Oculus Redesigns Rift, Introduces Gesture Controls

After many years, Oculus VR has revealed the final design of its consumer headset – set to be released in Q1’16. As well as the Rift headset, Oculus showed off circular controllers that will be used to send commands to the device.

The headset has two OLED displays, a dial to adjust focus (many VR vendors have been promoting this feature this year, although Oculus has offered it for some time) and a new tracking system to determine the wearer’s position, said CEO Brendan Iribe. He described the unit as “really lightweight” and “comfortable”. New to the design is a strap over the top of the head – which should solve the problem we found with the developer headset, where its own weight kept pulling it down!

Meanwhile, founder Palmer Luckey was on hand to show off the prototype controllers, known as the Oculus Touch/Half Moon. They are similar to a game controller for each hand, with buttons and a trigger. The controllers are intended to enable fast and precise control of virtual objects. Gestures such as waving and thumbs up are supported.

Oculus TouchIn partnership with Microsoft, Oculus will also have a wireless Xbox controller that can be used with its headset – this will be shipped with each headset. The announcement is part of a significant licensing deal between the companies, whereby Microsoft will make Xbox games available to be played using the Rift.