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Enthusiast Opts For $2200 Laser Eye Surgery To Enhance Oculus Rift Experience 109

An anonymous reader writes After 30 years of wearing glasses, one man says that the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has prompted him to get laser eye surgery. With farsightedness and astigmatism, he says, "Never thought much about the laser surgery until the Rift, that's for sure." He has an appointment to get the $2200 surgery on the 13th of this month. "For me it is clear, my eyeglasses are like an obstacle for optimal VR experience," he said. He hopes the surgery will remove his need for glasses, which can be uncomfortable inside of the Rift, if they fit at all, and cause several issues such as scratched lenses and lower field of view. Oculus plans to make the consumer version of the Oculus Rift (aka CV1) more friendly to glasses wearers, "...we have a lot of great ideas for supporting glasses in the consumer version [of the Rift] (especially since a huge portion of the Oculus team wears glasses everyday!)" they noted in their Kickstarter.
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Enthusiast Opts For $2200 Laser Eye Surgery To Enhance Oculus Rift Experience

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:05PM (#47639087)

    so... dude has lived his life with the inconvenience of glasses, and incomplete vision
    for a great amount of time. thought about the cost of surgery and said meh....

    then one day, not the forests, or the mountains... not the clouds in the sky.
    not beautiful women at the beach and not the smile of a newborn....

    but virtual reality.

    better fix my eyes to get the most out of vr.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Parent AC really doesn't belong at -1, I was thinking the same thing. I need to wear glasses or hard contacts and LASIK is out of the question, there's a ton of reasons I'd like to get rid of my glasses like to avoid them fogging up, going swimming, having them edge forward as I carry something and can't push them back, leaning over edges and so on. And hard contacts, well trust me nobody who doesn't have to wear them does for good reason. But virtual reality? That's the "killer feature" that tipped him ove

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes it does. The guy can see with glasses. He can see all those things you mentioned. What he can't do is properly experience VR without this surgery so why not go for it? He really had no reason to do so before.

        Barring an unfortunate mistake this will improve his quality of life all around and if it allows him to get more enjoyment out of his gaming experience who are we to question his motives.

        I'm quite sure every person alive has done something in their lives with motives others would call silly or

        • MIT recently announced screen technology that corrects for bad eyesight. I can't imagine it would be too long before Oculus included this rather than accommodate glasses wearing. I'm lucky that I'm short sighted and have had no problems seeing content on the VR glasses that I've tried so far without my glasses in the way.
      • by Smauler ( 915644 )

        If laser eye surgery is out of the question for you, despite having a ton of reasons why glasses and contacts are bad, I'd have to ask why? It's not _that_ expensive.

        Off topic : Bad eyesight seems to be the only disability that it's ok to make fun [] out of. At least they do some good [] adverts, though.

      • Irony is in the word -- "Virtual + Reality"..
      • GP AC really did belong at -1. And you shouldn't have been modded up either.

        TFS states he has farsightedness, which means that he can already see all those things without glasses. Up until now, he would only have needed glasses to read - which apparently he was OK with, and so didn't think it was worth the surgery.

        Now that the oculus rift has come along, wearing glasses in that thing are annoying in that and he's opted for surgery. Makes sense to me.

        Your experience as a shortsighted person bears ver
        • This is right. I'm far sighted, and it is completely different than being near sighted. You can see mountains, you can drive. You can see everything not close in crystal clear fidelity.

          For close up work, like reading or sewing or electronics you wear glasses. Most of those activities are fairly static, and glasses are generally no problem (though I find my glasses want to fall off while sewing). I don't have much experience with VR, but I suspect the experience could be completely different.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Speak for yourself, chief. Far-sightedness is not an immediate "I can see all of the things not directly in front of my face" scenario. For some, sure, all they need is reading glasses. For many? Yeah, you're wearing glasses for life, as even surgery hasn't caught up with it yet (for more than you'd think, sadly) depending on your prescription.

      • Parent AC really doesn't belong at -1, I ...

        Here is a copy-paste of the GP's score window:

        Starting Score: 0 points
        Moderation +5
        60% Insightful
        20% Informative
        10% Funny
        Extra 'Insightful' Modifier 0 (Edit)
        Total Score: 5

        Which is to say, parent AC was never at -1. Which is to say, stop abusing /. moderation to blow your own horn. And (more importantly) stop telling porky pies.

      • VR may not have been the reason, but one of many - and the one that tipped the scales for him.

    • by xeno ( 2667 )

      Mod parent up. Wish I had points.

