      The issue with VR is 'what problem does it solve?' The answer to that question is almost always going to be either gaming or a niche application like remote controls. Augmented Reality may have greater appeal if done right but things like Google's Glass tend to be a bit too intrusive. In reality, VR hasn't been pushed back 12 months, it's been pushed aside.

  4. mr. deadlift

    12 months?

    more like 12 years, geejus...

    ...meanwhile Occy stockys hit rock botty.

    or some such.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laugh all you want..

    .. but Time has just created a meme, and billionaire boy could not have asked for a better marketing campaign.

    Going viral is a marketeers wet dream, and he just got it handed on a plate.

    1. Turtle

      Re: Laugh all you want..

      " ...billionaire boy could not have asked for a better marketing campaign."

      Or maybe not. I wonder if Luckey can sue for defamation of character.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Aren't people on Twitter clever and funny?

    No.

    1. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: Aren't people on Twitter clever and funny?

      Lighten up misery! Who gave you a "fun-ectomy" while you were asleep?

  7. msknight Silver badge

    "Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months"

    ...and this is a bad thing ... why?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please no more stories like this...

    Dear El Reg,

    If I really want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic unfunny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism than I can spend all day reading the Evening Standard, The Daily Mail and Metro. I would rather not.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Please no more stories like this...

      Yeah El Reg! I want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic funny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism!

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Please no more stories like this...

      "If I really want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic unfunny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism than I can spend all day reading the Evening Standard, The Daily Mail and Metro. I would rather not."

      It's August. It's silly season. It's some idiot jumping like a moron on the front cover of a mag. Let us have our fun. Just once. Let us out of the cage, master.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Let us out of the cage, master.

        Last time you lot were all let out of the cage you made this website all Office 2013...

        Just saying.

      2. Turtle

        @diodesign Re: Please no more stories like this...

        "Let us out of the cage.'

        Only if you agree to get into the barrel.

        Oh the humanity!

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Please no more stories like this...

      If I really didn't want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic unfunny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism I'd know better than to read El Reg.

      FTFY

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Please no more stories like this...

        "If I really didn't want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic unfunny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism I'd know better than to read El Reg. FTFY"

        No, no no!

        El Reg is a series of semi-moronic unfunny posts linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalistic articles.

        World of difference!

  9. wolfetone Silver badge

    Sega never released their VR project because they thought people would walk out of their houses with it on and get run over. However, I bet that one night at Sega HQ they used the prototype while drunk and saw how silly they looked playing with it. Because as we know, the best decisions are made when drunk.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Whereas slumped on your couch in your underwear holding a WII controller - you look like a veritable athletic god?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Whereas slumped on your couch in your underwear holding a WII controller - you look like a veritable athletic god?

        Well, THAT"S why he needs VR, duh.

        :)

  10. Trygve Henriksen

    The only way to not be ridiculed...

    when wearing them is to don a uniform...

    Here in Norway the Army is testing it for use by tank drivers...

    http://www.tujobs.com/news/238400-see-the-norwegian-armed-forces-driving-with-oculus-rift

    Sure, they may still look silly, but... would you say that to someone driving an armored vehicle?

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

      A uniform, you say?

      Paging Mr Mosley...

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

      Here in Norway the Army is testing it for use by tank drivers.

      So instead of real tanks you have blokes in VR headsets going "Brrrr-mm, brrr-mmm. Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa. Bang!!! You're dead."

      1. John Sanders
        Pint

        Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

        You sir win at the interwebs today!

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

        Reminds me of the old joke about when the French Resistance didn't have enough guns and new recruits were given broomhandles for training. But one day the Germans surprise them and the poor old noob has to defend the secret bunker with nothing but a broom handle. Bizarrely, he finds that taking careful aim and shouting "bangety bang!" is actually *working* and the oncoming hordes are dropping like flies. However, there's too many of them and they are nearly upon him. That's where the bayonet training kicks in and, amazingly, poking the chaps in the ribs and shouting "stabety stab" seems to be doing the trick. On all except one attacker; he just keeps rolling on towards our plucky hero. Just as the latter is about to be literally trampled by one remaining slow moving assailant trundling impassively towards him he shouts "Hold on, why aren't you dead?" The German replies: "Clankety clank, I'm a tank"

    3. Amorous Cowherder
      Coat

      Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

      "when wearing them is to don a uniform..."

      *snigger*

      Reminds me of the H&S posters on the trains where the sentence on the notice says, "Wet items can be...", and lots of witty people filled in the blank!

    4. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

      Here in Norway the Army is testing it for use by tank drivers...

      http://www.tujobs.com/news/238400-see-the-norwegian-armed-forces-driving-with-oculus-rift

      Sure, they may still look silly, but... would you say that to someone driving an armored vehicle?

      Oh sure, but only after I paintball the cameras :)

    5. vacantrob
      FAIL

      Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

      They seem to be missing the point somewhat... at least the virtual point. I think he'll probably see where he is going a bit better if he took off the big thingy covering his eyes.

  11. JDC

    Bracing

    That's the beach at Skegness!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Bracing

      That's not Skeg -- there are no chip wrappers or used condoms in sight.

    2. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: Bracing

      Nah, there's distinct lack of chavs who've actually ventured outside Butlins for the afternoon with their screaming, mewling offspring to throw MaccyD wrappers and used bottles of sun cream about!

      1. Efros

        Re: Bracing

        Sun cream in Skeggy? I'll have a pint of whatever you've been drinking!

    3. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Bracing

      Well spotted. Shame they left out the starfish.

      Skegness

  12. Tom_

    Quote

    "Least you feel too bad for Luckey, remember the lad is a 22-year-old billionaire who hangs out with Mark Zuckerberg."

    Swings and roundabouts then, eh? :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unrealistic picture.

    Where is the boner? Oh, I forgot it is prudishberg's "censored" virtual reality.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Unrealistic picture.

      the picture reminded me of both a chicken and a ballet movement - I think the answer to your question - he must be watching a production of The Nutcracker

  14. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Parallel universe?

    So when will be the year of "Oculus on the desktop?"

    Seriously, needing a dam' wire to connect it and generally being so big, ugly and intrusive this thing doesn't stand a chance of adoption - except by the sort who are attracted to the tech for its own sake.

    Think: 3-D TV headsets, but without the attraction of content that ordinary people want to watch.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark's bitch

    "Least you feel too bad for Luckey, remember the lad is a 22-year-old billionaire who hangs out with Mark Zuckerberg."

    You mean he's Mark Zuckerberg's bitch. After all, Zuck bought Oculus.

  16. RIBrsiq

    I am not sure how VR users looking silly is relevant to anything.

    This should qualify for the annual Pointing Out the Extremely Obvious award, but VR is something for the user to experience, not for others to look at.

    VR will stand or fall based on the users' experience, not how cool they look while using it.

    1. Haku

      Yes, exactly, I don't understand why Time decided to show everyone what the Oculus looks like when you're observing someone using it, instead of an illustration of what the experience of using the Oculus is like.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        I don't understand why Time decided to show everyone what the Oculus looks like when you're observing someone using it, instead of an illustration of what the experience of using the Oculus is like.

        I guess if you could convey what the experience of using the Oculus is like on a magazine cover it wouldn't be very good VR. And everyone would just buy a copy of Time instead of a headset.

      2. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Looks and perceptions

        > don't understand why Time decided to show everyone what the Oculus looks like when you're observing someone using it, instead of an illustration of what the experience of using the Oculus is like

        Two obvious reasons: first, more people will see someone else using one of these than will ever use one themself. Since most people form an opinion of another (a) very quickly and (b) almost entirely based on visual perception it is important for potential buyers to be aware of how others will perceive them if they are seen wearing one of these. It's similar to buying a little motor-scooter, Segway (remember them?) or the "wrong" sort of car. It still gets you from A to B, but many will not like being the object of ridicule.

        Secondly, it's impossible to depict to someone on the web, or reading a magazine, what the user-experience is like, as it will look just like the innards of any other video-game screenshot.

        As a final offering, the shot also shows that the user (or wearer) is basically blindfolded while using this device. That should alert all pranksters to get their thinking-caps on as to how best take advantage of the user's predicament.

  17. Jedit

    "a 22-year-old billionaire who hangs out with Mark Zuckerberg"

    Well, I suppose the huge wealth makes up in some small way for having to hang out with Mark Zuckerberg.

    1. Hellcat

      Re: "a 22-year-old billionaire who hangs out with Mark Zuckerberg"

      Came here for this comment.

      Was not disapointed.

  18. Pierson
    Meh

    Solution in search of a problem

    VR is the archetypical solution in search of a problem.

    It was the Next Big Thing twenty five years ago when I was an undergraduate, several years before Luckey was born. It appears not to have moved on significantly since then, modulo cheaper/easier technology.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Solution in search of a problem

      "It appears not to have moved on significantly since then"

      Are you kidding?

      I tried VR back in the 80's - trust me, it's come a long way.

    2. FelixReg

      Re: Solution in search of a problem

      The archetypical solution in search of a problem was the laser.

      In the '70's.

