A New York Times writer has been given the privilege of testing Valve’s protoype gaming goggles.
"Every way I look, the scene shifts, the battle unfolds," explained reporter Stuart Isett. "I have a crazy contraption strapped to my head: a boxy set of goggles that looks like a 22nd-century version of a View-Master. It immerses me in a virtual world. I whirl one way and see zombies preparing to snack on my flesh. I turn another and wonder what fresh hell awaits."
A photo showing Isett in the goggles reveals their currently massive size and impractical wires. It’s worth noticing that the goggles also include a camera, meaning Valve’s not just planning for virtual reality, but augmented applications too.
"The goggles I'm wearing - reminiscent of the ones Google recently unveiled to much hoopla - could unlock new game-playing opportunities," said Isett. "This technology could let players lose themselves inside a virtual reality and, eventually, blend games with their views of the physical world."
The story didn’t detail the goggles much more, but Isett did talk with Michael Abrash, the man behind the project who said that “credible” augmented reality games are likely to be three to five years away.
Valve’s plan thus far, according to Abrash, is to share its designs freely with other companies for them to manufacture themselves.
"Gabe has a saying, which is, 'We will do what we need to do,'" Abrash said. "We don't particularly want to be a company that makes hardware in large quantities. It's not what we do."
Much of the article explains the incredibly relaxed attitude to staff structure employed by Valve.
There’s been much speculation surrounding Valve and hardware of late, in fact just last week the rumor mill kicked into overdrive when a job was posted on Valve’s site with the title “Industrial Designer”. The job description explained “Valve was “frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in.”