Oculus founder invented VR device that can kill you if you die in game

Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus and now CEO of a company that develops military defense technologies, has revealed a new personal project on his blog. It’s still going in the direction of virtual reality, but in the area of dystopian science fiction movies and video games. His new VR device, which he seems to have developed by modifying a Meta Quest Pro, can kill the user when they “die” in the game world. The explanation is even stranger than the description of this device.

The VR device is inspired by a Japanese comic book series

Here’s how Luckey describes this VR device:

“I used three explosive charges that I usually use in another project, and linked them to a narrow bandwidth photo sensor that can detect when the screen turns red at a certain frequency, making integration with the “game over” screen easy for developers. When a “game over” screen is displayed, explosive charges are activated, instantly destroying the user’s brain.”

This invention may be considered morbid, but it appears to be merely a demonstration of technology that Luckey will use as a piece of art to display in his office. Apparently he was inspired by the Japanese comic book series Sword Art online, in which characters participate in an online video game in VR connected directly to users’ brains. If they are killed in VR, they also die in reality. Something similar happens in the Matrix movies.

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The creator says he’s still not brave enough to test it

Palmer Luckey seems to like the idea, but isn’t brave enough to test the technology on his own skin yet:

“The idea of linking your own life to that of your virtual avatar has always fascinated me, as you immediately raise the stakes to the max and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players in it. Better graphics can make the game feel more real, but only the threat of serious consequences can make the game feel real to you and the other participants in the game.

Of course, this is not a perfect system. I have plans for a security mechanism to ensure that no one can alter the mechanism, which will make it impossible to remove or destroy the headset, much like NerveGear (from Sword Art Online).

… There are also many ways in which certain problems can occur and kill the user at the wrong time. That’s why I couldn’t get up the courage to use the headset on my own though, and why I’m convinced that, like in Sword Art Online, the final activation must be tied to a high intelligence agent who can concretely determine if the conditions for termination are actually correct.

At this point, it’s just art for my desk to remind me of the unexplored areas that get me thinking about game design.”

Palmer Luckey is now working on military contracts with the US government

Palmer Luckey was once considered one of the technology industry’s visionaries. He is responsible for the development of Oculus VR devices and the man who cashed in most of the money after the Facebook acquisition. The 30-year-old billionaire has declined in public opinion in recent years after publicly supporting Donald Trump and funding troll farms that produced xenophobic and racist memes.

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He was forced out of Facebook and left the Oculus division and founded a new company. It is called Anduril, and is inspired by Aragorn’s sword from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings. Anduril is in the business of developing military equipment, such as drones that can shoot down other drones.

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