Oculus presented the first consumer version Rift VR headset to the public at its San Francisco event last week. The helmet-looking headset is much refined compared to its version in developer kits. The Facebook-owned company shows the audience how much the headset has improved, with one that looks more of a consumer product already – much lighter, with higher quality fabrics and plastics, and the unit can be worn with eyeglasses. The headset also comes with removable headphones mounting into adjustable side rails. As Oculus scheduled, the Rift VR headset will be out in the market early next year.
The Oculus Rift headset promises to deliver consumer virtual reality experience and the next-generation in virtual reality gaming. It uses optics technology specifically for VR and features two AMOLED low-persistence screens for incredible clarity as the user explore the virtual world. The much slimmed down VR headset is covered with a cloth finish, and not of plastic or cold hard metal.
An IR LED constellation tracking system tracks Rift, for a low latency, precise, 360-degree orientation position tracking. The headset’s ergonomic design is advanced to improve its entire stability and balance. The strap architecture lets the headset rest comfortably.
Inside the headset, there are two OLED displays, one for each eye, just like putting on a pair of glasses, said CEO Brendan Iribe of Oculus. They create visuals and low-latency tracking system that has been slowly refined over time. The headset also have integrated headphones with a three-dimensional audio and a dial. One is for an immersive experience, and the other is to decrease and increase the visual’s distance from user’s eyes.
The Facebook firm presented its first Rift VR headset and Gizmodo tried the headset with its whole optic screen that is detachable. The removable screen is for the wearer to put on lenses that better fit his face, such as those with sharper noses. The unit lets the wearer control the distance between the lenses since individuals have different distances between their eyes. The Rift allows the optics’ interpupillary distance with a small slider below the headset.
Audio is the headset’s critical component in an amplifying presence and the Rift’s integrated audio is strategized to convince the user’s ears that he is actually there. The removable integrated headphones can be replaced with other headphones preferred by the user. The Oculus Rift headset also has an internal microphone for social experiences.
The headset’s facial interface can be removed and replaced with a soft foam. According to the Oculus Official Blog, putting on Rift is as easy as slipping on a baseball cap. Once the user is in it, he can adjust the strap for a more comfortable fit.
However, the headset is still not wireless, which, according to Gizmondo, is unfortunate. Oculus recommends that users enjoy the VR experience sitting down. The headset requires a cable draped on the user’s shoulder and plug that cable into a powerful gaming PC.
Facebook’s firm has been working with developers to understand the need for a VR headset. Developers wanted to have a versatile and robust input device that will enable the next-generation games and experience. The collaboration came up with the decision to incorporate a wireless Xbox One controller with every Rift headset. For hand control, every Rift uses the gamepad of Xbox One with its standard wireless adapter connected to the PC, as well as analog buttons and sticks.
While Oculus presented the first Rift VR headset, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox Division Phil Spencer announced that Xbox One games can be streamed to the upcoming headset, such as Forza, Sunset Overdrive, and Halo. Gizmodo said this means, playing those games is like doing so in a virtual room, on a big-screen TV, and not playing them in virtual reality.
By Judith Aparri
Oculus Official Blog: The Oculus Rift, Oculus Touch, and VR Games at E3
Connectedly: Oculus shows off the first consumer version of the Rift VR headset
Gizmodo: Here’s The Final Oculus Rift, Coming In Early 2016
Photo courtesy of Sergey Galyonkin‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License