Oculus Working on Stand-Alone VR Headset

We reported on the idea that VR headsets for A/R need to work out how to track accurately to the real world, known as ‘inside-out’ tracking. Now there are reports that Oculus is working on this development as the ‘next phase’ of virtual reality. The feature would be implemented on the headset, with no tracking equipment away from the headset.

The prototype is known as Santa Cruz and was shown in a video by Zuckerberg at the Oculus Connect event (which is where the photo came from). It is said to have four cameras and a special processor and was demoed at the event although it was pointed out that the room used was lacking windows and mirrors. The headset shown was ‘untethered’. However, reports from users suggested that the performance was good. No pricing or delivery forecasts have yet been provided. Look at this video at around 11:40, although if you’re still not sure why Facebook invested so much in Oculus, it would be worth watching the whole talk.

Zuckerberg also said that the company is planning to invest $250m in content for VR. A significant breakthrough in content quality is that Disney is now developing apps that will feature favourite Disney characters. Disney already has a significant investment in Jaunt.

Oculus said at the event that it has developed technology that can bring an experience that at 45fps feels like the current Oculus at 90Hz, so the level of PC needed to drive a headset has been significantly reduced. It is also working to support the WebVR api to allow web-based VR experiences to be developed.

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Separately, Oculus has now said that pre-orders are being taken for Oculus Touch hand controllers. The controllers will be supplied with VR Sports Challenge, The Unspoken as well as an extra sensor and adapter for Rock Band VR. The pre-order bundle will cost $199 with shipments starting on December 6th.

Oculus has also issued a software update for the GearVR that disables playback when the unit is used with the Note 7. (BR)