VIR­TUAL RE­AL­ITY IS HERE. AGAIN.

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

NO, RE­ALLY

Vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) has been a re­cur­ring theme in the world of gam­ing since 1992 film The Lawn­mower Man gave us the idea that a pass­port to an­other di­men­sion was only a snazzy elec­tronic head­set away.

Up un­til now, most at­tempts to im­merse us in an­other world with magic gog­gles have been dis­ap­point­ing, but the global gam­ing com­mu­nity has a new name on its lips: some­thing called Ocu­lus Rift. It’s the lat­est player in VR, and many say it’s the best yet.

Stu­art Miles, the founder of tech web­site Pocket-Lint.com, is one of the peo­ple who put an early pro­to­type of the head­set through its paces at this year’s CES show. “The con­cept is that you wear the gog­gles, then when you move your head it moves your char­ac­ter in the game,” he says. “It’s all about cre­at­ing a fully im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, and the clever bit is that you re­ally do feel like you’re mov­ing in real time.”

The brain­child of a hotshot 20-some­thing Amer­i­can, the head­set’s first round of fi­nanc­ing – a hefty $2.4 mil­lion (Dh8.8m) – was raised through Kick­starter, the on­line fund-rais­ing plat­form where fans of an idea pledge cash. Don’t ex­pect it in the shops for six months or more, but when it ar­rives, it should be spe­cial.

As The New York Times says, “It’s like watch­ing an IMAX screen that never ends.” Yes, a nev­erend­ing IMAX screen where you’re in the ac­tion.

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