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#029 Ready Reality

posted 7 May 2018, 05:51 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 7 May 2018, 05:52 ]
"What is coming is better than what is gone." - Arabic proverb
Earlier I was thinking about the film Ready Player One, and how close it is to our own reality. Now the book the film was based off was written in August 2011, still a few years before VR was a thing (Even the Google Cardboard only released June 2014, 3 years Later) so it turns out the author, Ernest Cline, was thinking into the future by a few years. But with the release of the film I have to wonder how close we are to having a real world OASIS (The VR world in the Film). To analyse that, I have a list of what the 5 main advancements in the Films world and VR Technology are.

Firstly, The Character in VR is controlled by a headset, gloves, and it seems a few body sensors (Or a full body suit, depending what the real world person is using)
Secondly, the VR equipment is cheap enough that even people living in a shack can afford it.
Thirdly,  the VR equipment allows easy control and movement of the Character in the OASIS, as realistic as life.
Fourth,  the OASIS allows a giant open world, with the ability to create whatever you want.
Finally, the OASIS has graphics that allows anything from cartoon characters up to not realising you aren't in reality.
Image result for vr ready player one movementImage result for ready player 1 OASIS zoom outImage result for ready player 1 OASIS zoomout

So, let's compare reality. 

First, Equipment. Current Technology is some of the way there. the headset of sort of accurate (I'll get to that in a second) and there have been a few attempts at making "VR Gloves" but for the most part buttons and joysticks are used, and other than a few VR Chairs and other VR Gadgets, the Equipment still has a while to go (Though I've been wrong about the rate of Technology before, so it could be sooner than I think). However, the largest problem in terms of equipment in the real world, is that they don't appear to use a PC at any point in the VR Process. They don't have any wires, and the gear is made to seem like you just carry it around and slip on your VR Headset wherever, with no source of power needed. This would mean it must have all the components needed to run the OASIS inside the equipment itself. Now Oculus has released a Wireless Battery pack that allows users to use VR without being plugged into a PC, so that part isn't that far off, but I think having a VR headset that has enough processing power for something at the level of the OASIS is probably the big difference between Fiction and Reality. Things like the Google Cardboard and the GearVR use a phone as a VR Screen, so having a portable VR Set isn't the Problem, it would be the scale of having power for generating the OASIS and all the Equipment like gloves and body sensors powered by something small enough to carry around.

So, next, the pricing. I dont think this art could be too bad, although it would depend how far in the future this is. Currently, VR headsets can cost a few hundred pounds, but theres also the google cardboard, for literally £2. and since the price of things lowers as time goes on and people find cheaper ways to make components, I can imagine that maybe VR could become easy to access.

Thirdly, Control of Movement. now this is another place where reality is only slightly off. I've seen quite a few ways for control of a character in VR, from Swinging your arms as if you're walking forward, to simply point and click teleportation. but in Ready Player one, Characters duck and dive all over the place, yet they apparently aren't moving anywhere in the real world, and the film uses multiple explanations of this. At first the main character seems to use a 360 treadmill, which is a real thing, but slightly different:
Image result for ioi ready player one

Image result for 360 vr treadmillThe Omni uses an Upper body structure to stabilise the player, but I think if you had Body sensors, and if the treadmill was 
advanced enough, you wouldn't need it, leaving you with almost he exact way of movement used in the film.

A slightly modified way the film explains movement is IOI's full body stations, which are almost like an advanced version of the Real world Omni. so really it seems to make sense that there are devolved and evolved versions of movement in VR. So in conclusion, movement isn't an issue. 

And lastly, number Four and Five, The Open World and real as life graphics. This again seems to just be an advancement of technology issue. You would need a lot of power and technology to generate and support something this large, but maybe some day soon that will happen. The Jump from 1990 to today would definitely suggest it's not Impossible. The only other difference is with all the equipment, you definitely can feel when you're in VR.

So In Conclusion, there are a few setbacks in reality, but I don't see any impossible barrier that would stop an OASIS of some sort happening eventually. As for whether it would consume society and have a giant corporation try take it over, that ma be a different line of thought.
Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron