So, apparently, there are virtual reality devices being developed for the sole purpose of reading books. They are akin to headsets like the Meta Quest and Valve Index, but instead of playing games, you read virtual books.
I’m not sure what the developers are trying to accomplish with this. We already have Kindles and Nooks and other e-readers. My partner does most of her ebook reading on her tablet. I can even connect my tablet to my tv and read on a big screen if I feel so inclined.
The only people who would be interested in something like this would be people who don’t like to hold things in their hands. Other than that, what’s the point? At least with a Kindle in hand I can still walk around, stir a pot on the stove, even stick it in my backpack to take it with me.
I wouldn’t be able to do any of that with a VR headset. Can you imagine walking along a beach and seeing someone sitting on a blanket under an umbrella with a headset on? Personally, I’m partial to bringing a paperback with me to the beach. I think wearing a headset would give me weird tan lines.
Granted, the ones being developed by the company Sol look more like awkward sunglasses, but still, I really don’t see the need for something like this. It’s not a question of can they do it – because they obviously can – but a question of should they do it. Their selling point is that it blocks distractions while you read. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been distracted visually while reading. If anything, it’s loud noise, like a television or radio, that distracts me when I’m working my way through a book. And even then, if I’m immersed in a great story, I’m not distracted by anything.
I’m a reader and I love books. The two go hand in hand. I admit that I have a fair share of ebooks, but the majority of those are public domain copies downloaded from Project Gutenberg. The bulk of my library consists of physical books. I can’t imagine trying to read while wearing VR glasses. I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands.
This sounds more like a novelty item than something that’s desperately needed by the book-reading public. Would you spend money on these or stick with your physical books or e-reader?