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If You Like Immersion, You'll Love This Reality

April 3, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by The New York Times

The news that Facebook paid $2 billion for a virtual reality start-up, Oculus VR, might strike you as a bit zany. Like flying cars and robotic maids, the idea of donning a pair of computerized glasses and slipping into a digital world feels like a snapshot from yesterday's future.


Is something so self-consciously geeky really worth billions of dollars? What would a nontechie nongamer do with virtual reality?

The answer: pretty much everything.


"I don't worry anymore about whether it will be accepted by the mainstream -- that will happen," said Jeremy Bailenson, a virtual reality researcher who directs Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Like many in his field, Dr. Bailenson argues that virtual reality technology is advancing so quickly that it is certain to infuse just about every corner of our lives. After trying out the technology in Dr. Bailenson's lab this week, I believe he's more right than wrong. Virtual reality is coming, and you're going to jump into it.

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