Seeing and believing: Virtual reality set to conquer living rooms

Fri May 8, 2015 6:12pm EDT
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By Abhirup Roy and Arathy S Nair

(Reuters) - It sounded so promising.

Anyone, anywhere would be able to strap on a headset in their living room and be able to experience events anywhere in the world - or outside of it - as if they were really there.

Virtual reality (VR) technology was long seen as the next big thing. But real reality always seemed to get in the way.

For years, it was the costly and bulky equipment; More recently, the sparse investment in software because of a lack of consumer-ready headgear.

Now, that could change.

Oculus, the VR business bought for $2 billion by Facebook Inc last year, said this week it would start shipping a consumer version of its Rift headset in early 2016, raising hopes that investment in VR software will finally take off.

"I have been waiting for virtual reality since I was a little boy 30 years ago," said Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in New York.

"Our view is that things are radically different this time."   Continued...

An attendee tries an Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset during the French telecom Orange annual company's innovations show in Paris October 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau