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I Spent Hundreds of Hours Working in VR

I Spent Hundreds of Hours Working in VR


·January 18, 2022


I wanted to love VR. I dreamed of having a headset when I was younger and kickedstarted the oculus rift. I imagined a million worlds that would be within virtual reach. It would be the coolest!

VR has been nothing but a complete disappointment to me. Motion Sickness, headaches, sweaty headsets and detachment. Never played a VR game that wasn’t better without it, somewhat like 3D movies. I have my doubts this will ever be anything other that a use once toy for most.

Seeing Facebook further latch onto our faces fills me with dread. I don’t think we will interact with each other in VR with business or pleasure outside of some fringe groups. More fads, more ewaste…

AR on the other hand, either as a small projector or special glasses — that is exciting.


Things I like: (second computer screen): I wish the Quest 2 had 4000x4000 per eye to make this work beautifully but I suppose that will be the future.

Eleven Table Tennis: I practice smashing in this game, the skill transferred. Now I am beating all my friends with real actual table tennis (at an amateur level).

Thrill of the Fight: awesome shadowboxing on steroids workout.

Walkabout minigolf: feels like actual minigolf, except the courses are more fun [1].

Space Pirate Trainer DX: I haven’t played it yet but seems like an enhanced laser tag [1].

What I would like to be solved:

- Excellent passthrough: I want to interior design my rooms with VR

- Excellent screens (i.e. 4000x4000 per eye), it opens up applications/games that are mediocre at the moment

- omnidirectional treadmills fully solved (super hard to do): I want to be able to strafe in place, jump, side jump, duck, crouch, make almost any movement in place IRL and for it to be translated to actual movement in VR. I sometimes muse about how to solve this but I wouldn’t know how.

[1] The biggest benefit that VR/AR has are two things: one, you can make virtual hardware, and in some cases that is about as good as real hardware (e.g. virtual screens). Two, you can make experiences that are as almost as good in real life (e.g. table tennis) but then you can enhance them since a developer has much more control to bend physics than any other engineer does in the real world. The coolest application I saw for that is this model train game, you could scale down and be inside of the train, you could construct train tracks on very small orbs, etc. If I’d be a fan of trains, I’d buy it.


Eleven is an incredible game. I never particularly liked table tennis, probably because I was not good at it. Being able to practice in VR made it a lot more fun for me. The dev is extremely responsive. I even 3D printed a paddle attachment for the Oculus controller which is supported in-game. I recommend it every time I can because it's as much fun as I've had with a video game.


Where can I get more info about the paddle attachment? Someone on Reddit also talked about it.


I used Eleven to learn how to play table tennis during the pandemic and have also become fairly competitive with my friends and family that already played. I now have a real table in my home and my wife and I play regularly. Certainly got my money worth out of that used Oculus.


> Excellent passthrough: I want to interior design my rooms with VR

This is a tangent, but i wish this was a thing now, even without VR. The last few years of iphone and ipad have lidar, which has led to pretty solid 3d scanner apps. In five minutes, i have a whole 3d model of the interior of my house. I wish there were good consumer apps to use that and design in.


The lack of resistance and extremely fast feedback loop give me really bad RSI—which I'm not particularly prone to—if I play Wii Sports for more than a few minutes and try to do the motions as if they were real, rather than just waggling with my wrist. Is that not a problem with VR rigs and "real" sports activities? I've yet to use one.


I wouldn't know, I haven't played Wii sports much. The speed of your movements is tracked, so that's tougher to fake. In your case, if you'd be in The Netherlands, I'd recommend you to buy a Quest 2 at the store with the clear question if you can return it the next day if you do not like it. Create an account, if you have FB issues then make sure you use a Facebook account you don't care about, buy Eleven Table Tennis, play for an hour and then ask for money back for the game (can be done through the app) if you don't decide to buy a headset.

I don't know how the US is.


Table tennis is a great fit here because the physical game isn't reliant on feedback from the ball, either, since it weighs so little. Swinging a bat as hard as you can will easily tire or hurt you in VR, but table tennis transfers really well.


Great list. I would also recommend checking out some movies in Bigscreen. It supports 3D movies.


I have tried Bigscreen and will definitely use it in the future. The problem that I have with it currently is that the pixel density of the Quest 2 is too low. My friend that I watch movies with regularly has a plasma smart tv (or whatever you call them) and the detail is much more crystal clear.


You've not played the right games, then. I mean, take Robo Recall, which is one of the first things that came out. Sure, you can do a shooting game without VR, but then you don't get the experience of tearing a robot apart with your own hands and punching another's head off with a torn off arm.

Or Elite Dangerous is quite the experience in VR too. Less so than Robo Recall, but it works out extremely well if you have a HOTAS. You work as if you were sitting in a cockpit.

Or Subnautica, which in VR gets even more terrifying.

Or VR Chat and similar, where you get to interact far more personally than you would just looking at an avatar on a screen.

Now of course it's not like it solves world hunger or anything, but the tech works extremely well within the right scenarios.


The tech works extremely well at making me feel sick. I enjoyed subnautica sans VR. ED is less interesting than Euro truck simulator. :-)

I get the physical games like table tenis and beat saber, but how is this not a fad? The wii was cool at the time too. Nintendo didn’t retain the ideas in later hardware.

