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Surrounded by Sharks in Virtual Reality

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 1.12.33 PM

Last night I put on my brother’s basic Oculus headset and was quite convincingly and disconcertingly surrounded by sharks. Up, down, in every direction they were circling me in the ocean depths. (I was ‘with’ other divers down there.) I love sharks.

Though the technology is still new and quirky, it certainly worked, and has so many possible applications it’s mind boggling (education, training, and of course the main drivers of consumer tech: the military, gaming, and porn. Heads up art world!). I look forward to the advances in VR. The video below is just the non-VR version of the MythBusters video I watched. They filmed the sequence with special 360 cameras; I can name a lot of upgrades and tweaks I’d already like to see, but VR headsets will eventually usher in widespread holographic tech. I don’t know what our timeframe is, but… . One day my nieces will walk across Lapland without flying to Finland.

(Also, keep in mind Kathryn Bigelow’s disturbing 1995 morality tale Strange Days. VR won’t always be a friendly walk in the park. As with all tech these days, some very dark shit will happen with it.)

 

 

also by Christina Rees
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