In 2020 Virtual Reality Will Actually Look Cool

Mano ten Napel | @Mano10Napel

Oculus managed to start shipping the first Oculus Rift VR Headset this week in quite an original way; it was Oculus’ very own founder Palmer Luckey that handed over the first Rift in Alaska. The head Mounted Device(HMD) might be available now but there is still concern about if and how Virtual Reality is going to capture the hearts and minds of the masses.

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift going to market is definitely a big moment for the Facebook acquired company. It even seems empirical that different user experience issues such as occurring dizziness, also known as cybersickness, which happens when one wears the HMD for a long period of time (quite inevitable when the platform to be conquered is the gaming console). Plus the fact that these devices still need an incredible amount of processing power in terms of the graphics. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Virtual reality still requires seven times the power of a normal game. [/inlinetweet]Which makes it that this form of entertainment seems anything but ready for total domination as of yet.

Although those are some real usability problems, we haven’t yet spoken about how the HMD makes us look. If there is anything that we have learned in the last couple of years it is that aesthetics count when it comes to the technology that we wear. And if we would have to describe how the wearer of an HMD looks the word cool, or even better, fashionable doesn’t really come to mind. That being said people from a design company called Artefact added some style while merging some fashion and tech that is about to take the world by storm by designing a concept hoodie with build in virtual reality capabilities.

VR 2020 Artefact Concepts Light and ShadowThey asked themselves, what will VR look like in 5 years? And they came up with two concepts named Light and Shadow. They managed to create something I love to call a great piece of Science Fashion. The lead designer Markus Wierzoch is quite aware of some of the social downsides of those who enter a virtual reality environment, calling VR ‘inherently asocial’. “There’s a series of selfies taken with a person wearing a VR headset, and the person with the headset never looks very good,” Wierzoch states. So the team came up with alternatives. This privacy enforcing hoodie called Shadow, gives the wearer the ability to be totally in his or her own world. The headset called Light, prioritizes inclusion by making it possible for others to see what the wearer is seeing. Which makes it easier for parents to be in the loop on the virtual world their young ones are in.

Shadow by Artefact

These designs show proof of how new technologies can be improved by adding a little empathy to, in this case, user experience. When we see that developers and designers being able to sprinkle some fashion on top of that, makes me think we got game.

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FashionTech Consultant, Freethinking Opportunist Hero, Aspiring to Inspire. Wearobot Groupie with a Tech for Passion. Contributed to Wired.com. Founder of WearableGuru.com Founding Managing Editor FashNerd.com