Virtual reality to replace traditional displays “in a couple of decades”, says Oculus founder

Wednesday, 16th April 2014 05:25 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey believes VR headsets will have made TVs and monitors obsolete within 20 years.


“I think there’s almost no way that traditional displays will be around in a couple decades because it just won’t be feasible,” Luckey said in a group video interview transcribed by Gamespot.

“Why in the world would you buy a 60″ TV that even if it were dirt cheap, for that, it’s still going to cost a lot to ship it and make it from raw materials? A VR headset is going to be much better and much cheaper and you can take it anywhere.”

Of course, we’re not there yet; there are only 85,000 Oculus Rift dev kits in the wild, for one thing.

“It’s not where we need it to be to be really mass-market,” Luckey said.

That said, Luckey commented that it’s getting good enough that the tech’s potential has become clear – as evidenced by the Oculus Facebook acquisition and Sony’s Project Morpheus, presumably.

In the future, Luckey sees VR embracing more than just visual technologies, or “certainly we’ll never replace human touch-based interactions”.

For some reason, this seems to be a thing he wants to do, saying that VR replacing our current methods of interaction and communication would save resources consumed in travel without leaving people isolated.

“Physically isolated, maybe. But I don’t think socially isolated. If anything, I think VR is one of the most potentially connecting technologies we have out there,” he said.

“I guess you will have to ask yourself, ‘Why do we care if we’re physically isolated if we’re mentally connected?’ If you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life?”

“Eventually, VR is going to be good enough some day [where it's] as good or close to as good as real life. And if you want to simulate sitting in a room watching a TV, you’ll be able to do that. How good is has to be for someone to accept it, that’s a different level for each person. But we’ll get there eventually.”

Speaking as hug addict, that’s going to be a pretty high level, dude.



  1. dsr

    How many Oculuses would I have to buy if I’m having a movie party at home?

    And will I have to take it off every time I want to pour myself another drink or grab a peanut?

    Replacing every display with Oculus is like replacing every sound system with headphones.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. salarta

    Hahaha. Wow. I know I’m being a dick by laughing at this, but seriously, this is just flat out wrong.

    VR is a promising field. It’ll be great to see what Sony and any future newcomers do with it. But it’s not going to replace TVs or other traditional displays. That’s as ignorant as saying TVs will replace movie theaters. We’re a good 60 years after the TV became popular, and VCRs have been around for over 30 years, and we still have movie theaters and go to them to watch movies. The things that make a person willing to go to a movie theater over waiting for it to come out on DVD are the same things that will make a person want to watch something on a TV over watching it by putting on a headset. Hell, we don’t need to use the movie theater example. We still have live theatrical plays. The advent of film and movie theaters didn’t do away with those either.

    And I just have to facepalm any time someone tries to claim that device connectivity gets rid of the desire or need for physical contact. That’s so far beyond ignorant, I don’t know what to call it. There’s academic research and case studies that prove humans need physical contact. They need it while they’re maturing. They need it when they’re adults. Having people put a device on their heads is not the same thing no matter how real it is. Even if you have a full body suit to simulate everything perfectly, it will never be the same, for the same reason that CGI is never quite the same as real physical effects in films.

    VR has the potential to connect people, sure, but when you’re starting to say things like this, you’ve slipped into fantasy and delusion. Cue obvious Matrix reference here.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. fihar

    The upcoming World Cup is soooo going to prove how catastrophically wrong this guy is.

    “If you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life?”

    Awwwww, someone could reaaaaally use a hug right now.

    #3 8 months ago

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