      The world can always use more solutions in search of a problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Solution in search of a problem

        The world can always use more solutions in search of a problem.

        So the problem we have is that we have too many solutions. Which should not be a problem on account of having so many solutions? Argh.

        I'm getting a headache. I'm best off to the pub :)

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Solution in search of a problem

        The archetypical solution in search of a problem was the laser.

        In the '70's.

        The world can always use more solutions in search of a problem.

        Goodness! You have proven the general case with a single anecdote.

        Oh, wait.

    3. John Bailey

      Re: Solution in search of a problem

      "VR is the archetypical solution in search of a problem."

      Yes.. Just like pretty much every technology mentioned here, from home automation to indoor plumbing. Hardly a distinction.

      "It was the Next Big Thing twenty five years ago when I was an undergraduate, several years before Luckey was born. It appears not to have moved on significantly since then, modulo cheaper/easier technology."

      Soo..

      Two miniature CRTs attached to a heavy headset.. Che.. Um.. actually.. no.

      Blocky low poly graphics.. Che.. Oops.. Nope..

      Vomit inducing lag between movement and screen update. Oh look.. Reduced or removed by significantly faster updates.

      But yes.. Hardly moved on at all. Despite being light weight, and within the reach of individuals, and vastly more advanced.

      Just out of curiosity... What exactly were you expecting it to move on TO?

      Implanted retinal displays?

      Switching glasses that worked as sun or eye glasses until you press a button, and then they go opaque, and you are in 3D land?

      The matrix?

      Or were you aiming for something really really out there. Like being taken seriously?

      Mine's the one with the copy of Neuromancer in the pocket.

  19. Haku

    For those too young to have seen this BBC broadcast

    Check this ancient show on virtual reality from 1991 and see where it all started:

    Horizon - Colonising Cyberspace (YouTube)

  20. lukewarmdog

    star wars kid..

    Are we sure that isn't Ghyslain Raza?

  21. Naughtyhorse

    Well at least...

    Will Smith from tested.com can once again be seen in public :-)

  22. Nanners

    I don't get oculus

    They aren't doing anything new...they are just using todays updated processing power. Why all the fuss? Don't we live in enough virtual reality as it is?

  23. Sleep deprived
    Happy

    And you thought Google Glass made you look dumb...

    At least you could go out on the street.

    1. Jediben
      Gimp

      Re: And you thought Google Glass made you look dumb...

      No, you can't. Get back in your Blogosphere, stinking hipster.

  24. DrXym Silver badge

    And 2 seconds later

    The guy slips on some water in his bare feet and breaks his neck.

    VR will have very serious problems reconciling what you see or do in a game with reality. The only games I see really working are those where the player is seated - flight sims, racing cars etc. If the person is supposed to stand, or worse use motion sensing then it's going to get disorientating fast, particularly if the game can't reconcile their real position with the game..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And 2 seconds later

      Yeah, because I keep my gaming pc and workstation in my daughter's paddling pool for cooling purposes...

      What the hell are you blathering about? Your example seems to assume that people are going to be dropped into an environment (their office/home?) which they have no previous experience of (the kitchen maybe?) and without any opportunity to prepare the surrounding space. THEN they are going to start walking around (for some unknown reason - OR is only a head-mounted device, it doesn't do limb tracking?) and encounter a hitherto unexpected natural wellspring?

      Most likely is that users will encounter partners slapping them to get their attention, which perhaps is what you need as well!

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: And 2 seconds later

        I suggest you put a bucket on your head, dance around, jump, twist turn, and see if you can grasp the point I was making. If slipping on water is too much for your mind to comprehend then you may replace it with a wire, a bit of lego, the pet dog, a 2 year old, the corner of the table, or anything else that you cannot see because you are jumping around like a lunatic without any awareness of your surroundings and increasingly disorientated.

        The consequences of VR that requires players to stand are entirely predictable.

  25. PghMike

    don't care if he's rich

    I'm not sure that being a billionaire is sufficient compensation for having that picture distributed around the world. And while I realize that I'm over 50 and so can no longer judge the ages of youngins, he doesn't look like a dorky 22 year old, he looks like a dorky 12 year old.

    How did Oculus marketing ever let something like that happen?

    1. Phuq Witt
      Trollface

      Re: don't care if he's rich

      "...he doesn't look like a dorky 22 year old, he looks like a dorky 12 year old...."

      Nah. His tits are too big.

      1. Jediben
        Black Helicopters

        Re: don't care if he's rich

        And Operation Yewtree adds another name to the list!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D TV and Segways...

    Seems VR is headed in the same direction? And is it me, or does it look like an 8 year old on the cover of Time?

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