Tuesday, October 27, 2015

'Virtual Reality' Was One Loser in Democrat Debate

Virtual reality was on stage along with the candidates during the recent Democratic presidential debate as part of a CNN experiment with virtual reality (VR) startup partner Next VR. Anyone with a Samsung Gear VR headset (powered by a Samsung phone) was supposed to have an "immersive" experience of the debate, able to choose their own 180-degree views free of TV editing and in real time via live streaming. Samsung and HTC are both set to release VR devices for the holidays, and Sony and Facebook are planning their own devices for 2016, when Jupiter Research projects sales of 3 million headsets. But politicians worried about adapting presentation for a game-changing media can probably relax for this election cycle. Per a report to CNET by Max Taves, VR is "not ready for its close-up." While Taves' VR experience of the debate gave him the promised 180-degree views, the wide angles came at the expense of close-ups, he noted. So though TV viewers saw candidate and moderator faces and reactions clearly, Taves saw only distant blurs while wearing a heavy headset and holding an overheating phone to his face. NextVR co-founder D.J. Roller argued that the VR debut was still a forward step for a technology in development and promised,"That's as bad as it's going to get." But not good enough to be a political factor for current campaigns, we would guess. For the article, see http://www.cnet.com/news/not-ready-for-its-close-up-virtual-reality-makes-presidential-debate-virtually-unwatchable/

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