VR chat is about as interesting as second life, and any metaverse that follows will follow the same path.


Well, in that case you've got to make adjustments to your setup (wrong IPD maybe?), or you could just be unlucky and get sick far too easily.

Consumer VR of course involves a disconnect between what you feel and what you see, and that makes people sick when it gets bad enough, but most people can enjoy at least some VR experiences.

By my account, I've managed to spend days of real time within Subnautica exclusively in VR.

If you get sick, what I'd recommend is something like Beat Saber, where you're never moved without physically moving in reality. If that doesn't work something is definitely wrong. The next easiest experience is cockpit simulations. I'd say Subnautica comes somewhere after that, being in the intermediate range.

The worst I've personally tried is Half Life 2 in VR (as in, HL2 just rendering to VR without further changes), and that is indeed not a nice experience because the FPS mechanics just don't work in VR. The acceleration, the need to constantly rotate your view without moving in reality, the need to make very quick and frequent changes in direction are all very hard to tolerate.

> I get the physical games like table tenis and beat saber, but how is this not a fad?

Who cares? What matters if it's fun or not. I enjoy the exercise, I don't do it to fit in. And it's surprisingly good exercise. I lift weights, and Racket NX still is capable of making my arms sore. Then I suppose I have a rather violent play style.


>Nintendo didn’t retain the ideas in later hardware

bruh, have you ever played a Nintendo Switch? It's essentially the culmination of Wii-era motion controls + the WiiU's console/handheld split.

Every fucking shooting game on the Switch is nowadays released with motion controls (for gyro aiming). The joycons are basically sleeker Wiimotes with better motion sensors. Saying that the Wii's revolution was just a passing fad for Nintendo is hella disingenuous.


The hard thing with VRChat is finding "your" people and particularly people that aren't screaming/younger teens. But it is funny, I still feel anxious talking to a stranger in VR. It's wild though... I mostly spend my time alone (moved to a random state) and I can just dive in somewhere and talk to random people. I do feel old in general though on VRChat ha.

I suffered with motion sickness too it gets better over time.

I will say I'm not a generally all-around likeable cool guy either so you do have to vibe/give something (be interesting). Ultimately as far as making friends or something... that's hard. I'll get invited to discord servers and then it dies off in a few days.

There is one thing I have to try still Fo4 VR.


> but how is this not a fad? The wii was cool at the time too. Nintendo didn’t retain the ideas in later hardware.

Hand tracking (via controllers or cameras) isn’t comparable at all to the Nintendo waggle/point/swing tech.


I guess every "you sit in a cockpit" game works very well with HMDs ... there was an early demo of a Mechwarrior style game that worked very well (for me) in VR.

For me the problem is that the resolution was always lacking. With my glasses I have "better than 20/20"-vision (visus of 1.2-1.6, 120-160 visual acuity). I have not tried the newer HMDs, but with the older Oculus Rift and HTC Vive I could clearly see the individual pixels distracting me from the experience.


The physical games are barely VR games imo. Everything is in front of you. You don't physically move where you're standing too much. Beat Saber is great fun but it can be done pretty much the same without VR, and is done, at arcades.


> The tech works extremely well at making me feel sick.

But you realize this is a you problem, right? Outside the handful of people who get motion sick with VR, the tech is rock solid. Everyone who tries an Index is blown away by how immersive the experience is.

> VR chat is about as interesting as second life, and any metaverse that follows will follow the same path.

You couldn't be more wrong. There's a reason Facebook rebranded to Meta, and Microsoft just purchased Activision with designs on their own metaverse. Big players are putting serious money behind this, and I like those odds.


IMO Elite Dangerous is so good in VR I stopped wanting to play vanilla flat E:D. I’d play it more if it wasn’t such a hassle to boot to Windows, haul out all the HOTAS gear and the VR gear, unplug my external monitors, plug everything else in in the right order, find there are 5 mandatory Windows updates and an Oculus update to sit through, etc. You kind of need a dedicated desk and PC for VR.


Quest 2 with a link cable (or wireless link if you have great wifi) makes all this a lot easier!


Subnautica in VR is broken beyond playability without mods. I've tried it and I would disagree with any suggestion that VR enhances the experience of the game.


I'm exactly the opposite. I love VR and I now find non-VR games boring and old like trying the play NES or C64 games (which I used to love).

Half Life Alyx is arguably the best Half Life experience to date. No Man's Sky is amazing in VR but zero interest outside of VR. In VR I'm actually in a spaceship or actually on another planet. Outside VR I'm just looking at someone else's travel photos. Seeing vista's in VR is like the difference between looking at a picture of the Grand Canyon and actually being at the Grand Canyon. The first is a pretty picture. The second you actually feel it's 20 miles the other side and a mile deep. Seeing a smoking volcano in Farpoint, again outside vR is just a picture, inside VR the mountain actually feels 1-2 miles high with 7-10 mile plum of smoke. So now non-VR games that don't get then sense of presence fill like something is missing.

Further, well made VR games (which is definitely not all) are often way more intuitive than non. The 19 buttons on a dualshock or a mouse and 101 buttons of a keyboard, a good VR game you should reach out and touch stuff in the game.

