Oculus Rift, as well as some other VR hardware and software, has been the talk of the web for quite some time. There are many practical applications to virtual reality that we sometimes overlook the entertainment factor. And it can sure be entertaining.
Now the question at hand is whether the gap between e-books and paper books has been bridged with the use of VR. Can we read the books using virtual reality and will it take something away from the experience?
Hardware and Software
From a purely technical point of view, it is possible to set up a build that allows you to read books online with VR goggles. Depending on the software available, as well as software that is currently in development, it allows you to get fully immersed into the world of the book with the settings you choose. For example, software like Bigscreen can put you in space, a vast living room, the movie theater, and the like. This means that you can sit back and enjoy your favorite book in peace, wherever you please.
Should You, Though?
This technology is still pricey for the average consumer. In that regard, it seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to enjoy a good read. Buying a device that lets you read e-books and then buying those e-books for a ridiculously low price is a way better option at the moment, provided that’s your thing. Furthermore, a library membership card is even cheaper.
Is It Justifiable?
No… and yes. The thing is, the tech is still in development. It is still akin to serious work equipment or a toy for grown-ups and, as such, it is going to cost a pretty penny for the next few decades. However, it is perfectly understandable, and even expected to a degree, that we will be able to enjoy our favorite books in our favorite setting without interacting with the outside world when we need to get away for a bit.
If you are a techie who is already on board with e-books, then reading in VR will be right up your alley. Personally, it is not my idea of enjoying a book, but that’s just a preference and not an objective value of this experience. It could very well be that this is the way of the future when it comes to reading books.
I can’t help but wonder – what if you could highlight portions of several books in VR at the same time? What if you could compare and contrast books, do serious research, study a subject for fun or a test, and make the whole reading experience even more interactive and immersive that it already is in real life? If we are, in theory, capable of reaching that level of user experience, you can be certain that VR will take reading to a whole new level. It will definitely be less irksome than sliding your finger to get to the next page.