How Facebook is trying to get people psyched about its $3 billion bet on virtual reality
I stumbled across one at the Denver International Airport and gave the six-minute demo a try.
The demo is just a taste, a way to get people who have really never tried VR to see what all the fuss is about. On that level, the pop-up store was a good idea and the demo worked well.
The first time I ever tried VR, maybe two years ago, I strapped on a headset and looked around a 360-degree fantasy world and knew this was a game-changing new experience.
However, with every demo I've tried since, I'm reminded that VR still has a long way to go before it becomes a mainstream new way to consume entertainment beyond video games.
The demo consisted of a few very short scenes where I stood still, with a nice stable chrome bar railing to hold onto, and looked around the virtual world.
There was a scene in a boat on a far away island, a scene with a Mongolian family in their yurt. At one point I floated in an asteroid field in space. At another, I was hanging out with elephants, and as I turned around to look at them, they looked back at me. The coolest one was the dinosaur (a Brachiosaurus) who zoomed in and peered right in my face, making me take a step back.
It will, eventually, be fun to be part of the stories. Riding alongside the hero in a car chase, maybe even directly helping take down a bad guy.
For now, the experience is more akin to an IMAX or 3D movie. It's interesting for a little while. It's kind of gadget-y. It's not yet compelling enough to make me want to buy one.
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