For Second Life™ it is thought the Oculus Rift is the most interesting development coming for 3D viewing. But, that is in the future. We may possibly see a retail version this year, but probably not. Daily Tech reported in March that the release date was slipping to 2016. None other than Oculus VR founder and chief Palmer Luckey announced the release date was moving back to early 2016. There were the usual disclaimers… ‘unless something goes horribly wrong’ … ‘but, it isn’t and won’t’ …
Oculus is suffering now from feature creep and perfectionism. There is no lack of spin and hope. So, we can’t know when we will see it.
There are other competing Head Mounted Displays (HMD) coming out. The Galaxy S6 exceptionally high definition screens are in production. So, we’ll see HMD’s out that use those. But, these early release models will have issues. The normal development process is at work. Build one, let users find the problems developers didn’t anticipate, revise, rebuild, and release a better one.
If you want 3D now, there are other options. One is the interesting Hewlett-Packard Holographic ZVR Display. The top of the line model is a 23.6” pen-touch screen that uses a holographic image. Glasses are needed. I think these are the polarized lens type glasses.
I use a Wacom for work art. I’ve only recently gotten a small one for home office use. The Wacom has a learning curve. It is easy enough to learn. But, it takes practice to be good with it. The ZVR obviously uses a pen. The challenge is going to be precisely selecting points in space. On the Wacom that starts out being a real challenge. One quickly learns how to move their hand for large motions and then fine tune with finger movement. I haven’t imagined a way to do that within a 3D space like the ZVR’s.
I see the ZVR as a step in learning to work in a 3D space. I think jumping from a mouse to LEAP or something similar is a big step. Switching to a ZVR seems like about half as big a step. But, the change will be easier and harder depending on each person and their personal motivation.
Cost… the 27” ZVR retails for US$999±). Or less. So, at a price like this it is not likely going to be a popular device for SL users. It is targeted at professionals.