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Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

DropBear Silver badge

None of the loudly advertised "killer features" will propel VR into mainstream. You know what will, assuming the more bothersome issues get sorted out at some point...? Its ability to isolate us from the world around us.

Decry it all you will (and I'm not advocating here), but we already try shutting out as much of everyone and everything else as we can - we prefer to conduct transactions directly with machines if a messy contact with a human operator can be avoided, travel individually if we can afford to eschew mass transit or the streets, watch our ultra-wide-screens at home if not mingling with the hoi polloi in the multiplex is an option. When was the last time you held eye contact with someone who wasn't your boss or employee...? Do you enjoy sitting in crowded waiting rooms...? Don't bother answering that...

We do this both literally with people and things and metaphorically, congregating in our daily little echo chambers isolating us from anything we don't want to hear - VR is happy to help with both. No, we're not quite at Clarke levels of finding in-person contact repugnant - but we're getting there. And like headphones, VR does a jolly good job of keeping them all out while simultaneously broadcasting "leave me alone!", only even much more so.

Yes, right now it's a bit like wearing giant armour-plated over-ear cans as far as convenience goes, but that will get better eventually - not in the next decade or two, no. We're pretty much at the limit of what we can do tech-wise which is why there is no - nor can be - much apparent progress any time soon. We don't seem to be able to make stamp-sized 4K displays, any more than manage to mass-produce any large screen that isn't an LCD panel for over a decade now, no matter what the glitzy CES demos would have you believe year after year. But VR will get there, eventually. Just in time to help us put the finishing touches on our titanium-clad walls. And trying to fight it will work about as well as it did trying to steer clear of everything Orwell's 1984 predicted. Human nature. Against the wind, piss you can't...

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