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I stared at the floor. The textures of the shiny floor, the lights gleaming off it, were captivating. I stopped listening to the debate. Being in the room was cool, but it became the most interesting part of the debate..not the debate itself. Virtual reality has that effect for me: I feel present, but obsess over textures and surfaces. The coolest part of the Oculus Cinema app isn't the movie on screen, but the hyper-real seats and the reflective glow of the movie against the virtual theater walls.

Also, small details distracted me, A cameraman in a dark outfit climbed behind the CNN logo at one point, a stealthy ninja sneaking to prep for the next shot, I watched him operating for a while, turning my head away from the debate, At another moment, as the camera position switched back to one that showed the audience, I stared at the people out there, Their movements and reactions as the candidates talked were more captivating than staring at the fuzzy dolls at the podiums, Inconsistencies start to become the main attraction, 3D effect-to-distance-perceived ratio (if I should call it that?) also seemed off, As the camera view changed to one closer to Anderson Cooper, he seemed like a Barbie-sized doll standing near my face, while all the candidates appeared to be living toys, It was like watching the destiny 2 iphone case debate as a tiny 3D diorama..

Here's another problem: VR works best in bite-sized chunks. About 5 minutes, maybe. When a phone is strapped to your face, eye fatigue becomes an issue pretty quickly. The debate ran for hours. There's no way anyone should, or could, watch the whole thing in virtual reality. I could only handle minutes at a time. The eyepieces occasionally fogged up, my face got sweaty. My eyes needed a break. My ears hurt from the straps. I lifted the goggles over my head from time to time, for a break. And to tweet, or try to tweet. I often wondered who else would tolerate this.

This is the biggest problem of all, In VR as it currently stands -- especially for live video streams -- you're little more than a hovering ghost, You destiny 2 iphone case see what the camera sees, No one else can see you, And you're completely alone, You can't use your hands to do things, and you can't look at anything else, The experience is pure isolation, I wanted to tweet, do interact, to comment, But in VR (at least, on the Samsung Gear VR right now), I have no hands, All I can do is watch, To tweet, I had to stretch my VR goggles over my head and pick up my phone, The stream stopped, and I had to restart again, Meanwhile, I realized, I was missing the New York Mets playoff game that was underway, Channel-flipping, and second-screen life: I've gotten so used to these for real-time events that their absence feels impossible to deal with, I tried sticking an earbud in my left ear attached to an iPad streaming the Mets game while the Gear VR broadcast the debate over speakerphone, Eventually, I grew sweaty, and the VR stream froze on Bernie Sanders mid-grimace, and I decided to just turn on the TV instead..

I looked at the Twitter stream on my phone for commentary. Suddenly I was connected again. To be engaged, either by apps or with people around you, is part of having a live experience. Virtual reality strips these away right now, in exchange for a type of non-interactive telepresence. I've cried in virtual reality, on this same Samsung Gear VR headset, under very different circumstances. That documentary experience, also shot in panoramic 3D video, worked so much better because it was something I was meant to witness, not interact with. I was meant to be a silent observer, to absorb what was shown to me, to take it in and immerse myself.

And virtual reality works best that way, But for hot, living things like debates, or sporting events, it's a lot more complicated, I like to watch and to comment along -- most of us do, on Twitter and social media, Ironically, the very company that bought the technology that makes this VR headset, Facebook, is what I feel cut off from, That connectivity will come someday, destiny 2 iphone case no doubt, Facebook's banking on it, But for now, it's not here, And it needs to be, Places where friends can appear, Avatars of others watching, who can see me too, Apps and notifications and other virtual screens inside this space, that I can summon or shut off..

And the use of your hands. Oculus Touch is one of several inputs on the horizon trying to make sure we can start doing more things in virtual worlds, instead of just watching. And while passive technology like streaming video won't allow for interaction like that yet, the whole magical dream of telepresence via virtual reality is that you can do things when you get where you're trying to be. Bottom line is you didn't miss anything if you didn't catch the debate in virtual reality. But it illustrates the challenges that VR will be facing for a long time to come: how to make a personal virtual experience feel like telepresence, and how that can make meaningful interactions and viewership. I'm too much of a two-screen person to live with goggles over my head for major events, in fact most of us are. VR needs to figure out how to handle that challenge, sooner rather than later, perhaps by becoming all of our screens at once.

Commentary: Virtual reality might be the future of beaming into live events, but its role in the present destiny 2 iphone case is still experimental at best: the Democratic debate was a perfect example of how isolating it can be, I sat in the corner of an audience that I wasn't really in, I watched the back of a bald man's head as he snapped photos on the stage with his camera, I was high up, looking down on everyone as a virtual screen appeared in this virtual audience, with a countdown to the Democratic debate that was about to begin..



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