There are also experiences like Jet Island or Eye of the Temple you just can't have outside VR.

VR Rhythm games actually force me to dance, vr non-VR rhythm games which rarely do that.

As for AR, I used to be more excited, but I suspect reality will be tracking, constant ads, and distractions. And further, it's kind of hard to turn reality into any setting, something VR can do easily. In AR, in my living room, maybe I could have an AR pet that runs around my furniture. In VR I can escape my living room for another planet, an underwater adventure, a dragon's lair, a space station, a secret lab, a zombie infested factory, etc...

The biggest problem with VR is just lack of great content. Looking forward to Horizon Forbidden West as the next true AAA VR title.


One of my biggest hobbies is sim racing, and I can tell you that putting on the VR headset is akin to putting on a helmet and setting off on the track. The sweatiness and discomfort is nothing more than a real driver would experience, and turning a wheel feels real without hand tracking.

What you're experiencing with disorientation does tend to go away for most people if they're careful about it. And for me, I literally can't remember the last time I've felt disoriented in VR. Even considering that I've had shunts that have caused me to roll 20 times or more.

I agree, there is waste involved (as with anything), but as a comparison to racing it's much more friendly for the world than burning fuel. I'm in full agreement that Facebook on our faces sounds terrible, and concerns me, but VR can be a very good thing.


> that putting on the VR headset is akin to putting on a helmet and setting off on the track.

It depends on what your brain is used to. If you've never felt the acceleration, you don't know what you're missing. But I've done a lot of skiing in my life, and my brain will not accept VR skiing as the real thing. I feel queasy and have to stop.


I know what I'm missing, and have experienced it. I see this as an environmentally friendly way to do something I love literally whenever I want, and it's wayyyyy cheaper to boot. And the racing quality (competition) is better than any real-world thing too. The skill ranges are so tight in online races, especially iRacing.

The feelings you had with nausea is common for people, and it's possible to get over it if you are methodical. Lots of people I knew couldn't do more than 1 minute when they started, and slowly worked up to it. Trick is to stop the moment your stomach feels unsettled, and try it every day. Don't push though it.


Any racing games you can recommend? I couldn't find a good one (without trying them out).


You could try Project CARS - Pagani Edition on Steam; it's a free (sponsored) version of the racing sim Project Cars "1". Whether you like the controls is up to you, I found the VR experience quite good. Without any Gs however, it is lackluster even in comparison to my not-so-powerful "real" car.


Assetto Corsa's complete edition often goes on sales for ~$5 and can be modded like crazy, and also has reasonable controller support. Wheel and pedals will always be better though.


VR is already an excellent expert tool. VR based visualization of digitally designs - products or houses, is becoming a very pragmatic tool for designers to review their work in 3D, instead of just a flat screen (3D HAS more information).

As a trivial example - when designing our new office, some people reviewed the auditorium design in VR and figured out the screen was too high for comfort, and it was lowered.

Extreme examples go into virtualized surgical training where physics and graphics engine specialized to tissue simulation is used to teach surgeons new procedures.

AR displays such as hololens can be used in construction yards to compare the as built with a digital model for quick review.

Etc etc.

I don't know how good toy VR or AR will ever become, but it already is an indispensable expert tool.


Designers and surgeons would die without it. We have to introduce this unnatural thing to life or FB would lose money and humanity will suffer.

I think young surgeons would get a trauma moving from this nonsense to real surgery. Or maybe they will try to press a button in the patient's stomach.


> Motion Sickness, headaches, sweaty headsets and detachment.

I've bought a Vive when Half Life: Alyx came out and was completely blown away by the first impressions and immersions of that game.

Since then however and after the first "whoa!"-effects faded, every game was exactly what you've just described: Pure disappointment, and my body completely stressed out/sick after half an hour, at best. The only exception is beat-saber, which is a lot of fun for quite some time, but not the kind of game I'd want to play for hours on end.

So far, VR seems gimmicky, and quite frankly is way too much of a hassle to set up to enjoy it often (so many cables!, and I don't have the space for a permanent setup).


The cable thing is pretty solved with the Quest 2. Zero cables there.


Yeah, if you want to play a subset of games that Facebook has deemed you can play. Still salty that Pavlov isn’t native to quest.

Air Link solves this, but boy is it annoying in practice. Setting down the headset always pushes the floor just out of reach when you come back to it. Which is frustrating in a game that makes you pick things up, like shooters.


I was pretty disappointed with Alyx. Little manual interactions like the healing stations and the markers and the reloading felt novel. But the actual meat of the game, the combat, was just not very good. Teleport movement breaks immersion. The hardest enemies in the game were the electric dogs. They did this thing where they drastically over commit to shooting in a specific direction and all you needed to do was click to move somewhere else and you were fine. It was super lame, but, at the same time, not actually super easy to execute. It's like we've taken a step forward on graphical immersion and three steps back on game design immersion.

Valve did a good job working with the constraints they had, but my takeaway is that the constraints are just too vast to make a game that isn't clearly hand holding you because your controls and situational awareness are just kind of bad.

I played on an index and would do multiple hours at a time, with no sickness.


I’m sorry. I have very high VR tolerance and I experience no sickness at all even in the most intense games and VR has been an almost magical experience over the last few years so I’m sorry you’re not able to get that same enjoyment.

