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Virtual reality feels more like virtual dreaming

Commentary: CBS Interactive's David Voltz describes how VR technology creates a dreamlike experience for him.

I'm a virtual dreamer.

Hardware makers are flooding the market with virtual reality headsets and computers powerful enough to render the detailed graphics they display. VR is filled with immersive and expansive promise. It's most definitely the future.

But it isn't reality.

Reality involves the simultaneous experience of multiple senses. When I walk on the beach, I feel the dampness of the sand and its finely textured grains between my toes. I hear it crunch. I feel the sea breeze on my skin.

Today's virtual reality doesn't do that.

SEE: The full range of reactions from CNET's VR Day open house.

Don't get me wrong. What we already have is neat. But it doesn't convince me that what I'm experiencing is real. The lags, subtle distortions and imperfections of perspective remind me that what I'm encountering isn't real.

It's closer to a dream.

Like dreams, virtual reality blends visual immersion with auditory cues. The result is a swirl of details. Some are vivid, some less so. All contribute to the experience.

When I think of VR as a dream, the experience makes more sense. Glitches that disrupt the sensation of verisimilitude enhance the sensation of a dream.

A cool, amazing dream.

A virtual dream.