The near future of virtual reality is going to look a lot different than what we envisioned just a few years ago according to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.

During a chat at the Dublin Web Summit on Tuesday, Luckey acknowledged that early mobile products like the Gear VR will be a critical stepping stone in the success of virtual reality. While PCs will no doubt afford a more immersive experience due to sheer processing power, the fact that headsets are physically tethered to the machine will be quite restrictive.

Luckey also said the cost of owning a PC capable of powering a VR experience will be another limiting factor. That should resolve itself within five or six years, he added, when nearly any PC will be powerful enough to handle the job.

Smartphones will play a key role in the emergence of virtual reality albeit only for a short while. Lucky believes that VR gear will ultimately replace our handsets by adopting all of their capabilities, adding that he would be very surprised if 50 years from now, we're still all carrying around slabs in our pockets when you can just project a virtual environment.

That may sound far-reaching but remember, smartphones were hardly a blip on the radar just 10 years ago. Now, they've permeated nearly every aspect of our daily lives, pushing traditional PCs to the side in the process.

Lead image courtesy Stephen Shankland, CNET