One of the things often associated with modern virtual reality headsets and the experiences they provide is the Star Trek Holodeck; the fictional room on board the Starship Enterprise that retains its dimensions yet gives a totally different virtual experience each time.
In Star Trek that is without having to wear a headset, but there are some features within current VR devices that are similar.
The HTC Vive, for example, uses external cameras that feed back a user's position in a room, representing walls as wire-frame barriers inside the VR experience. Recent HTC Vive Pre demonstrations have also shown the addition of other people in the room as virtual avatars.
It has therefore been likened to the Holodeck.
But Oculus doesn't believe that the experience deserves that association. It too has has external motion tracking functionality with one of its concept headsets, but the consumer Rift does not and Max Cohen, the company's vice president of mobile, believes we are a long way from getting a true Holodeck-style experience. More than a decade away.
"Everyone wants the Holodeck, but we’re not there tomorrow. We’re not there in the next five years. In about 15 we’ll be there," he told Pocket-lint.
He does, though, believe each step along the way will improve the chances.
"We’ll get there incrementally. We’ll basically attack different sets of problems and we’ll try to make the experience as good as possible."
Part of the problem is that the current Oculus Rift (and the HTC Vive) require wires connected to high end PCs to run. The Samsung Gear VR is wireless - being driven from a smartphone - but cannot offer the same experience as the Rift as the processing on a phone is not the same as on a high-end computer.
And making the Oculus Rift wireless presents a different set of problems.
"Unfortunately, it’s currently not possible to get the Rift experience with a wireless head-mounted display. And we’re having spectrum problems all the time – I can’t even use Netflix and my baby monitor at the same time," Cohen explained.
However, a wireless Oculus Rift is one of the company goals, he revealed.
"That’s something where you’ll see a movement towards as much as possible."