Microsoft researchers suggest new virtual reality technology with hallucination capabilities will develop in 2017.
A woman plays a video game with the Oculus Rift VR headset at the mk2 VR, a place dedicated to virtual reality in Paris, Dec. 5, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

2016 was a big year for virtual reality, thanks to the release of the first consumer virtual reality headset, Oculus, which allows users to take virtual explorations and adventures into lands unknown all from the comfort of their couch. However, computer-generated simulation may get even wilder in 2017 — Microsoft is planning on developing a trippy new technology that will give virtual reality users an experience similar to that of an acid trip.

In Microsoft’s “17 for 17” blog post earlier this month, featuring 17 researchers predictions for the future of technology in 2017, researcher Mar Gonzalez Franco suggested the company will start working out the details for “virtual reality devices that feature better body tracking,” which would allow users to “experience embodiment of virtual avatars from a first-person perspective.”

Gonzalez Franco predicted technology would allow users to experience mind-altering hallucinations that often occur under the influence of psychedelic drugs but without all the dismal side effects of taking a substance like LSD.

“By 2027 we will have ubiquitous virtual reality systems that will provide such rich multisensorial experiences that will be capable of producing hallucinations which blend or alter perceived reality. Using this technology, humans will retrain, recalibrate and improve their perceptual systems,” Gonzalez Franco said. “In contrast to current virtual reality systems that only stimulate visual and auditory senses, in the future, the experience will expand to other sensory modalities including tactile with haptic devices.”

While users can see and hear during virtual reality experiences, currently available devices are capable of providing the sense of touch or abilities to feel. The technology Gonzalez Franco suggested to come in 2017 could potentially lead to users have touch capabilities.

In a separate interview with Motherboard, Gonzalez Franco recently suggested that avatars used in virtual reality systems will also come with more enhanced features.

“Until now, the entertainment industry has provided mostly canned experiences. A one-movie-suits-all-the-spectators sort of paradigm,” she said. “But in the future, experiences will be personalized to a much higher degree, not only by introducing ramifications to plotlines, but also by changing how the characters look.”