How close are we to Ready Player One being a reality?

This March the highly anticipated film based on Ernest Cline’s amazing  novel Ready Player One is released.

Ready Player One is a look into our near future. A world with over population issues, wide spread poverty and one distraction from all of this… The Oasis.
The Oasis is a virtual reality world where you can be anyone, do anything and escape the horrible real world that is living in 2045 in Ready Player One.
The book (released in 2011) goes into great detail explaining the technology that is used to explore the Oasis, and with that in mind I decided to look into this and find out what technology is already available!

1. Accessible VR

In Ready Player One, IOI Industries has developed hardware to access The Oasis that everyone can afford or access. Currently VR is still on the high end of the pricing spectrum, However we are seeing a movement into affordable VR with Sonys Playstation VR being compatible with every Playstation 4 and PC companies such as Lenovo, HP and more releasing new Windows MR/VR headsets this year.

2. Haptic gloves

In Ready Player One there are no controllers, our hero Wade Watts explains how he interects with the world wearing haptic gloves.
These are gloves that are not only used to interact with the virtual world, but also provides feedback so you actually feel everything like it was really in your hands!
CRGluv is a product that promises just this. Compatible with the HTC vive, The gloves feature 10 zones of sensing and feedback on each hand, up to 5lbs of force per finger to simulate objects and captures complex motions and gestures.

3. Haptic suits

Naturally if you can feel to world with your hands, you would want to have the rest of your body experience total immersion in The Oasis.
This has also become a reality with both AxonVR and Teslasuits offerings. Teslasuit is a fully washable suit that according to their website enables users to feel a wide range of sensations across your whole body whether the soft touch of warm rain, a heavy impact or even the freezing cold along with the Teslauit haptic library providing a range of sensations to targeted areas across the body including simultaneously stimulating multiple muscle groups.

4. Exoskeleton

In the book users feely move thanks to being strapped into IOI Industries exoskeleton that not only helps control their digital avatar, but elevates their real world body above the ground so they can move around freely as if they were in the real world.
AxonVR develops haptic technology that allows realistic sensations in VR applications or video games. The HaptX Skeleton is a lightweight exoskeleton that further extends the immersion by applying physical forces to people’s bodies.

5. The Oasis

The Oasis is HUGE, In Ready Player One they explain that the world is so large that it is not simply a world or a map, rather a huge collection of digital planets each with their own islands, maps, themes and activities.
this was the one thing on this list that I fail to find a genuine comparison to. However there are elements in other games such as the shear size of 2016’s No Mans Sky, The highly open worlds, addictive life simulation and open sandbox style of Second Life.

So while we are not quite ready for The Oasis to be affordable and easily accessible, The technology is certainly there!
Ready Player One is released worldwide in cinemas on March 30th, and the book is available on Amazon and in all good bookstores now!