The Future of VR

I have more to say on Relativity, but I am going to take a break and talk about something a little less mentally taxing: Virtual Reality. A friend recently told me about a book called Ready Player One, in which a VR game has, for all practical purposes, replaced the real world. A film adaptation of the book is scheduled for release in 2018, and there is a lot of VR concept art surrounding the story. One picture in particular got me thinking about the future of VR.

The picture shows the person wearing VR gloves to get hand sensations and goggles for the visual aspect. This is the most obvious route for VR to take: create equipment to externally synthesize in-game sensations. However, I see two other options, one less likely, and one more likely.

I’ll start with the less likely one: using holograms. Basically, we build a large, empty room, and project holographic terrain and other objects into it. Then, we create shaped gravity shields inside the holograms, to make them solid. Fine tuning of the surface shape (microscopic grooves and other texturing), combined with an interactive computer program to simulate surface elasticity (so if you touch something it will squish a little bit) could be used to give things the proper texture. This would be the most realistic version of virtual reality, because you would actually be performing the actions in the game with your physical body. Plus, it would be good for the public health, because if you ever wanted to play, say, a shooter, you would have to actually go run around, jump, climb, slide, and be otherwise physically active. This is my personal favorite version of Virtual Reality, but because hologram technology does not appear to be progressing in leaps and bounds, I doubt we will ever see it.

The more likely route VR will take, and almost certainly its final state, pulls on my telepathy idea. We can already interface, to an extent, between computers and the human brain. So why not create a Virtual Reality system that you simply plug your brain into? When you plug in, it intercepts the signals your brain sends to your body, so instead of moving your physical body, you move your in-game body. It would also block external sensory input, and replace it with artificial sensory input from the game, fed directly to your brain. You simply sit down and plug in, and your body effectively falls asleep, while your brain enters the game. It would work somewhat like the Avatar control bed.

So what do you guys think? Am I on the right track here? I will try to do another post this month on the future of communication, which I already have mostly written out, but I will have to edit it because of the new ideas this has given me.