Google's "Eye-Phone" wont replace its predecessor

While we're estimating that the all-in-one VR headset is going to be a big deal, it's not going to replace your phone – it's going to replace your television. For those that take this next wave serious enough to replace their television AND their phone, well – therein lies the danger. Warnings are out there. We've talked about this. The troubles we've been discussing over the past several years regarding virtual reality headsets become a much bigger deal when it comes to using said device as your one-and-only.

Tiny Eyes

We spoke about how VR headsets may be bad for kids eyes back in November. Few official comments were given.

If you are concerned that your child is turning into a video zombie now with TV, just wait until your kid gets a VR headset strapped to their face.

For more information on this possible addiction situation, see the South Park Episode "Grounded Vindaloop". In it, you'll find our hero Eric Cartman diving so deep into virtual reality, he's created a loop of realities and unreal realities. Even the show turns out to be unreal.

Think The Matrix. Waking up in goo. Realizing you've been inside a virtual realm for hours on end, and you smell just terrible.

We'll also be keeping an eye on the possibility that something as nasty as the hacking of children's tablets could happen to VR headsets – right up close and personal with your kids' eyes.

Your Personal Optics

Of our concerns for virtual reality headsets, this "glasses" subject isn't at the top of our list of concerns. You can take your glasses off, if you want. But just as it was with Google Glass, the solutions here are going to be vital to those that wear spectacles.

When it comes to the optics involved in virtual reality headsets, plenty of research has been done on the headset's side. Oculus, for example, has some of the world's most brilliant minds working on every piece of the equation, graphics to perception – deep within your brain, making motion match expectations.

What we've not seen a lot of compensation for or acknowledgment of is user optics – glasses, for example. See the column "Virtual reality headsets and glasses: when things get tricky" by Brittany Roston for more information on how each headset deals with glasses.

Spoiler alert: it's not always a pretty situation.

Not A Passing Fad (depending)

If we continue down the path we're on with the design and presentation of virtual reality headsets, we're in trouble. Or rather, the people who've invested their careers in virtual reality are in trouble.

Have a peek at "Don't make this virtual reality mistake" by Chris Scott Barr to see what's wrong with VR PR released as recent as last week. It's bad.

VR headsets on users should never be shown by anyone save the companies selling the hardware. A developer of video games doesn't promote his or her game with images of a PC or a gaming console. So too should the VR headset be absent from presentations made by developers of VR apps and games.

If something isn't done about the public image VR has right now, VR won't be around for long.

Along with the PR done for VR goes curation of apps – another requirement.


More than one company is going to be releasing their first virtual reality headset this year, including the biggest name in the business (for now), Oculus. Watch the throne – there's a good chance that Google is coming to take a crack at the top seat sooner than later.

Have a peek at our most recent feature on the two sides of this coin, The next great smartphone isn't a phone at all. Warning: it's a mobile-first world from here on out!