Virtual reality headset for video gamers: A matter of perception
Despite its missteps in the consumer market, virtual reality has become commonplace for a number of industrial and military applications, where the high cost of headsets—from $1,000 to $50,000—has been less of an impediment. Hospitals use the headsets to train surgeons, while the United States Army has used virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, in part by exposing soldiers to short simulations of combat.
The mass market has been far more elusive, in large part because the components in the headsets were too costly. Many of the crucial parts in the Oculus Rift are the same components found inside smartphones and tablets, including the headset’s 7-inch display and its sensors for detecting head movements.
Because those parts are already being pumped out in enormous volumes in factories in China, Oculus can create a product that is likely to end up costing consumers something between $200 to $300.
Elements of the Oculus headset are based on the virtual reality research by USC, which has freely released headset designs for others to use.
Still, most venture capitalists would rather finance a hot-dog stand than a high-risk virtual reality start-up. Oculus instead
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