Virtual reality is trying really hard to be a thing again, and this time a successful thing. With VR solutions appearing from multiple companies, there’s certainly a positive buzz around the potential of total immersion while wearing a headset. However, there is a problem, and a problem that apparently won’t disappear for a very long time. That problem is cables.It is possible to experience virtual reality today without cables being an issue. Just stick a compatible smartphone inside Google Cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR and away you go. But such experiences are limited by the performance on offer in those devices. For the best VR experience you are going to need a connected headset such as the Oculus Rift.It’s Oculus founder Palmer Luckey who has highlighted the cable problem. In a tweet he states that “cables are going to be a major obstacle in the VR industry for a long time.” And with that in mind he expects mobile VR to be a success long before PC-based VR is.The cables for the Oculus Rift are necessary as a link to power but also to a computer, which performs the processing required to get the HD images in front of your eyes. You can’t do that yet without physical cables, and when you’re completely immersed and moving around in another world, those cables can become a real problem. To fully enjoy an Oculus Rift experience you need a “cable servant,” someone who is present to ensure you don’t trip or hit the cables and injure yourself or disconnect from the PC.Cables are a difficult problem to solve because you need that high performance PC in order to fully enjoy Oculus Rift. Unless you are willing to strap a heavy Alienware laptop to your back, there’s no way to place that performance and the batteries it would require for power on your body without it being a hindrance or a very short experience in between recharges.It’s likely the cable problem may never go away, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be solved. Oculus will surely be thinking about and working on the problem. Suggestions as to how you could untether the experience are encouraged in the comments.
Virtual reality has one big unsolved problem cables