When my neighbor was the first one on the block to buy a Tesla, I asked him what it’s like, he said it’s like driving the future. I now know how he feels, the Oculus brand is going to change everything. I follow virtual reality tech since the Oculus Rift was announced and my first purchase is the Oculus Go. As much as it’s an early version and the quality of some visuals is meh, it is earth shattering cool. The headset is weird and heavy and it’s feels goofy on your face. Once you turn it on and choose the environment you want to be in nothing else matters; instantly transported into a new world all around you. It’s so cool to look up, down, and around. The best part for me is the lack of motion sickness. I’m not sure if it’s because I mentally ground myself into my seated position, or the dodgy graphics are a reminder this is a virtual world. The kicker is when you’re nose to nose with a lion or shark your dna trembles nonetheless. It’s so cool, the possibilities are endless.
What I found to be unexpectedly nice is the focus on meditation. There are a few apps I’m trying: Guided Meditation VR is very good. The physicality of the Oculus Go is contradictory to meditation itself, so instead it uses the inclusive space around you to guide you within. GMVR allows you to choose your environment; mountains, caves, meadows, forests, etc. to get the most out of your experience. The one snag I found is the meditator’s voice has an annoying echo. I’ve tried fiddling around with options, but no luck. I also bought BreatheVR but you click to start then all graphics disappear, nothing happens, and you have to physically press the power button on the visor to restart. (note: Dear OG, when I hold down the power button the instructions tell me to use the volume buttons to select restart or power down, however nothing happens when I do, no matter what app I’m in.)
I feel it’s important to remind everyone that the Oculus parent company is Facebook, and considering their recent conflict over selling all of your private information, always be aware of what permissions you’re granting to anything and everything. I will not buy Satori Sounds because before purchase you must give them permission to…
- Read cellular status and identity
- Access to the microphone
- Modify or delete the contents of your shared storage
- Read the contents of your shared storage
- Have full network access
- Prevent device from sleeping
That’s ridiculous. The app is called Satori Sounds: Relax, Enjoy & Transcend with Immersive VR Environments Combined with Brainwave Dynamics™ Audio Technology Blending – Binaural Beats Isochronic Tones & Solfeggio Frequencies with specially designed Sound Loops & Smart Ambience. So it’s basically cool music with cool backgrounds. Why would it need access to my cell phone information, control over my storage, FULL network access, and ruin the battery? This only ups my vigilance and will research everything I download. It’s the Wild West out there and because our government knows absolutely nothing about technology (see: the Zuckerburg hearings) there will not be any meaningful legislation to protect our privacy anytime soon. (see: Equifax debacle)
What I do recommend is mindlessly searching around and exploring what is available now. Remember when AOL was super shiny new and we were thrilled to see just about anything put in front of us? This is that. Games and apps by the Smithsonian Museum, Discovery Channel, brands you’re already interested in will raise the bar considerably in your experience with them. And then there’s the 360 photos. You can walk around inside a Van Gough painting; admire the beauty of mosques in the Middle East; and travel the world from your couch. I just ordered a swivel chair for the living room so I can spin around in Paris.
I’m not too much of a gamer, but I’ll keep this site updated with cool stuff I find. If you’re not friends with technology, you may want to skip this early addition as it is buggy, but not unusable. Future versions will be breathtaking.