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Oculus boss: True virtual reality is 'a decade or two' away

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Fans of William Gibson who want their own pair of virtual reality sunglasses will have to wait a lot longer to realize their dreams, according to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.

Iribe said that his company only reached the first level of acceptable virtual reality around eight months ago using their well-known skiing-goggle headset. While that was enough to convince Mark Zuckerberg to plonk down $2bn for the firm, Iribe said the aim was to get a VR system built into a set of sunglasses.

"We will be able to put it on a pair of glasses, have face-to-face communications, we may be able to have a conference like this where we're all sitting at home or in the office, and your brain will think you're there," he told delegates at the Imagination Summit 2014 at Stanford University on Wednesday.

"To do that is going to require another few decades of work – we're at the very beginning; we call this Day Zero. The dream of sunglass VR where we all believe we're there is still a decade or two away."

In order to get there, the glasses will need eyeball monitoring to fit the virtual scene into the mind properly, and graphics are likely to come from ray-tracing, he said, rather than polygons.

But the delay would be worth it all, Iribe said, as computer users shift from manipulating a 2D world into a 3D space using virtual reality. The end result would be a more important technological leap than the invention of the computer itself, he opined – but then he would, wouldn't he? ®

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