Calling it a fad though seems incorrect. We’ve already passed the point of Quest 2 headsets being in over 10million homes and that’s up from 5 million a few months earlier. At this rate it’s following the same trajectory as consoles and because of the headsets general availability a whole generation of kids are getting a Quest 2 instead of an Xbox or pS5.


I bought Oculus Quest 2 about a month ago. The games I play the most probably wouldn't be even possible (or at least fun) without VR - Pistol Whip (you need to evade slow-moving bullets) and Thrill of the Fight (boxing simulator). It's more of a fitness device for me now.


I agree, VR absolutely provides an experience flat-screen gaming can never deliver.

With the Covid situation being what it is and sports halls are closed, I’ve replaced live table tennis trainings with Valve Index and Eleven Table Tennis VR game. It has stunningly realistic physics and the immersion is so good that I don’t miss the real thing much. This wouldn’t be possible in front of a flat screen.


I returned mine after a month but apparently I didn't do enough research into how to get out of the little walled garden that is set up for you. I had the Samsung Gear a few years back and felt like it was the exact same environment.

In both cases one of the most interesting experiences was the movie theater. It somehow works. The social aspect was creepy, i'm an old guy and all i could hear was voices of young children...i felt like i shouldn't be there haha.


I've had a similar problem, I like the tech, enjoy the single player games but when it comes to anything online the number of shrill voices makes me feel like I'm the outsider in their space.


This is such a strange article. It doesn't present anything or explain how a VR workstation can actually work.

Has anyone actually worked this way?

I spent about an hour with a Vive headset and it was the most obnoxious experience I ever had. The lack of feedback, the requirements of a large room free of obstacle, the awful screen door effect, the poor precision from the dual wands.

Overall, I was exhausted after just 30 minutes. That's not to mention the physical portion of using a headset + the wands.

There might a middle ground where you are sitting or lying down. But that still doesn't solve efficient input. As far as I see it, nothing really beats a keyboard.

I got into it thinking that we had passed the hype cycle, but it really felt like I was still in the tech demo hell.


The article is pretty low effort except for the short optics physiology section there is not much detail. This reddit thread from a couple months ago [1] was more to the point although they contend 5k is where the text gets clear enough however in my experience the Quest2 works fine wirelessly in PCVR mode for getting things done in ImmersedVR or iSpatial.

Input has been the main constraint, but using the Logitech K830, which was specifically integrated by Oculus as a proof of concept, with the latest passthrough hand positioning in Infinite Office mode -- there is no difference to typing at a normal keyboard anymore. Its amazing. The Oculus Web Browser is pushing what you can do with things like PWAs (Miro has one) and support for SaaS tooling like Office 360 for example - so you dont even need the PC.

The experience of working in VR is definitely rough arround the edges today but my expectation is this will improve to the point where XR (VR/AR) is just as normal as sitting at a desk today -- but with the additional benefits of a 3D space made open to imaginative enhancement.



They called three different experts and incorporated their answers. I don't remember any instance of, say, some blogger actually calling someone. The tactic seems to be completely unknown outside of traditional media.

So, yeah, it's a style people here don't like. It doesn't quite get the bit-per-sentence ratio of, say, a phone book. But there's more effort in there than meets the (strained) eye.


I understand what you're saying, but I don't think traditional media is keeping up with the dozens (or maybe hundreds) of podcasts and YouTube channels that bring in hard experts.

The experts traditional media typically find are frequently kind of "soft" experts that are strong in charisma more than expertise. But that's just my informal take on it.

(And I know you said "blogger", but I think it's fair to include podcasters and YT in that category given that's more likely where you'd find a former blogger these days.)


This blog post goes into one person that claims they've spent 1000s of hours working in vR

And when it hit HN

For me, the Vive is too heavy for this. I have not personally used a Quest 2 more than 5 mins (not willing to use an FB account) but it is arguably slightly more comfortable than a Vive headset (not saying it's comfortable enough, only that it's less uncomfortable than a Vive)


I have a Quest 2. It's definitely a massive improvement and I really wanted to enjoy it, but I can't spend more than 15 minutes wearing it without feeling ill. It seems to be getting worse with time rather than better. I played 3 Beat Saber songs in a row yesterday and felt slightly sick for an hour afterwards.

The idea of squinting at a text editor using a fraction of a VR screen for hours at a time feels insane to me.


I had the same issue until I got a headrest/noseguard that actually blocked everything off. Before the noseguard didn't fit right and would show a little bit of the floor and I would wanna vomit within 10 minutes, but after everything was fine. This is the one


I tried the exact setup of this 1000+ hours person, having been excited by the concept of a monitor-less office for years.

My current setup is multiple 4k monitors in pixel-doubled resolution. It is relatively easy on the eyes and not too expensive ($300ish/monitor + VESA). I am working remotely and when I travel I have to work from my laptop and I would love to have a headset to replicate the multiple monitor experience on the go.

I have been hoping for this since the HTC Vive.

HTC Vive - simply too low resolution. Screen door effect visible. Also software such as Immersed was not available.

