Oculus Rift – the next VR
If you are a gamer and always wanted to play fully immersive games in a true virtual reality environment your prayers just might get answered in the very near future. A new kickstarter project with some serious endorsement from all across the gaming industry is working on what might seems like the next generation of virtual reality headset for gamers.
Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality (VR) headset designed by Palmer Luckey founder of Oculus and an avid gamer himself. Luckey realized that none of the existing head mounted headset currently on the market right now are good enough (or cheap enough) to a appeal to a large portion of the gaming community. He decided to do something about it and funded Oculus which is currently working on a new developer kit of its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for gaming.
Oculus decided to take an interesting route to developing its groundbreaking technology – instead of looking for a big investor and spend years working on a consumer ready product, they decided to turn to crowdfunding and opened a Kickstarter project and were able to raise over 1.14 million dollars in just a few days time (their initial goal was just $250k).
The Oculus Rift should have some important advantages over other VR headsets currently on the market including:
- Incredibly wide field of view – about 110 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical (compared to about 40 degrees horizontal for many existing headsets).
- High resolution displays – the unit comes with two 640 over 800 dot displays (one for each eye) generating 1280 over 800 display (720p(
- Ultra-low latency – According to Oculus this is going to be one of the biggest selling points of the Rift.
- Low weight – the unit will weigh less than 0.5 pounds.
- Low price – the development kit started at Kickstarter at around $275 (sold out and currently selling at $300).
Oculus was able to convince some of the biggest players in the video game industry to speak very enthusiastically about the Rift. John Carmack the legendary game designer from id Software said for example "What I’ve got now, is, I honestly think the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen" others from the industry who checked the prototype were no less amazed by its abilities and many of them seems to believe that this technology just might change the entire way games are played.
The Kickstarter video for the project
For this to happen a lot of work still needs to be done on several fronts. The first developer kits should be shipping to Kickstarter backers probably late this year or early in 2013 (if no real setbacks will happen). Currently only one game (DOOM 3 BFG) supports the Rift – the unit will need a much wider game support to get some real love from the gaming community. And then there are all sorts of other issues related to VR headsets including headaches eyestrain and other problems that are attributed to much of the current technology.
More information can be found on the Oculus Rift Kickstarter page
, more coverage can be found on the Oculus site