      I had my eyes zapped about 5 years ago, and even with some complications I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

      Why? I did it beause glasses were making me hesitant to play with my kids.

      As they grew older, I was always getting them knocked off in game play or horsing around, and then I found myself declining to play or playing soft or begging off.... Sport lenses were always a half-measure, and contacts are a maintenance timesink vs continual risks of infection. For a while I wa

      • Interesting... I'd like to pick your brain as I have astygmatism myself and am considering asking about laser correction.

        Did you ever find the degree of... well, vision inaccuracy to fluctuate day to day? Some days one eye is worse off than another, some days all is better than normal. The glasses still help when it's all wierd, but not as much (which tells me the angle is the same but the degree is worse).

        I'm afraid that if I get it corrected, the stable state won't be what is corrected for.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Absolutely true. Some people get it so they can play sports like tennis or go scuba diving. Some do it for vanity reasons. Some just for convenience. VR is as good as any other reason.
    • You clearly don't understand his problem.

      All the reasons you listed to 'fix my eyes' by which, you mean surgery, are covered with little to no inconvenience by wearing glasses.

      Wearing glasses isn't a big deal to him (or most people) for any of the things you listed.

      You can view mountains fine with glasses. You can view forests fine with glasses. You can love your child with glasses with little to no issues.

      Try wearing goggles with glasses and you'll understand the difference.

      But hey, you should totally as

  • Seriously? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bluegutang ( 2814641 )

    Why not contact lenses?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:12PM (#47639121)

      Too invasive.
      Too much risk of harming the eye.
      Better off to go with surgery.

      • I have severe myopia, so anything more than a few feet from me is a blur unless I am wearing my glasses or contacts. I'm an avid gamer (Partnered on and I used to be an active equestrian. My lifestyle lead many people to recommend LASIK or PRK surgery, but the risks turned me off from both. LASIK creates an eye flap that can be dislocated, torn, etc., which can permanently damage your eye. This flap is not created with PRK, although there are similar risks associated with that surgery. Our eyes
        • by Anonymous Coward

          I had LASIK, two years ago, after >35 years of wearing glasses.

          Yes, I needed eyedrops. And sunglasses. For several weeks afterwards.

          But not now. I still have sunglasses, and wear them sometimes - but that's in no way, nohow, anything like as intrusive as having to wear glasses just to see an arm's length away. I haven't had to worry about eyedrops since a couple of months after the surgery.

          If you don't want to get surgery, then don't. It's not compulsory. But don't scare yourself off with phoney stories

      • by quenda ( 644621 )

        So why not install suitable corrective lenses in the VR headset, as is commonly done for scuba-diving masks?

    • Why not contact lenses?

      Because the surgery is a better solution. It just takes an hour or so, and then you are done. How many hours over your life do you spend dealing with contacts? I had LASIK 15 years ago. It cost me about $5000 back then, but it was worth every penny.

    • I keep a few packs of disposable contacts around just for use with the Rift. Lasik is not a (practical/suggested) option for me - though I did get some (more) motivation to get evaluated because of VR.

      I'm thinking there will soon be a cottage industry of corrective prescription eye-cups for VR, until you can simply enter your prescription into your avatar details :-D

    • Not all problems can be corrected with contacts. It wasn't until the last 15 years that contacts could correct one of my issues.

      Not all people can deal with contacts. It took me a number of YEARS to finally get to the point where I can put my contacts in and remove them at the speed and with the little effort that pretty much everyone else that wears them does.

      Like wise, my primary vision issue, non-binocular vision, can not be corrected with surgery, well, not LASIK surgery anyway, but glasses don't fix

  • by lorinc ( 2470890 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:13PM (#47639127) Homepage Journal

    Isn't it completly overkill? I mean, the games can adjust their rendering so as to compensate the visual defects of the player. You just enter your needed correction in a parameter box et voilà. Thet clearly doesn't seem overly complicated to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      While there are some fancy light field displays [] that might be able to adjust for vision defects in software, those are still years after. However the Oculus Rift has swappable lenses, so it shouldn't be to hard to design some lenses that correct whatever vision defect you might have. The consumer version will probably have some adjustable optics to correct for vision issues, at least thats how the first wave of consumer VR headsets back in 1995 worked.
  • I underwent LASIK 14 years ago and I recommend it to everyone. If the OC is what convinced him to do it, great. He should have done it years ago.

    • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:50PM (#47639275)

      It's only a good idea for the under 30 crowd and the farsighted. Otherwise you don't get much bang for the buck once presbyopia sets in down the line (which it will).

