VR companies work on digital refresh rates and raising the ppi (pixels per inch) on their headsets, but the key factor in raising the value of user experience is having and holding less.
As hardware catches up, UX designers make room for the current restraints. The recently released (February 25th) horror VR game, “A Wake Inn” creatively works around current restraints with VR. In it, you’re a Wheelchair-bound Mannequin exploring dark corridors of an abandoned place called the “Silver Inn Hotel”. You’re in a wheel-chair because walking in VR often still looks stilted.
The less physical parts the user has to keep on them during the experience, the more they’ll be able to bridge their senses into VR and feel immersed. The main goals when developing VR headsets has been to create headsets that are lighter, wireless, and better at tracking us and our surrounding environments.
Stepping away from things we hold in our hands like controllers and gloves and instead packing these headsets with sensors that better trace our movements. Similar to how Steve Jobs made a big deal in 2007 announcing that the iPhone would use fingers instead of a stylus.
While technology in general has seen a trend in lighter, smaller gadgets, this is even more important in VR as the experience involves wearables.
Expensive full setups could include treadmills and physicals fans that can produce wind in sync with the virtual environment, and eventually for VR to be truly immersive this would have to be affordable and not too clunky for a home.
But in the long run if VR continues to develop we’d see what the TV show Black Mirror imagines where virtual reality could be as simple as a little computer disc we snap onto the side of our forehead that works directly with our own minds. The mind is, after all, the source of our understanding experiences.