Virtual reality has been held up as a symbol of just how different, how extraordinary, the future could look. The ability to explore and inhabit worlds beyond our own was once the preserve of science fiction – today, we are closer than ever to bringing this vision to life.

But for all the hype, virtual reality has not yet taken off in the way we might have imagined. It holds such promise for commercial applications like designing, training and remote operation. However, the simple truth is that the experience is not yet good enough to allow us to step properly through the looking glass and inhabit the virtual world. We are still onlookers.

The main reason for this is that today’s VR headsets do not engage the full range of natural visual cues that make up our perception of 3D space in the real world.