Virtual reality is the white collar of technology

it has been Palmer Luckey has been on the cover of WIRED magazine for seven years. A June 2014 issue of the magazine declared: “This kid is about to change games, movies, TV, music, design, medicine, sex, sports, art, travel, social networking, education, and reality.” In 2016, Facebook paid 2 billion Dollar bought his virtual reality company Oculus. Now invest 18.5 billion U.S. dollars annually Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s augmented reality/virtual reality division, accounts for 20% of all its employees, and No sign of slowing downBut despite the need for home entertainment for a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar, and year-long pandemic, the results so far have been rather mediocre.Headphones are more beautiful and games are more profitable, but our thoughts are still collective Not blown.

It’s not just Facebook and Oculus. In May 2016, Wired cover story Introduced to readers Magic Leap, “a mysterious start-up company, huge amount of money, and the pursuit of creating a new reality.” Magic Leap is developing a set of translucent “mixed reality” goggles that can integrate virtual objects into the user’s In the physical environment. The company has raised more than $2 billion in funding from leading Silicon Valley investors. It seems to be the biggest leap in hardware since the iPhone.But the The actual product has never reached a breathtaking demonstration. company 1,000 layoffs In 2020, hire a new CEO and focus on narrower enterprise applications. The future of mixed reality is still the future.

Somehow, these less than ideal results did not affect confidence in VR. In fact, Facebook doubled on Monday, Announce a new group The company is committed to developing its Horizons VR world.mark Zuckerberg Recently told Facebook employees In the next five years, he hopes to “transform from what people think we are primarily a social media company to a Metaverse company.” Silicon Valley billionaires and venture capitalists seem to be unable to refuse the exquisite headphones with big dreams. This can be traced back 35 years ago-Jaron Lanier was Palmer Ludge in the 1980s and early 1990s!

Technology always about Turn, about Not just a gaming device, about Completely change the fields of construction, national defense, and medicine. The future of work, entertainment, travel and society is always on the verge of a huge virtual upgrade. VR is a bit like a wealthy white child with famous parents: it never stops failing upwards, always scores on a generous curve, and always judges by its “potential” rather than its results.

one of the reasons The second opportunity that VR is provided with such endless (well-known pedigree of VR, if you will) is that it has played a huge role in popular science fiction, and our collective image of the future is built around it.William Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” in his 1984 book NeuromancerThe term later became synonymous with the World Wide Web, but Gibson’s original rendering was a virtual realm that “console cowboys” could enter and exit. Gibson and his cyberpunk colleagues severely shaped the technological culture of the 1980s—before the Internet boom, before the tech brothers.

When Lanier introduced his bulky head-mounted display and data gloves in 1987, he invited technology enthusiasts to be the first residents of the virtual future they glimpsed in cyberpunk novels. Neil Stephenson’s 1992 avalanche And Ernest Klein’s 2011 Ready player one Later it was a large-scale science fiction novel whose story unfolded in the future when VR became a fixed device.

When Zuckerberg Say He has been “being thinking about these things ever since [he] In middle school and just started coding,” it’s not hard to guess what book he was reading. For Gen X and Millennial tech entrepreneurs Who rules today’s Silicon Valley, The science fiction stories of their youth have always regarded VR as the environmental part of the future technological landscape.

Like a billionaire now Space race At least in part, it proves that deep inside every tech billionaire is an inner child who dreams of driving his own rocket ship. The premise of the VR arms race is that mass adoption is inevitable-the only question is when the future will come. And which company will become extremely rich.

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