John Carmack was once the go-to guy (and kind-of still is) when it came to doing anything 3D and now, he's leading the charge into virtual reality at Oculus. To say he knows what he's talking about is an understatement, so when he declares that VR is currently "coasting on novelty", it's best to sit and listen.
It's a statement Carmack made during his keynote at this year's Oculus Connect conference, which you can check out yourself on Twitch. While Carmack is all for a future where having a VR headset is no longer the exception, Gamasutra's Alex Wawro picked up on this more pragmatic tidbit:
"We are coasting on novelty, and the initial wonder of being something people have never seen before. But we need to start judging ourselves, not on a curve, but in an absolutely sense," he said. "Can you do something in VR that has the same value, or more value, than what these other [non-VR] things have done?"
Carmack also revealed that "at least half" of today's virtual reality experiences are "more passive" in nature and that a lot of time and research will likely go into making VR interactions as natural as possible, to help adoption of the technology:
I'm suspecting the next thing that's going to play out similarly to this is about hand and finger tracking, where we have a bunch of high-end research working on different ways with dedicated hardware and very specialised recognition algorithms. ... I do think that's the end goal for the billion users in VR is you have your simple thing and you do your basic touching interactions and your controllers are for the more dedicated experiences.
If you'd like to watch Carmack's full keynote, the hour-and-a-half talk can be found below.