Reality or hype? Professor Bob Stone takes the long view of Virtual Reality's development

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The slow slog - Professor Bob Stone assesses the development of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Professor Bob Stone, Director of Human Interface Technologies Team from the University of Birmingham is featured in the 13 November edition of the New Electronics Digital Magazine.

The article “The Slow Slog” looks at the hype waves of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality over the last 30 years.  Professor Stone gives his account of how today’s market is just like the 1990’s with false hope, with the difference being there is “a bit more hope”.

He goes on to say: “There’s lots of technology, but it’s being bought to an immature market so people buying them, believing what they read online and suddenly finding it’s like the 90’s as they are not delivering!”. He points to misleading online videos as part of the problem due to so many ‘so called’ AR/VR being used in surgery but explains it is not the case. 

Professor Stone explains further: “It’s just special effects on videos that’s convinced the public it’s real.  Companies are not seeing a growth or a lot of return and they are not likely to anytime soon”.  He describes the market as experiencing ‘blips’ with the hype encouraging investment and admits technology is moving in the right direction, becoming cheaper and more capable over the last decade. However,  Bob Stone holds out hope for a revolution in wearable equipment and hopes to see something where you can explore, taste and smell in the virtual world.  He points to Health Care as the main driver for technology, with a palliative and end of life care benefitting the most from virtual experiences and explains for that to happen we need a an extreme leap in content and hardware capability is needed.  One thing is for sure which Bob Stone agrees with and that is AR/VR is here to stay – but how for long is debatable?  He concludes by adding that he wants to see people become more critical of technology.  

You can read the full interview by following the link below:

The slow slog - New Electronics magazine, 13 November 2018 (pages 24-25)

You can read more about Professor Stone's groundbreaking research by visiting the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team web pages.