Facebook-owned Oculus unveiled the Oculus Go, its long-rumored standalone virtual reality headset that will look to attract more people to try out the technology.
The Oculus Go was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the annual Oculus Connect 4 developer conference in San Jose, California, where more details about another headset, codenamed Santa Cruz, were also revealed.
Oculus Go: Virtual Reality For $200
A report in July claimed that Facebook will unveil a $200 version of the Oculus Rift this year. The device was believed to be a standalone virtual reality headset that will not require a PC or smartphone to work.
The report has now been confirmed to be true with the unveiling of the Oculus Go, which the company is describing as "the easiest way to jump into VR." With what we know so far about the device, it would be hard to argue against that.
The $200 Oculus Go is said to be super lightweight, with the new fabric used for the facial interface described as soft and breathable. The headset's high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen vastly improves visual clarity and reduces the so-called screen door effect, where the lines separating pixels become visible. The Oculus Go also comes with lenses that offer a wide field of view but with a significant reduction in glare.
Speakers are also built right into the Oculus Go for integrated spatial audio, though it also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The apps for the Oculus Go and the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR are also binary compatible, with the two devices sharing the same controllers.
According to Zuckerberg, the Oculus Go will be positioned in the "sweet spot" between the Oculus Rift, which requires a high-end PC that will cost about $1,000, and the smartphone-powered headsets such as the Gear VR. The Oculus Go will arrive early next year.
Oculus Santa Cruz Virtual Reality Headset: Will It Change The Game?
Also present during the conference is the next-generation virtual reality headset codenamed Santa Cruz.
Still in its prototype stage, Santa Cruz is said to feature "inside-out tracking technology," which means that it will not need accessories such as external cameras to track the wearer's position. The headset will also be able to track a pair of newly designed wireless controllers, and all this without the requirement of a high-end PC.
Santa Cruz will be the epitome of virtual reality technology, as it will enable high-end virtual reality experiences without the need for cables to connect to a PC or trackers to be placed around a room. Not much else is known about the virtual reality headset, but the possibilities that it presents are definitely exciting.