Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are becoming very closely linked. Traditional takes on both involve users wearing a head-mounted display (HMD), although VR will create an entirely virtual environment to explore while AR will augment the real world instead. Some devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens even claim to combine the 2 to create ‘mixed reality’ (MR). Oculus Rift HMD creator Oculus VR has so far distanced itself from AR, focusing purely on VR. But, according to CEO Brendan Iribe, AR could play a role in the company’s future.
Iribe said as much to Develop in a recent interview. “It’s something we’re researching, we’ll look into it,” he said.
“We like to focus on consumer products and delivering an incredible consumer product. So much like Steve Jobs talked about a Mac one day in your hand with a radio attached to it in the 80s, and it took a while, I think that we’ll be talking a lot about AR, and the potential of AR, and we’ll see how long it takes for hardware overall to get there.”
He later continued, talking about the differences between VR and AR and the challenges that presents. “[In] VR it’s more using it in your own home or office setting, more inside of rooms, less about running across the street wearing your VR glasses,” Iribe added. “That isn’t the challenge VR has to overcome to be successful. Whereas with AR, that is the challenge. AR needs to get it to a point where it works as well as our glasses, and that it’s our replacing our glasses or somehow sitting over top without it being too cyborg-like, so we’re not too conscious of it.”
The CEO didn’t offer any other hints as to how the company might be looking into VR. Could Oculus VR one day as be attached to AR as it currently is for VR? Either way, the immediate future will see it solely focused on the latter, with the launch of the first consumer Oculus Rift expected for Q1 2016. VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s progress closely, reporting back with the latest updates from it.