Replicating this 1000+ hour setup went as follows:

1. Buy a Quest 2. Meta has its issues however I have an account so no real issues on the Meta side other than Meta itself. Resolution is clearly superior to HTC Vive, with no obvious screen door effect. As the original poster mentions - the strap that comes with the Quest is terrible, and you will have to spend at least $100 to get the Quest to the point where it can be used continuously for long periods without the device itself being a distraction.

2. Immersed - Major issues with this software. Thankfully they give you a "pro" trial so you can try this without paying. Main issue was painlessly delivering what I wanted: screen closed multiple 4k-equivalent virtual monitors. On mac (preferred), there were issues with HDMI spoofing that I probably could have fixed with dongles had I desired. On windows the situation was better, but still finicky with resolution setting and seamless disconnect/reconnection. Would like to see more focus on integrating better resolution control as I imagine most users of the program want to use it as I do - without regard to attached monitors.

Turns out I should have done my homework before hand because a little math demonstrates why I was fooling myself that I could work with this setup:


Measure the width of the monitor with which you usually work, call it W. Then measure the distance your eyes are typically away from it while you work, and call it D. Finally, determine the horizontal pixel count of your monitor when you work (like 1920 for a full HD monitor), and call it HPC. The resolution of your monitor in the center is then R = 1 / (2 * tan-1 ((W / HPC) / (2 * D))), in pixels/°. This resolution is the one you want. (For example, my resolution is 66 pixels/°, given I have a 28" diagonal 4k monitor that I view from 24" away.) The OG Vive's resolution is 11.4 pixels/° in the center. That's the resolution you have. To reach my monitor's resolution, the Vive's pixel count would have to be six times higher, or 6480x7200 per eye, everything else being the same.

Quest 2 resolution per eye is 1832 x 1920.

There is no way I could enjoy doing my job which consists of reading all day with such poor resolution, and I think we are a ways away from a solution.

Foveated rendering is a possible solution, however I don't see an easy answer.


Yes, I worked with a Quest 2 and Virtual Desktop for 1 month while my monitor was being repaired. I personally had no issue with the resolution. 1080p looks good to me and I worked with that or worse for 35 years anyway. The major issue was not being able to see the keyboard. I can touch type the alphabet only. Vague feelings of discomfort arose after a few hours. All in all it was effective but I was very happy to have my (1440p) monitor back.


The keyboard passthrough works good enough, in Horizon Workspaces. It's completely usable for me. As far as I know, they haven't opened it up the ability to do passthrough to other developers yet, which is unfortunate since I much prefer Immersed. So, this is also my biggest problem with it, so much so, that I'm trying to transition to a CharaChorder keyboard, where the concept of looking at the keys doesn't really exist.


Passthrough is available for all apps for a while now

But I don't think that includes keyboard passthrough only. So it would be trivial to make a fully passtrhough app but not one where only the keyboard is visible. Unless you make that static and ensure that the keyboard does not move


>The major issue was not being able to see the keyboard.

I came to the conclusion that this was THE issue holding VR productivity (and gaming) back, after a few weeks of using the Quest 2. The passthrough feature they have is like a v0.1 of what's that's really needed for this tech to excel. Haptic gloves look like they might nudge things along a little bit more, but ultimately being able to see your actual keyboard and mouse projected into the environment is essential if you're going to come off the controllers and start using high-productivity inputs.

What would really be needed for this is a digital twin of your input devices, and some kind of simple tracker you can physically attach to them so that the VR headset can overlay into VR like it does with the handsets.


You could try switching to a ZSA Moonlander, a programmable keyboard with an orthonormal layout and blank key caps.


This is already possible with the Logitec K830 and the Apple Magic Keyboard


In my own experience, the biggest hurdle to not work more in VR is headset ergonomics. When we will have lighter and more comfortable headsets, it will be a great experience. As you mentioned, screen resolution is already good enough and keyboard passthrough is pure magic.


Logitech has a keyboard that is "VR ready" - it will show up in VR just like the Quest 2 controllers do


> Has anyone actually worked this way?

Yes =] ptom describes what this is like here:


Nice! Thank you, much better than the Wired piece.


Interesting that both choose to work from an 'orbital' view.


If you work with Immersed (which I do every day) you just work on your laptop while you see 5 large monitors (virtual desktops) hanging over a large planet in space (for instance). It is really nice and I have been doing it for months; I kind of forget where I am as it is very good for focusing, especially with the right sound on as well.


i find that whenever i look anywhere in the vr visual field that isn't straight ahead, i see blurring/artefacts/etc. does it work better for younger people/people with better eyes?


I am almost 50. I don’t really notice it when working.


No it doesn't, but you get used to turning your head more than moving your eyes.


Just curious how it works: do you touch type and never use mouse?


I use a Magic Trackpad, but I've used a mouse before and it was also acceptable. You figure out where things are pretty quickly.

But also I switched to Vim and TMux so that I would need to take my hands off of the keyboard less.


I just use the MacBook trackpad; works fine for me. And yes I touch type. If I couldn’t I would struggle. When I was in primary school (in the 80s), I had a choice from our municipal in the Netherlands between learning to touch type and something else (I forgot) or nothing as extra curricular. I am still happy I picked touch typing! Gift that keeps on giving.


