Skip to main content

Move Over, Virtual Reality: Literal Reality Is The Next Big Thing

Move over, Oculus Rift. Get lost, HTC Vive. Don't even bother, Microsoft's Hololens. There's an unbelievable new tech in town called literal reality (LR) that completely blows away the best VR or AR experience you've ever had or could hope to have.

An entity called Sclera has developed literal reality (LR) technology, and it's light years ahead of anything we've seen to date. Not only do these LR glasses offer an unbelievable resolution per eye, there are absolutely no motion sickness or headache-inducing issues to be had here. Eye-, head-, and body-tracking are all impeccable. Latency is non-existent, at 0 ms. Further, it's a completely mobile and wireless experience; all you need to experience LR in all its glory is a pair of special LR glasses. You don't need any unique processor, and there are no messy wires.

Unlike many otherwise immersive VR experiences that lack a strong audio component, the LR glasses offer a full 360-degree audio experience.

LR glasses

But here's what is truly amazing about the LR glasses: You not only get an incredible visual and audio experience, but somehow the technology provides taste, touch and feel. You think 3D is great? Try 5D.

Here's how LR glasses work, according to Sclera: "The LR glasses receive the image, and the cornea focuses that image through the eye's internal lens and transforms this image into electrical impulses that are carried by the optic nerve to the brain. It's an almost perfect design."

The whole Tom's Hardware news team was able to test out these LR glasses; together, we've added our thoughts on the experience together to give you a picture of how amazing LR can be.

The Demos

Upon opening the packaging that the Literal Reality glasses came in, I was greeted with a familiar sight. The glasses came in a carrying case much like my sunglasses do, which included a microfiber cleaning cloth. Classy. Simple. A nice touch.

Mind-blowing!

Sclera walked us through several mind-blowing demos. One was called "Walking," and in it, you don the spectacles and move around a grassy area. You're not limited space-wise; you can go as far as you want to, as long as you stay within the fenced-in backyard. It was amazing. You can even get down on the ground and smell the grass and mud, and you can really feel the setting sun warming you. (There was a soccer ball-kicking aspect to the demo, but I was too nervous to try it.)

Image 1 of 2

\

Image 2 of 2

\

In the "Tasting" demo, I was able to bite into an Apple and taste the sweetness and crunch of the fruit, and in the "Smelling" demo, I could grab a flower, stick my nose in it, and take a deep whiff. 

By far the most impressive demo, though, was "Dinner With Family." In it, I sat down at a dinner table with all of the members of my immediate family. We had conversations about our respective days, ate food, made eye contact, and generally connected. Pass the salt, darling. LR is so crazy!

Hands-On Impressions

There was also a full open-world demo called "Life." At first I was a little nervous about what people would think of me when wearing my LR glasses, but fortunately, nobody seemed to bat an eye in the Literal Reality environment, and I was able to enjoy the open world much in the way that I am in reality -- I was able to walk around without being constrained, I could see my own hands in the interface, and I even ran into some of my friends. How the creators of the LR glasses managed to pull this off is beyond me.

You can smell the grass and the mud, and feel the sun

These LR glasses really feel good on the nose. The premium thermoplastic framing, made using a special extrusion blow moulding technique that is superior to the typical granular injection process, just feels like it could be an additional body part, rather than something you wear. It actually form fit my ears, grabbing onto the back of my lobe like little soft baby fingers.

One of the main things I was focused on was measuring nose slippage. Now my nose, and really my entire face is about 10 percent above average on moisture retention, and my nose slope is 47 degrees exactly, so I wanted to ensure that in the most extreme conditions -- both heat and cold -- I would only have to do a single finger push of the glasses once or twice an hour.

I only got nauseous once, but that was around the time I ate an entire two-pound bag of Skittles, so maybe that was it.

One quibble I had with the LR glasses was that unless I put my contacts in first, the experience kind of fell apart. I was expecting an immersive experience that would enlighten all the senses, not just my eyes. Unfortunately, my bad eyesight wasn't up to the LR's standards. Everything I saw was a complete blur, lights were just giant colored orbs. I couldn't read a book, signs, or even what I was writing unless I was a foot away from the text source.

I doubt any software patch or customized hardware configurations can make me a believer in the LR glasses. Maybe prescription lenses. 

I've honestly never been a big fan of AR glasses, as the technology still has a lot of catching up to do before it moves past the gimmicky point. However, these LR glasses blew me away. When using them, reality looks so much more...real.

I was also worried that with VR becoming a "thing," future generations would always be connected to "virtual" reality and would forget what actual reality even looks like. I'm glad someone finally figured out how to do "literal" reality well, and I think these glasses will be a big success.

With the LR glasses, the actual reality is not just the past, but also the future. I can't wait to see what developers do with them.

I can't state fervently enough how incredibly, totally unbelievable LR is. It's literally unbelievable.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • cats_Paw
    Aprils fools... but a very bad one.
    Reply
  • sigmar666
    LOL
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    That was just stupid
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    :)
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    Fir...Fifth!!

    the beard was epic. only missing the Game of Thrones gear.
    Reply
  • boju
    The guy never knew about glasses, poor guy.
    Reply
  • icraft
    I enjoyed it. ¯\_(?)_/¯
    Reply
  • clifftam
    Can you overclock this???
    Reply
  • The_Trutherizer
    I bet you PvP is killer on these...

    PS: This is funnier.
    Reply
  • cybershark
    The problem with it is the price of the content, try the "lamborghini driving" experience, or the "space travel", or even the "trip to Paris". All those content are very expensive... i'm already tired of playing the same "dinner with family", or "kicking a ball on the backyard" tech demos
    Reply