So we don’t have flying cars, self tying sneakers or rehydrating pizzas, but some of the tech predicted in Back to the Future’s 2015 is not far away.
Yes, the film failed to predict the internet and mobile phones, but there were a few things it did get right. Hendo is just one of the working hover boards that’s been invented. Digital signage is now something we simply ignore. But more importantly, the hot topic of the moment, virtual reality headsets.
Whether you’ve had your head in the sand, or your head in a VR headset, it’s never been a more exciting time for what the critics are calling the next big revolution - some say it’s comparable to how the iPhone changed things.
VR is already transforming gaming and Hollywood’s top producers are investigating how passive cinema can become interactive and more immersive.
But before we get all starry eyed about the future, here’s a quick run down of the Virtual Reality choices on the market right now.
Firstly, there’s the entry level ’Cardboard’, which enables you to insert your device into a £5 cardboard headset and experience virtual reality in an extremely cheap yet effective way.
Next, there’s the Gear VR. Made by both Oculus and Samsung, the GearVR is (in our opinion) the best virtual reality option on the market right now. Samsung’s s6 phone simply clips into the front of the £160 headset.
Finally, if you’re Biff Tanner and feeling somewhat flush, there’s the Oculus Rift headset. Setting you back around £350 (which doesn’t include the hardware and software you’ll also need) the Oculus Rift Developer Kit also includes head tracking technology that provides depth to your virtual reality experiences.
Google Glass came and went, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re heading for a future where the we all bump into each other. But maybe not. Magic Leap is a new technology that combines the real world with the virtual. According to those that have witnessed the closely guarded technology, Magic Leap glasses project virtual reality directly onto our eyes. Our brains apparently cannot tell the difference between the light from the projector and the light from the real world - therefore creating a magical illusion. Currently this is doable using augmented reality which needs a device’s viewfinder to activate the content.
Flying cars may still be 30 years away, but a future where our smartphone’s technology is integrated into a light pair of fashionable goggles is closer than we think.
In the same way that we embarrassingly look back at VHS and DVD’s, It won’t be long before we do the same with our so-called smart devices.