In many ways, gaming has been a way to get away from reality and to get lost in a world all its own.
The recent advances in VR have pushed this idea to new limits, and we’re seeing levels of immersion that were previously thought impossible.
This post explores the possibility of full dive VR and how soon we can expect to experience it or at least, something close to it.
In this post, we will shed light upon:
- What full dive VR is
- Approaches currently being researched (Full-body tracking, haptic feedback, etc.)
- Limitations of full dive VR
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about full dive VR
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Full Dive VR?
“Full Dive VR” is actually a term that was first popularized by the Japanese manga Sword Art Online.
Essentially, it refers to a virtual reality system and experience that is so immersive and realistic that you “fully dive” into it. This means that it feels just as real as the real world and you can fully immerse yourself within it.
Hence, the essential question that we’re asking ourselves today is:
“How soon will it be until VR becomes so immersive and realistic that it’ll be on par with our real world?”
“Is it actually realistic to think we can achieve something like that?”
“How close are we to the technology needed?”
Current Trends and Approaches in VR
It can be tempting to think about a technology that really allows you to fully escape into a world of your own. However, you’ll be sad to hear that the technology we need to design such an experience is not quite here yet.
However, the good news is that the VR industry is one of the fastest-growing fields out there with tons of research and funding being provided to it.
The technology isn’t here yet but progress towards it is rapid.
The VR and AR industry market size was valued at $14.84 Billion in 2020. It’s projected to reach $454.73 Billion by 2030.
We have some examples of VR headsets that are currently available that offer full-body tracking. We’re talking about great products such as the Valve Index and the DecaGear 1.
The main problem that needs to be tackled right now is the fact that while they do offer full-body tracking, they don’t offer any sort of haptic feedback. At least, not enough to the point where it would seem realistic.
You can use the system to grab objects with your hands but you won’t feel the objects within the palm of your hand.
Integrating a sense of touch within VR is the next frontier for VR researchers.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have smartly used the sensitivity of the lips, gums and tongue to further their research.
They’ve created a device that utilizes airborne ultrasound waves to create a variety of sensations on the lips, gums, teeth and tongue of the user.
Haptic Feedback Suits
While there are definitely a few examples commercially available, haptic feedback suits that work well are still only available in works of fiction.
The technology isn’t quite there yet as current examples of the suit, such as the Teslasuit, are clunky at best. However, researchers are still at it, and who knows? Technology might catch up to our imaginations within a few years.
Another system developed at Carnegie Mellon University is a shoulder-mounted device that can somewhat accurately simulate a sense of touch.
The device consists of multiple strings that are attached underneath the hands and fingers of the user.
When the user touches or holds something within a virtual space, these strings tighten up accordingly to simulate a sense of touching or holding that object.
It’s not perfect but it’s still highly impressive and definitely a step in the right direction.
Limitations of Full-Dive VR
While it’s exciting to think about the possibility of full-dive VR and how it might be a reality in the near-future, it does have some limitations.
Most of these are not really limitations of the technology (because technology will get better with time) but rather limitations of the humans developing it.
Firstly, the thing with full-dive VR is that it needs to be extremely believable and seemingly real. However, to make a virtual world seem entirely real, you’d have to put an extreme amount of detail into it.
While some game companies and VR companies might put in the effort to create ultra-realistic worlds, others will not. Hence, we’ll most likely get a hodge-podge of different virtual worlds that’ll vary in quality.
Secondly, it’s also important to consider that when the technology first becomes available to consumers, it’ll most likely be available at an absurd price. It’ll probably take a long time before the technology can be affordable for everyday consumers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will Full-Dive VR Ever be Possible?
We can definitely hope that full-dive VR will be a possibility some time in the future. However, it’s best to monitor your expectations since the technology still isn’t there yet.
Furthermore, even when it does get to that point, it might not immediately be available to everyone.
How Soon Can We Expect Full-Dive VR?
While our imaginations have allowed us to come up with a reality where full-dive VR is possible, we don’t have the technology for it yet.
With the rate of growth that’s happening within the VR industry, a safe guess would be sometime in the next 20 years.
How Fast is the VR Industry Growing?
As mentioned above, The VR and AR industry market size is projected to reach $454.73 Billion by 2030.
It’s definitely growing at an extremely rapid rate and is one of the fastest growing industries within the field of tech.
Who Invented VR?
Morton Heilig’s Sensorama device is considered to be one of the earliest iterations of virtual reality.
The Sensorama was released all the way back in 1957.
Is VR the Future of Gaming?
While VR definitely provides a novel experience to how you game, we don’t think that regular video games will completely fizzle out.
Not everyone wants to have a full workout when they play a game, some people just want to chill while they play video games. Hence, we feel they’re two different categories that’ll always have their own separate places within the hearts of fans.
Full-dive VR is exciting to think about but it’s also important to set your expectations realistically.
The VR industry is evolving at a rapid rate, with new innovations being brought forth every single day. With that, it’s definitely looking optimistic for the possibilities of full-dive VR. However, VR is still not as developed as we want it to be.
Essentially, we still have a long way to go.