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Oculus Co-founder Makes a VR Headset that can Kill the User in Real Life

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Oculus Co-founder Makes a VR Headset that can Kill the User in Real Life

Palmer Luckey, the founder of the Oculus VR Rift, has revealed that he has created a virtual reality device that may actually kill the user. The Sword Art Online (SAO) anime inspired the thought-provoking and controversial artwork. In SAO, virtual reality (VR) players die in the real world if they die in-game. 

Luckey describes his new virtual reality headset on his blog. The lethal headset resembles a modified Meta Quest Pro. However, it features three embedded explosive charges placed on the top of the device, above the screen. When the charges detonate, they will instantly destroy the user’s brain, as they are just above the user’s forehead. According to Luckey, a “narrow-band photo sensor” can identify when the screen flashes red at a precise frequency.  The photo sensor activates the device to set off the deadly explosion during a “Game Over” screen.

Luckey is a big fan of Sword Art Online. SAO is a series about a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in virtual reality. According to the plot, players are unaware that if they die in the virtual world, their NerveGear VR headset will kill them in real life. Hundreds of SAO gamers are threatened with death via a secret microwave generator if they die in-game. They also die if they try to remove or tamper with the headset. Additionally, they will die if someone tries to take the headset off their body.

The popularity of Sword Art Online peaked around the time the Oculus Rift began to gain ground. According to Luckey, the “huge otaku enthusiasm for Oculus,”  especially in Japan, was sparked by the release of the first Oculus Rift Development Kit on Kickstarter in 2012. Luckey noted that “thousands” of Sword Art Online fans have contacted him this year, asking him when he will make the NerveGear headset real. 

At the moment, the lethal VR headset is just a piece of office art. Luckey revealed that he is still exploring ways to improve the project. Luckey is the co-founder of Oculus, which he sold to Facebook for $2 billion. 

What is your take? What are your thoughts on the VR headset that Palmer Luckey is working on? Would you try it? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below. 

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.