Despite the fact that we've been hearing about modern virtual reality solutions for quite some time, we're still months out from market availability. While developer kits can be had by those who are truly anxious to jump into the VR world, content is another major component in need of immediate improvement. Fortunately, given the kind of immersive experiences VR can provide, it feels like the wait is going to be worth it when it does explode on the market.
That doesn't mean that "first-gen" solutions are going to be ideal, though. Because virtual reality requires super-fast performance and super-low latencies to be truly effective, it means that we're all going to be tethered by wires. Game controllers being wireless won't be an issue, but when our eyes are dominated by close-up screens, less-than-ideal latencies are a no-go, else we'll begin to feel sick. That's the sad "reality" of VR.
It's an issue Oculus' Palmer Luckey isn't oblivious to. In a series of tweets, he says that cables are going to be a major obstacle in the industry "for a long time". He goes on to say that regular users won't have "cable servants", which refers to people who are constantly moving cables around to make sure that people are not tripping over them. Given how much movement there is in VR, tripping hazards could be created quite easily.
Cables are going to be a major obstacle in the VR industry for a long time. Mobile VR will be successful long before PC VR goes wireless.— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) November 1, 2015
These comments ahead of the launch of the Oculus Rift and its competition might put a bit of a damper on things, but not all experiences are going to cause these sorts of issues. It also sounds like a problem that could be fixed; there's product potential here. If the cables are long enough (and they definitely should be), there could be a holder that the person either wears or stands off of the ground that allows for sufficient slack, but not enough so the cables hit the floor.
@PalmerLuckey And I say this as someone who has spent many hours as a cable servant, dancing cables around users to keep them immersed!— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) November 1, 2015
We'll have to wait and see how things progress. For those who want to take advantage of VR, cables are no doubt going to be a nuisance, but it'd be hard to imagine that they'd be a deal-breaker.