Not sure about mouse operation, but the touch typing is mentioned in two separate sections:

1. Yes, you have no vision of the keyboard, so learning to touch type is essential

2. Lying down position, right hand on laptop keyboard, left hand on external USB keyboard (two-handed touch typing).

They've committed wholly and solely to pursuing this solution.


Not the parent poster, but I'd assume that most developers who are working with a laptop keyboard+touchpad can do it without looking down. A mouse would be more difficult, that's for sure.


I've worked 8+ hour days in VR for weeks/months at a time over the years on an original Vive. There are a ton of benefits over traditional monitors (physical space, infinite monitors, text/output scaling, more interesting work environments, isolation from distractions, etc), but there are also some sizable drawbacks too (resolution, battery life, mad thirst, being unaware of your surroundings, etc). I imagine a lot of those tradeoffs have improved in newer headsets, but I definitely enjoy working in VR over just sitting in an office 90% of the time. FWIW I sit, use the wireless adapter, and just touch-type on a real keyboard though; I definitely don't try to type with wands on virtual keyboards!


Many people got a very bad impression from Oculus DKs and the Vive. Vive basically was a half baked tech demo compared to the new hardware. Terrible lenses, very heavy and uncomfortable, possibly the worst controllers ever made. VR (Quest 2, Index) is actually good now, 5 years on from that - give it another shot.


> Has anyone actually worked this way?

I tried with the Samsung Odyssey+ a few times. I used the counterbalance and extra support kit (it is a bit heavy), and it's quite nice with those. Still some pressure on my nose bridge, so have a bit of adjustment to do. Touch typing takes a bit of getting used to, but it works well enough. I already am using a trackball 100% of the time (I know, I'm a monster), so I don't have to worry about knocking stuff over with my mouse.

The real problem is that since I have a WMR headset, none of the really good virtual desktop softwares people use are available. The ones that are, aren't that great, for various reasons.

Then there's the issue that my laptop is a surface book 2. Powerful enough to run VR smoothly, but while the system fan is blasting at full volume the whole time. Also it seems to slowly drain the battery. So it's really not an all day affair regardless of usability.

I don't want to use my gaming PC (which is more than up to the task), because then I have to basically let my company own it, in order to meet the security policy requirements. I'm concerned if I do that, that I'll never really get all the bits off again short of a reimage. I haven't ruled out buying a dedicated HDD to swap out (I have a hot swap bay).


I work in Immersed every day as a developer. It's a fantastic experience.

Primary work goes on an IMAX sized 2880x1800 screen in front of me divided up with TMUX and Vim. Slack in a vertical 1440 x 900 to my right, and media + reference on a drawing table oriented 1440 x 900 below where my lap would be.

Instead of a boring room in my house, I'm in a nebula that's beautiful but non-distracting.


what headset do you use?

is eye strain / head strain a problem from extended wear?

how do you deal with tracking peripheries? as mentioned in the article KBM, coffee etc.


I think neck strain was a bit of an issue at the beginning, but not any more. Aftermarket prescription lense adapters are critical if you wear glasses. With those, there isn't much eye strain. Not more than staring at a computer all day would cause anyway. Also an upgraded strap. I use the Oculus Elite strap, but I think there are plenty of cheaper and probably better third party options.

For coffee/water I use a closed tumbler with a metal straw and I just reach carefully. Double tap the side of the quest for pass through if you get lost.

The Discord is full of requests for solutions for seeing the keyboard. It has a pretty impressive virtual overlay for the keyboard, but IMO that is an unnecessary handicap. Instead of demanding a skeuomorph, it's much more pleasant to really learn to touch type. It took me about a week to get flawless. I'm even pretty good at the function keys since I started debugging in Vim.


The eye strain is what worries me the most. The Wired article dismisses it, but I'm not convinced.


If you make the screens "far" and big, it's pretty pleasant. I think the real focal length is like 2 meters with the Quest 2. That means you can't really use the indoor environments, but that doesn't matter to me, and the photospheres offer better performance.


The lenses focus the screen image about ~20m away from you, and so your eyes are far more relaxed than when focusing on a monitor 1m away.


I am pretty sure some VR headsets have a "passthrough" functionality to see the real world. Although judging by my Quest 2, it's not that good.


> what headset do you use?

Immersed only supports the Quest and Quest 2.

Which, from the point of view of my wallet, is a saving grace: if it ran on the Index I'd have a small hole in my savings right now.


Same here. Surpassed 100 hours months ago. It is very good for focus and I don’t need a massive setup, in whatever room I am in.


how long have you had this set-up? how often do you switch back, and for what reason?


About two years. First on the Quest 1. I switch back for Zoom meetings because I think the Immersed Avatar is silly.


SimulaVR [1] is introducing a new class of products (virtual reality computer or VRC) that aims to develop a full linux desktop in a headset. I'm excited about using this with Stardust XR [2] and my NixOS configuration.

We're obviously in a very early stage of consumer VR hardware and I agree with most people that AR (passthrough or glasses) would be preferable to VR. There are a lot of open problems in this space - a lot of these problems spoil the user experience, right now. But, engineers are solving them slowly over time and I don't predict a future (say 50 years from now) where people are still using their fingers to peck at keys and are still stuck with a 25" monitor (at least in the majority of cases).

