I was able to use a head mounted (and tracking) 3d display with a computer back when ROTT was popular (circa 1994). It's a novelty at best, and a headache inducing nightmare at worst. I didn't see the magic then, and I certainly don't see the magic now.
A seamless hud, on the other hand, has the potential to do great things for your interaction with the environment. Based on reviews, however, it's still years out.
Actually, no, this one didn't. It was fantastic technology. The resolution was the same as the monitors on the other computers, and the tracking was very fast. The only downside to the technology itself was that it was heavy.
The problem was that it was only a window, and a relatively small window at that. It's a glorified 3d monitor that denies you vision of your surroundings (and works very poorly with anyone with glasses).
Worse? You still need some other sort of controller (which you can't see when you're wearing them), and unless you're standing up, you can only look a limited amount around you. In any environment other than wandering around a virtual world, it's a curiosity at best.
FPS games - the head moves too slowly to make an accurate method of aiming (and think of your neck muscles afterwards), so you still need to use a mouse as your primary aiming device, and a keyboard to move.
MMO games (perhaps the ideal target for these) require extensive use of the keyboard and mouse (neither of which you can see with the device on), and are rarely played in first person view.
I just can't really see a market outside of VR, and then not without a whole new class of controllers and tactile feedback methods. It's the first (and arguably the easiest) part of a new class of technology, which when combined could be interesting. Until then... meh.
The final one will have full HD, but even then I think it needs a quadrupling in res before it's even acceptable.
They're very different devices. The Rift immerses you in 3D worlds. Every way you tilt your head immediately changes your viewpoint. My perception of Glass is that it tries to overlay information on top of reality and add more senses to humans. They are similar means to completely different ends.
I suppose it makes sense, every technology seems to take about 20 years to reach the consumer market. I wonder if it has anything to do with patents lasting for 20 years.
It has the drawback of not integrating very well with most of the current games because the game's UI itself needs to be drawn in 3D perspective. For example if you don't do that then you'll see two crosshairs when you focus your vision in the distance. And if you focus on the crosshair, you'll see everything else in double vision.
But that's minor. You should experience Google Streetview with it. You can google Eiffel Tower, look up, and almost feel like you're there.
I remember watching members of the sailing world cup wearing glass equivalents like what, 10 years ago?
First Rift equivalents are like 30 years old or older.
Rift is now riding the wave of affordable and good solid state accelerometers or gyros, created by car and cell phone industries.
Turning a novelty that is unappealing to most people into a mass market product is damn well revolutionary. Not many companies are able to pull that off. (Sometimes that transition is more gradual and evolutionary - I would argue that was the case with digital cameras - but sometimes it's actually a single product that makes this transformation happen. I would say the iPad is the prime example for that. Sometimes it's something between evolution and revolution.)
Yes, inventions do matter - but turning mere technology into products people actually want also matters. Both can be evolutionary, both can be revolutionary. Sometimes (though probably rarely) it's possible to do both in one step, often it's not.
If the Rift catches on with more than a handful gamers and starts a sustained era of affordable, high quality, low latency head tracking 3D HMDs it will be a revolutionary product - and it doesn't matter even a little bit if something a bit like it existed 30 years ago.
The Rift gives you an instant 3D experience whereas Glass sits there idle most of the time and waits for it to be used as a tool when needed.
So to really assess the value of Glass you would have to use for a few weeks, while the Rift only has to be used for a few minutes to really experience what it is all about.