NooSpace is a near-future science fiction novel. I wanted the tech to be grounded in what might be available in the next decade or two. So there aren’t any neural/brain implants, or fictional VR characters who materialize in real life (yes, I’m looking at you “Virtuosity“). It’s more about the ways that converging technologies like VR, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and biohacking.
I’m currently at the Oculus Connect Conference in San Jose, California. For those who don’t know, Oculus is the company that re-popularized VR a few years ago with their Rift headset.
Oculus just announced a new headset product called the Oculus Go. It actually includes some of the features I’ve been predicting in the NooSpace novel — but sooner than I expected.
For one thing, it has its own built-in processor and it’s wireless. Its motion tracking sensors are on the headset, so you don’t need external sensors placed around the room. You still need to hold controllers in your hands to track hand movement. But otherwise, you just put the rig on your head, and you’re ready to go.
The starting price for the Oculus Go is only $199, so they should sell a lot of them. Facebook, Oculus’ parent company, says they want to get one billion users into VR in the next few years with low-cost headsets like these. That’s pretty ambitious… but they might get close.
Could we soon see a world where most people spend a lot of time in VR? How might that affect families, personal relationships, work life, and public spaces? Those are some of the things NooSpace tries to address — in the most entertaining way possible of course.