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Current VR Tech Compared to Ready Player One

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

By Jamie Li

June 6, 2022

UPDATED 12:00 PM EST





[Credit: Variety]

In 2045, Earth is on the brink of collapse, and people find respite in the virtual reality world called The Oasis. The film Ready Player One, adapted from a book written by Ernest Cline in 2011, displays incredible technology involving virtual reality. How close are we to achieving the virtual reality pictured in Ready Player One? Well, still pretty far―but closer than you may think.




The Oculus Quest 2 [Credit: Rolling Stones]

Headsets

First of all, one of the most critical parts of the technology with virtual reality is the headset. In the movie, the headset is lightweight, wireless, and lacking external hardware. It can be used whenever and wherever to enter The Oasis. Even though the majority of headsets are wired to a gaming PC, many headsets are wireless, such as the Oculus Quest 2. The direction that headsets are going in appears to be lighter and wireless. Although the quality of immersion may not compare yet to Ready Player One, some headsets are quite similar.


HaptX Gloves DK2 [Credit: Haptx]

Gloves

Next, in Ready Player One, people use gloves to interact with the virtual reality world and touch virtual objects. In the real world, there is a plethora of technology to allow people to feel things within the virtual world, though they are a lot less streamlined than the ones in Ready Player One. For example, HaptX Gloves DK2 have 130 points of tactile feedback on each hand and can apply up to 40 pounds of force per hand. While the gloves are certainly impressive, they are still much bulkier than the ones in Ready Player One. Meta, formally Facebook, has a haptic glove prototype, which is in soft robotics, as it replaces motors with small air valves. By doing so, the gloves are more streamlined. However, haptic gloves that are as unobtrusive as the film are not yet a reality.


Community

Ready Player One features a gigantic online universe called the Oasis where people hang out, play games, and compete in a quest. While the sensory aspects of virtual reality are not caught up to Ready Player One, there is already a vibrant virtual community. This aspect of Ready Player One is probably the least futuristic as online communities have been around since the beginning of the internet. For virtual worlds, people can customize their avatar and enter VRChat, which is probably the largest virtual world people can interact with one another. In VRchat, users can create their world, customize their avatar and talk to people from all over the world.

Virtual reality in Ready Player One is not as far off as you may think, there are already headsets and a community that can compare, while gloves and sensory feedback that can match are soon to come. Ready Player One and other sci-fi novels let us see where technology is today and where it can possibly go in the future.



References

Georgiadis, Will, and Nathan Spendelow. “Best VR Headset 2022: The Best Wired and

Wireless Virtual Reality Headsets for All Budgets.” Expert Reviews, Expert Reviews, 11

Feb. 2022, https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/technology/1405721/best-vr-headset.

“Haptic Gloves for Virtual Reality and Robotics.” HaptX, 15 Mar. 2021, https://haptx.com/.

“Ready Player One.” Sparknotes, SparkNotes,

https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/ready-player-one/summary/.

Robertson, Adi. “Meta's Sci-Fi Haptic Glove Prototype Lets You Feel VR Objects Using Air

Pockets.” The Verge, The Verge, 16 Nov. 2021,

https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/16/22782860/meta-facebook-reality-labs-soft-robotic

s-haptic-glove-prototype.

Roettgers, Janko. “How 'Ready Player One' Compares to Today's VR Technology.” Variety,

Variety, 29 Mar. 2018,

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/ready-player-one-vr-tech-1202739419/.

VRChat, https://hello.vrchat.com/.



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