Happy to be an early adopter - maybe I'll even discover some problems that I can solve and benefit from the inevitable deluge of capital.

[1]: [2]:


> full linux desktop in a headset

Is the intersection of people who like VR and people who like the Linux desktop big enough to support a commercial product?


Given the way people wax lyrical about on the Quest, you might find that anyone who does a lot of terminal work gravitates towards it. That's not a small market. I can see the attraction: if both the computer and the screen are head-mounted, that's a lot of boxes and wires that can just go away.

It does depend on the environment implementation, mind you.


Whenever I read dismissive comments about new tech I think that this same people would have dismissed the internet in the early days.. who needs all this complicated stuff when you can just go to the library ???


I'm kind of a perpetual skeptic and I probably would have been one of those that dismissed the internet as a toy in its early days had I been old enough to have an opinion.

That being said, by being a skeptic, I think I'm right more than I'm wrong. For every "internet" that I've called wrong, there's a "3D TV" or "Segway" that's I've correctly predicted would fail to live up to the hype.

These revolutionary technologies that shift our daily life come along far less often than people like to predict. Even if the technology is superior to what most people are using there are still a ton of factors standing in the way of mass adoption (see VHS vs Betamax). You know that Tolstoy quote "All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", I kind of feel that way about new technologies. There are a million reasons technologies can fail to catch on, but they have to walk a very narrow path to succeed.

So, as one of those type of people you're asking about, I guess my reaction would be "oh well". I'm right more than I'm wrong and the downsides of a false negative and less than the downsides of a false positive. If thought the internet was a load of crap and I hop on the band wagon a few years late, oh well, it's not like I've missed out on it for ever. On the other hand, if I bought a 3D TV when they first came out, I'd now be stuck with an overpriced TV with a feature that has almost no support.


Totally valid to not be an early adopter, but I feel like you're just "predicting" it won't rain in the desert every single day. Most things fail, so you're going to be right most of the time even if you don't have any special insight.


> I feel like you're just "predicting" it won't rain in the desert every single day

I mean... yeah, that's my point. When we talk about most of these things we're trying to predict how the world will look years or even decades into the future. Even if you know the technology inside and out, there's too many unknowns to really make an accurate prediction.

If I asked you whether it was going to rain in the desert tomorrow, you could find a bunch of information and come back to me with a fairly informed guess that would probably be right. If I asked you whether it was going to rain in the desert on Jan 1 2030 what would be your answer. You don't know and I'd argue that you can't know, so the best thing you can do is play the probabilities and say "no, it will not rain".


> the downsides of a false negative and less than the downsides of a false positive

As a consumer, yes. As a founder, there is an opportunity cost to not founding the next Googlebook.


Even if just a consumer, buying unnecessary expensive 3D TV just costs like max additional $1000 once, meanwhile missing Internet is huge.


There's also an opportunity cost to building a business around a technology that doesn't catch on. Looking only at companies that created "the next big thing" is survivorship bias. For every Elon Musk/Tesla story, you've got multiple people who bet big and lost on something like hydrogen cars.

Also, I'd argue that most business aren't founded on some bleeding edge technology. It's a false dichotomy to think that all successful founders embrace new technology and all skeptical founders are doomed to fail. There are plenty of businesses built around doing the same thing everyone else is doing, just faster, easier, or cheaper. Sure a skeptical founder may not create the next Googlebook, but I don't think that really matters.


Yea that was said by no one ever.

I notice this bullshit narrative this past year for every over hyped technology.

"X is just like when everyone was dismissing the internet" even though that never happened.

In the early days of the internet, people were either excited by it or had no clue what you were talking about. No one would ever say they would just stick with the library. Just total nonsense.

Someone saying this is probably too young to have used a card catalog at the library.


I can point you to David Rackhoff saying just that. I admit the number of people who understood on some level what the internet was and rejected it is small, but remember what people thought after the dotcom bubble burst - they thought the fad was over.


Whenever I read dismissive comments about dismissive comments comparing the dissenters to people who dismissed the internet, I think it's the same people would have defended Google Glass from criticism. "Who cares there's no real application for it yet, that'll be figured out later".


I am a big naysayer, but compare the cost of a fully separated home office to this. To a lot of folks it makes sense


Interesting. I’ve been idly speccing out a Linux workstation from System76 to replace my 8-year-old PC but maybe I should look into the Simula One. An evolution of form as well as function. Thought oculus would be too low-resolution for this sort of thing. I’m pretty finicky about my keyboard height/monitor height/monitor distance ergonomics and this would take care of a lot of problems that are quite difficult to solve in meatspace, especially if you want to lie down.

At this point it’s a race for who builds the first sensory deprivation tank VR workstation I guess.


I think Oculus is too low res, but Simula One seems to be doing what is necessary. I’m on the wait list but it sounds like it could be a while.


