Taking Virtual Reality for a Test Drive | The New Yorker

September 6, 2020

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/taking-virtual-reality-for-a-test-drive

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In order to get a feel for the future, Jak Wilmot, the
twenty-two-year-old co-founder of a V.R. content studio called Disrupt, lived inside a headset for a week in February—and, of course, live-streamed every second. Cocooned in his five-hundred-square-foot apartment in Atlanta, the windows blacked out so that his circadian clock would not be affected by natural light, he slept, ate, exercised, socialized, and worked in virtual reality. He did not take his headset off even to shower, keeping the electronics dry under a homemade rig that looked like a plastic-wrapped stool perched on top of his head. What he missed most, he told me, was “not seeing day or night cycles,” adding that “to counteract this I ended up loading in simulations that would match the real-world time—a sunrise field in the morning, nighttime sky at night.” At the end of hour one hundred and sixty-eight, you can watch Wilmot ceremoniously lift his headset off his head, squint, and break into a smile. The smile gives way to laughter as he goes outside and looks up at the sky. “Oh, my gosh, the graphics,” he says. “They’re so good.”
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