We’re already half way through 2015 and in the world of tech we’ve already had some ground breaking gadgets come out. From virtual reality advancements to wearable tech and rumours of haptic feedback gear coming soon, it’s certainly a proverbial ‘nerdvana’ for fans of immersive gadgets.
To start the ball rolling, we have the latest advancements in virtual reality gear. Complete immersion seems to be the buzzword that every developer is throwing around lately as some of the main contenders have poured thousands into the latest virtual reality headsets.
In one camp we have the Oculus Rift. Fresh off a buyout from Facebook, this headset is seen by many gadget fans as the second coming of full videogame immersion after the migraine-inducing brick that was the Virtual Boy. Although they’ve only released developer kits so far, consumer headsets are set to hit the shelves in the next two years.
But what’s got everyone talking is Sony, who in an announcement at E3 last year said they were throwing their hat into the ring with their very own ‘Morpheus’. A rather slim and sleeker piece of tech, little is known about this headset other than that it is set to come out in 2016.
It’s safe to say that these headsets are set to revolutionise the gaming industry as players can fully immerse themselves in their favourite games for a relatively low price. But, it’s not just headsets as there’s also talk of haptic feedback gloves on the table in the next few years.
Currently in the prototype stage, there’s a team of engineers at Rice University that have developed a pair of gloves that put pressure on players fingers to make them feel like they’re holding items. Rumours are that game developers are already battling for the attention of this team and if this hits shelves it could revolutionise the industry.
Aside from fully immersive tech, we’ve also seen the next-gen consoles start to come into their own this year. Even though they had a bit of a rocky start, both the PS4 and Xbox One are starting to make strides as they launch bigger and better looking games than the less than stellar launch titles they came out with originally two years ago.
Plus we’ve seen developers like Ubisoft and Square Enix churn out new software engines that make games on consoles look almost like real life (the new Unreal engines high detailed rendering image leaks spring to mind).
Wearable tech and mobiles have also made strides in the haptic feedback field as mobile developers have started developing devices that have maps and objects that feel real under your fingertips. Imagine what that would mean for mobile casinos, you could feel blackjack card textures under your hands or even the outlines of buttons on slot machines.
Also, smart watches are starting to bring in turn-by-turn cues for drivers to reduce the need to take your eyes off the wheel to look at a sat-nav screen. A great feature of this is that you can have the cues be audio or physical like a vibration on the side of the watch in the direction you need to turn.
With so much tech coming out this year, the future of full immersion gadgets is definitely going to be exciting to watch.