It's such an exciting new wave of technology, I just wish it wasn't being spearheaded by Facebook. On the other hand, I can't wait to see how they further corrupt humanity with yet another tool in their pocket


I second this. Huge Neal Stephenson fan. I remember trying VR with a huge bulky headset in the Air and Space Museum in DC when I was 8 year old, back in the 80s. I bought an Oculus Rift when it first came out and really fell in love with it. But I am vehemently, violently anti-Facebook and social media in general, and refuse to have an account. To be locked out of the Rift for awhile just because of that... what a terrible play on their part. They're basically a trash/spam organization focused on spreading fear and conspiracy garbage among demented old people like my 80-year-old father, who should just be left alone, not manipulated into a state of rage and hysteria every day by his news feed. Zuckerberg is the world's biggest POS, and I say this as a similarly aged son of a Jewish lawyer, as opposed to a POS dentist. Zuck's not even a fucking dentist. And he has less than no right to try to claim the Metaverse.

Apple, at least, is smart enough not to try to claim the technology. But I'm sure in the next few years they'll try to wall off their own garden in VR/AR.

Neal's whole idea in Snow Crash, although it wasn't explicitly stated, was that the heavy processing was happening client-side, so different clients saw different things (a vague semi-transparent blob on a cheap headset would be delicately curling smoke rings on an expensive one) and it was easily degradable based on connection speed, and the protocol was essentially open source, and infrastructure was distributed enough that there were no vertical monopolies operating in that space unlike the rest of Snow Crash where pretty much everything from the franchise restaurant to the police force protecting it were vertically organized. So any attempt to vertically create a metaverse within a particular stack or corporate ecosystem is likely bound to fail, and VR as a popular technology will track with that until someone builds a portal-to-portals. I'd put my money on a new startup if it ever were to happen, because they could at least build something platform agnostic.


This reads like a prequel to E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops"


This article is bullshit. It's strange that the article faked the header image using Google's Daydream View but shows the user using hand tracking. The article doesn't go into any technical specifics about the headset or setup.

If you're really interested in coding in VR, I suggest looking at I've experimented with programming in VR using Vive + Virtual Desktop, GearVR, Daydream, Quest and others, and you can find some of my notes in that subreddit:

The biggest limitation of current headsets is the resolution which is ~20pixels per degree on consumer headsets and needs to get closer to ~60ppd to match real world resolutions. Furthermore, there are multiple layers of blurring due to the VR composition passes so you lose ~50% of your headset's resolution if the app doesn't implement proper text rendering.


Maybe this article isn't supposed to be a review of a specific product with a sidebar giving you tech specs.

Go crush it!


Not sure where people are getting tripped up about this. Seems perfectly reasonable that an article the headline of which begins with "I" would be an account of the author's personal experience.


I had problems trying to read text with a Valve Index have to look at it just right to not have blurry edges. That's 1600 resolution, newer headsets are in the 2500+ range.

But it was neat using my desktop through VR although I did it briefly. I could not see myself working in it. It took me a while to get used to motion (not get sick) but that's not as problematic when you're looking at fixed screens/sometimes moving your head.

Edit: will add I work on a 34" curved monitor so space isn't a concern for me


For the question around headset weight and potential postural issues arising from prolonged usage is interesting to me

Anyone used a headset for 8 hours a day for multiple days in a row?


I use immersed on the Oculus Quest 2 and it's pretty fun to code but not super productive!


It is somewhat functional if I don’t change the settings more than once.

The problem is there is no reason to charge a monthly subscription for me to have virtual monitors in VR. And co-working in VR with strangers is creepy as fuck so the other premium product has no pull.


I found it pretty funny to sit outside with five virtual monitors and my macbook but I'm aware I looked like a twit. I haven't seen the co-working bit yet!


So they think people will put on a headset in order to shop.

Versus me picking up my phone and ordering something within a minute. Or texting someone a simple message.

What VR and metaverse miss is that they haven’t solved the asynchronous problem.


You know, I always found it stupid that people thought I would ever use my phone to type messages or worse to write blog posts.

I would not rule out radical change of use patterns.

People will not put on a headset to shop, they will shop as they play, as they watch videos, etc.


I take it you no longer find those things to be stupid? One of the biggest benefits of Signal over iMessage/SMS for me is that I can use a desktop client for messaging 99% of the time. Is it really remotely common for people to write blog posts on a phone?


Well, I will certainly not find the premise absurd if a business plan assumes people will do that.

Micro-blogging is what Twitter-like platforms are typically called: a picture, a move, a small paragraph, do that 4 or 5 times a day, you have something that looks like a blog yes.

So yes, right now I would not see me putting on a VR gear just to inflige myself the pain that is Amazon, but if you tell me that in 10 years 20% of the online shopping is actually done in-game in a VR environment, I would not be too quick to say it is impossible.


Why would I need to shop on my phone when I can call and order something? (when sales reps were common enough at retails stores you didnt have to be on hold)

Why do my parents still avoid buying stuff online? People have preferences. Mine, and it sounds like yours, is buying quickly from my phone. But I still go to retail stores most of the time if I want to buy clothes, shoes, hats. Anything physical. I'm not saying VR would replace that need but being able to try something digitally on rather than just see a photo online would be at least one use case.


> I have Facebook's Oculus strapped to my face

I know many people call their Quest 1 or 2's just "my Oculus", but I didn't expect a large site to do the same, really shows how dumb it was to scrap that name.

It is also a smidge funny that they used both Facebook and Oculus when "Meta" doesn't want you to use either anymore, in the context of VR.


It's weird because it's Wired.