Augmented reality will be "the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes," says Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney.
In a speech at the ChinaJoy trade show, Sweeney expressed aggressive optimism about the technology, suggesting that it could well eliminate the need for dedicated "screens" entirely.
"Once you have an augmented reality display, you don’t need any other form of display. Your smart phone does not need a screen. You don’t need a tablet. You don’t need a TV. You just take the screen with you on your glasses wherever you go,” enthused Sweeney.
"We see a convergence of different forms of media. VR and AR provide next-generation viewing experiences for games, movies, and visualization."
Virtual reality goggles like the Oculus Rift, Sony's Project Morpheus, and Steam VR are releasing over the next year, but Sweeney believes they are only the beginning.
“The current products are version 1.0 of virtual reality. They have great potential but [also] some flaws. Over time, they will have a high level of realism and quality content. They will be adopted everywhere."
Sweeney sees virtual reality as the first step towards a utopian vision of augmented reality, speaking of behind-closed-doors demos from Magic Leap that had changed his mind on AR.
“Every form of computing will be combined together and unified in a single platform. That is long term. This trend will start with VR. AR will take a full decade to play out.”
If Sweeney is correct, that decade begins later this year, with the release of the HTC Vive VR headset.