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Except in my case there wasn't room for the lens (which I would need) so it's more the situation that it wasn't considered now but could be once my natural lens is worse than the manufactured one would be.

        Then again maybe it's not LASIK at all any longer then.

      • by xeno ( 2667 )

        Mmmmm.... No. Bzzzzt.

        Presbyopia eventually affects virtually everyone by age 40-50, but that just means that you become slightly more farsighted as the natural lens becomes less flexible. Corrective surgery still removes all astigmatic defects, corrects the focal distance to a normal range, reduces eyestrain by normalizing the two eyes, along with other minor benefits. Old people getting laser correction just means "only" having perfect vision past 0.5-1 meter or so.

        Now that I'm old (near death by hipster

        • I got lasik and my doctor kept saying, over and over and over again, "you will still need reading glasses eventually, just like anybody else!" I guess he was worried I'd come after him or something.

          But for running and skiing, and especially for motorcycle riding (wind, dust and grit) it is SO much better than glasses or contacts (which I never could really get comfortable with). And I can use $10 Walmart sunglasses again.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        It's not a good idea for the under 30 crowd because often at that age their eyes are still changing and if they get surgery it may well need re-doing a decade later. It's only worth it once your vision has settled down, typically around the mid 30s to mid 40s.

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:53PM (#47639295)
    some will sacrifice reality for virtuality.
  • Would it be possible to put an eye test into the helmet and have it adjust the optics to give the wearer apparently perfect vision? Or is that just too sci-fi?
  • man gets lasik, news at 11

  • One of the problems of Lasik is the size of the corrected pupil is often not as large as that of your fully dark adapted pupil, and, as an amateur astronomer, it leaves artefacts in your field of view that are objectionable.

  • f*cked up
  • Why does the connection matter? I opted for glasses when I found I could no longer hit the side of a barn with a rifle, but that was the trigger event that showed me that my eyesight was crap and not the entire reason to do something about my eyes.
    I'm sure it's a similar situation in this case. Someone doing something to push the limits of their vision found that their vision was limited.
  • It was going for $5000 about ten years ago. I think that he would have been a happier person if he did even at that cost 10 years ago.
  • - Guy has bad eyesight
    - Wants them fixed to standard 20/20, using laser surgery.
    This is news?

    This story would be more interesting if he corrected his eyes to "short sighted", this would improve the experience. He'd then be able to see alot more detail at close range, using his Oculus rift.

    • In other news, guy who can afford $350 toy can also afford a medical procedure to enhance every facet of his life.

  • I've always had eyes on the border of needing glasses. I could get by without glasses pretty fine, I just sat half a foot closer to the PC and bought giant monitors / TV's - I could see fairly well, just not perfect.

    I picked up a 30" 2560x1600 monitor about 3 years back and I just wasn't able to appreciate it. I could read it but only sitting pretty damn close due to the pixel size. 1920x1200 was fine but, I shouldn't need to do that./
    Finally caved in and got some glasses at 34 years old - made a great d

  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:24AM (#47641647)

    It might as well have said "People that can afford rift can also afford laser surgery."

    As someone who had a $3000 laser surgery done recently. I suggest everyone that qualifies (not all conditions can be fixed) and can afford it to get it. It really is the best money I have ever spent in my life.

    I am an amateur astronomer, so one could say about me: "Man buys $3000 laser surgery to enhance $2000 telescope experience." Am I a dope because I spent more on my eyes than my telescope? I get a hell of a lot more use out of my eyes than the scope. Every waking moment vs. that once a month it is actually clear and dark out.

    It also enhances my exercising experience, my playing hockey experience, my driving experience, and my swimming experience. I think it helps me not get headaches when staring at a computer screen for hours at a time at work. (though that last one is highly subjective, the rest are true)

    • by hubie ( 108345 )
      However, it would make a good Onion article if the title started out with "Area Man . . . " :)
  • that change the shape of your eye, that makes way more sense, and is way less risky and expensive...
  • to get the Zune tattoo while you're at it.

  • wow great informations !
  • This story is REALLY uncanny because I am about the do the same thing only in my case, it's not just for the Oculus but everything in general. For example, I like 3D movies a lot but it's a pain either choosing between blurred vision or wearing TWO sets of glasses on my face obscuring the quality of the image in the process. Also, certain headphones are a royal pain to wear as they push the arms of the glasses into my cheek which can get rather painful after a while. Just $2200 though? Mine will be more tha

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears