Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at an event today and unveiled the company’s next VR headset, the Oculus Quest.
It’s going to be the first high-end VR headset from the company with no wires, unlike the previous Oculus Rift, that promises a more immersive experience with its positional tracking. Facebook started working on a prototype around two years ago, codenamed Santa Cruz.
#OC5: Mark just announced Oculus Quest, our first all-in-one 6DoF VR headset w/ positional tracking & Touch controllers, 50+ titles available at launch. Oculus Quest represents a new class of VR experience and will ship in Spring 2019 for US$399. More details in a bit! pic.twitter.com/uJyOWNiL82
— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) September 26, 2018
That prototype is now being launched, finally named Oculus Quest, which will ship next year for $399. Based on its pricing, it’s in the middle of the company’s two other Oculus Go and Oculus Rift headsets that cost $199 and $400 respectively.
Six Degrees of Freedom
Other than being wireless, the Quest stands out because it has four wide-angle sensors, that allow six degrees of freedom – or “6DoF”.
This means that the headset is able to track your head’s movement not just based on its rotation, but also its position. In layman terms, you can move around the room, crouch down, or lean too. The headset will be able to detect all such movements.
The previous headset only allowed you to look around in a VR scene, with some positional features, but now you can be a part of it by actually walking around.
Mark Zuckerberg says that he wants at least 1 billion people to have VR headsets in the near future. The new Oculus Quest might help do that because it’s more practical and immersive. Older, wired headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive also have 6DoF but they need to be plugged to a high-powered PC or a smartphone, which limits how much you can move around.
Under the Hood
6DoF usually needs sensors placed across the room, as well as on the headset. However, Oculus Quest can work just as well without needing any external sensors, it uses “advanced computer vision algorithms to track your position in real time, without any external sensors”, according to Facebook’s VR executive Hugo Barra.
This type of positional tracking also lowers the chances for motion sickness, so Quest might be the most practical VR system yet.
Other specifications include a 1600 x 1400 resolution display on each eye, “lens spacing adjustment to help maximize visual comfort”, 64 GB internal storage, and improved built-in audio headset. The headset uses the same wireless handheld controllers just like Oculus Rift.
Find out more on Oculus Quest’s website.