Elon Musk has challenged the long-term viability of Virtual Reality and the Metaverse. While VR is a good idea in theory, in practise it can possibly be quite damaging to people’s eyesight, therefore Musk believe that Neuralink may be a more viable solution down the road.
Musk has dismissed ‘Web 3.0 ecosystems’ and the metaverse and believe they’re simply just terms being used as buzzwords and are being employed as tactics for marketing.
In an interview with ‘The Babylon Bee’ Musk said:
“I don’t see someone strapping a friggin’ screen to their face all day – I don’t know if I necessarily buy into this metaverse stuff, although people talk to me a lot about it.”
He went on to talk about the fact that during gameplay, VR headseats can often trigger motion sickness in users – I personally played some Skyrim in VR and I can honestly say that motion-sickness is a big problem when using VR. In-place gaming such as Beat Saber for instance is totally fine, but as soon as you add some kind of movement element when you’re stood still, it can get nauseating very quickly…
Musk emboldened his claims for Neuralink’s superiority over VR by saying:
In the long term, a sophisticated Neuralink could put you fully into virtual reality. I think we’re far from disappearing into the metaverse, this sounds just kind of buzzwordy.
So long as Neuralink doesn’t act exactly like the NerveGear from Sword Art Online (I know some of you know what I’m talking about) I think I would definitely prefer it to the current generation of VR experiences available.
There are some solutions to the motion sickness element with movement such as the ‘Virtuix Omni’, an omnidirectional treadmill utilising a harness, slippy shoes, and a slippy walking surface, but it’s not accessible, nor compact, and therefore not really that consumer-friendly for the end-user unless you can dedicate a decent amount of space specifically for the Omni…
Long story short, Musk is correct in a lot of what he says about the pitfalls of current-gen VR, but until he has a competing product on the mass market, I’m afraid we’re just going to keep moving forwards with the VR metaverse.