What has been the toughest nut to crack to make VR feel even more real? In this video clip from “The Virtual Opportunities Show” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on March 22, Fool contributor Travis Hoium discusses how adding the sense of touch could take the industry to another level.
Travis Hoium: Look, I’ve been spending a ton of time in the VR industry over the last four or five years and the idea of bringing sense into it, and if you think about virtual reality, if you have five senses, you’re clearly covering your sight, typically your sound and sometimes some sort of vibration. But there are 2 1/2 other senses that we’re not really covering.
One that has always been a gold star for the VR industry specifically has been touch. There are things like jackets or vests that you can put on to play different games and they have inputs and you can feel somebody punches you, for example, in a game, you’ll feel it personally. There’s also ways that you can track your arms or your legs.
That’s where my head goes with something like this is that what you’re really trying to do with this in an acquisition that Meta ( FB 1.12% ) made called CTRL-labs is really make something virtual like the metaverse feel real to our five senses. I think that’s what’s really interesting about something like this is that she’s talking about, if you can replicate pain, now you can replicate touch, you can replicate these minute senses, and that is really, really compelling for a myriad of use cases.
That’s where my head really goes with this. There are a number of companies trying to work on this. It’s been a really hard nut to crack. Because not only do you have to develop the technology for it, but then you have to get developers to build their products to use that technology.
It’s like, OK, I’m going to build a VR thing. It’s going to work on this headset. Now I have to also integrate it to this vest that this company makes, which doesn’t work with the vest at a different company, so it’s another bridge. The challenge getting there is that we have enough problems getting enough people into VR headsets to create compelling content and make the economics work.
It’s another step to get people into headsets and then putting a vest on or putting some sort of third-party device on. Love what is going on here. I think this is where the industry is headed a decade from now, but it’s getting to probably be a while before this is reality is the reality of the business model here.
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