This has keep me thinking for quite some time. How the ultimate virtual reality experience will look like? What is the most ideal VR capability we can have in this world? Is it the same like the one we watch in films like “The Matrix” or “The Thirteenth Floor“?
The Ultimate Virtual Reality…
For me, the ultimate VR experience will be somewhat like dreaming. You are not aware that you are dreaming, but somehow you perceived the surrounding like it is real. But in normal dream, you can’t control your dream. However, in lucid dreaming, you’ll be able to be aware that you are in a dream. And furthermore, you have some control in your dream too. When you are in lucid dreaming, the objects around you looks like real. There is nothing looks like jagged 3D objects and clothes. The objects and folding on the clothes will looks real. But you know, once you wake-up from the dream, the objects will vanish or getting blurred gradually until they disappear.
Another hard part to achieve in ultimate virtual reality is on the sense of touch. And like dreaming, everything that you touch in the virtual world need to feel like real. The texture, the skin, the smoothness and the roughness are so real. This will be the ultimate haptic technology ever where you can’t identify difference whether it is real or digital.
How about movement? To walk like in real world must be very tiresome and tiring. Hence, there must be some way to make movement in virtual environment to be more easy and fun. Perhaps, there must be some kind of virtual vehicle that able to transport us easily in the virtual environment. And the controller must be easy to handle too. Perhaps, the movement controller is controlled by our mind or brain wave so we don’t need any extra physical device.
You’ll also be able to hear the sound from your left and right ear correctly. Perhaps, in the future, there will be no need for a bulky headphone to cater for this. Right now, our current technology should be able to do this with the advanced stereo sound or surround system.
You’ll also able to smell something from the virtual world like the object is really there in front of you. You can smell the wonderful odor or fragrance or the bad smell in your nose. There might be one object that need to be put under your nose that can release certain smell based on the mixture of the liquid. It will be some sort like the mechanism of the printer where the combination of ink colors like black, magenta, cyan, yellow can produce a lot of different colors.
The hardest part to mimic in the ultimate virtual reality environment will be the taste. Perhaps, there will be a special device that need to be put inside your mouth that can release mixture of liquid that can fool your tongue in believing that you taste the virtual food. When it comes to drinking water, it might be possible with the technique above. But how to mimic the experience of eating meat, bread, chicken, steak and rice? That will be much trickier to design.
To summarize, the ultimate virtual reality will be able to fool our five senses completely. And from the current virtual reality progress, it seems like the day is still far, far away. Hence, let’s just enjoy the journey and have a fun ride to the ultimate VR experience.