What is it? The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality helmet that was designed by a man named Palmer Lucky in 2012. It is under his supervision that Oculus VR is developing a device that at the end of 2015 was already being sold to all the heads of gamers around the world.
Like snow on your head, only not snow, but a helmet. Overview of the Oculus Rift
It’s no secret that the appearance of a full-fledged device was only a matter of time. The development of such a device has been carried out for a long time, and, moreover, by different people, and the results were different. In 2012, for the first time, a helmet was created that allows you to enter the space of virtual reality, which was most similar to what we mean by presenting such a device, both visually and technically. The name of this device is “Oculus Rift”, which will be reviewed now.
Despite the novelty of the idea, the project has gained sufficient popularity, and also received reviews from some famous people, and the Oculus VR company itself has already been acquired by far from the last person on the Internet – Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the Facebook social network. As you understand, with such strong social and financial support, the OR helmet has a good chance of success, especially since the so-called developer kit is already available for testing. More about him below.
In 2013, sales of the first kit, which was called “Oculus Rift DK1”, started for the first time. In general, the result of 5,000 sold copies can be called acceptable for the “alpha version” of the product. Let’s look at what he was, how, so to speak, it all began.
The first version of this interesting device, which had the code name “DK1”, was on sale for several months and had a price of $ 300. The helmet had a 7-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. Given the technical features of the device, the base resolution for each eye was 640 by 800 pixels. In this case, the picture was given to both eyes at the same time, but corrected with lenses to increase the field of view. Also, with the help of lenses, the image took on a spherical shape for improved perception of the image by the eyes and its realism. The field of view was 90 degrees horizontally and 110 degrees diagonally. These figures are about twice the capabilities of any other similar devices. The approximate weight of the gadget was 330g, but later it was reduced.
To better understand how it all works, see the test of the device from gambling addiction:
In terms of connectivity, the Oculus Rift DK1 had several cables connected to the computer. First, the image was output through the DVI or HDMI port. Secondly, data from the tracker (a sensor that detects head movements in the helmet) was transmitted via USB. Thirdly, it was a power adapter that was connected to the mains through an external controller. This small device was the link between the computer and the Oculus Rift; it also allowed you to turn the helmet on and off, adjust the brightness, etc.
Oculus Rift DK2
At the time of the release of the second version of the helmet, namely the “Oculus Rift DK2”, the product has undergone some changes. Firstly, a new resolution for the device was announced – Full HD or 1920 by 1080 pixels. The refresh rate has also increased from 60 to 75 Hz. This was achieved thanks to the use of a display from Samsung. After such an upgrade, the image quality has significantly and naturally increased. Also in this version, we decided to abandon the external controller and transferred all communication to active HDMI and USB cables. Some changes also overtook the tracker, thanks to which the position of the helmet in space began to be determined more accurately, and the delay time of the device as a whole decreased.
The Oculus Rift DK2 was priced at $350 in the summer of 2014. So, the dev kit has been available for a while, just like before. But, like last time, a couple of months later, the third version of OR was announced.
Oculus Rift DK2
In September 2014, it became known about the upgrade of the device, which now bore the name “Crescent Bay”. This is the third virtual reality helmet released by Oculus VR, still for developers.
Among the innovations of the device, the creators called an increase in the resolution of the display (there are no specific numbers), the addition of built-in detachable headphones to the standard package of the product, as well as an improvement in the performance of the tracker. This made it possible to track the rotation of the helmet almost 360 degrees. The overall weight of the device has also been reduced.
At the time of November 2014, three versions of the virtual reality helmet were already released: “Oculus Rift DK1”, “Oculus Rift DK2” and “Oculus Rift Crescent Bay”. Their prices ranged from $300 to $350. And what about for the general public? The first version of the “Oculus Rift” for the general public, for mass sales, is already being developed and is called the “Consumer Version” or “CV1”. Unfortunately, the release date of the product to the masses is unknown. And while the developer, Oculus VR, is promising a final price in the region of $300, according to some reports, the price tag for a new virtual reality helmet could jump to an incredible $1,000 apiece.
In this video you can see Oculus Rift DK2 in action
Having talked about the device itself, we almost forgot (no, we didn’t forget, we just put it off) to talk about what it is intended for. Basically, “Oculus Rift” is planned to be used in the gaming industry. Many games, such as “Half-Life 2”, “Minecraft”, already have support for “Oculus Rift”, and some gaming publications have already managed to test the new device in action. And although the helmet has certain negative consequences for the body (work is already underway to eliminate the causes of such consequences), nevertheless, reviews about the device are mostly positive.
In addition to specific games, the developers of some platforms for their development (engines) have already announced support for Oculus Rift in their products. So, it will be possible to see games in the helmet in a completely different way, developed in the future on engines such as CryEngine, Unity, Source, Unreal Engine 3 and 4, as well as others.
Oculus Rift DK2
As you understand, there will be many platforms for using this Oculus Rift virtual reality device. The project is developing at a frantic pace, and has already gained some popularity. Judge for yourself – the Norwegian military has already managed to test it in experiments, and NASA astronauts have tested it in emulation of walks on Mars. In addition, the Oculus Rift helmet won several awards at E3 2013.
The step into the future has already been taken, gentlemen. The hour is not far off when computer games, cinema, and other industries will appear before us in a new format, and Oculus Rift is direct proof of this. Write in the comments how you feel about this project? Would you buy a virtual reality helmet for your favorite Dota 2 or for the new Batman: Arkham Knight game? We hope you enjoyed it. Until we meet again, friends!