Remember all the fuss about stereoscopic 3D a few years back? How were promised that all TV and movies be eventually 3D? Now that virtual reality is making its way predicting that it’s going to be a big deal in the coming years with Facebook’s launch of Oculus Go.
On Wednesday Facebook’s CEO Zuckerberg made the announcement of its new VR gadget called the ‘Oculus Go’ at a developer’s conference held in San Jose. This only after a similar pronouncement was made a year ago of the ambitious tech set to be released to the market. Oculus was acquired back in 2014 at $2billion through a small hardware startup at the time.
The CEO was quick to hint the company’s goal of having a 1 billion people using the VR headset by ensuring the gadget is affordable and of high quality. This is achievable with its apps (Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger) already past the mark. The headset is said to have a “sweet spot” as it fits between the $400 Oculus Rift and the $100 for Samsung smartphone VR gear.
Specs of the Oculus Go
For starters, the standalone headset is designed using a breathable mesh fabric and interface that is not sweaty once worn. It’s also fitted with a WQHD display LCD screen (2560*1440) that is set to do away with the screen door effect or simply the lines seen between the pixels. Also featured is an in-built spatial audio that is integrated into the headsets with a 3.5mm audio jack in case one wishes to use headphones. Oculus Go uses no cable since no tethering is required and doesn’t require a PC or smartphone to function. This will attract a wider audience to function, unlike its counterpart the Oculus Rift, which helps in cost saving as the high-tech PCs are expensive and limits users from carrying the device.
The Go is set to feature games and apps similar to those in Samsung gears although it is not known if it’ll be able to play full Oculus Rift apps. Facebook’s vice president says that “the gadget has the same wide field-of-view and a small controller similar to that of Oculus Rift. An amazing addition to the headset is the capability to make one spin without necessarily having to move. Expectations are high in terms of the graphics used in the gear as it was not unveiled during the conference.
Also mentioned is the cross-compatible nature of the headset with other Gear VR such as Samsung’s and Google’s Daydream. It also enables users to meet up with friends in a different setting without leaving home and even take selfies in 3D.
Journey in developing VR Oculus Go
A low reception of the VR technology is a challenge Facebook has highlighted with companies such as Nokia pulling out in the production of VR cameras early week. The company had to cut twice the prices of the Oculus Rift before having a ‘permanent’ $399. Zuckerberg acknowledges that the virtual reality is yet to become a mainstream thing but as optimistic that one day it will create jobs and used for empathy.
To emphasize this, the CEO went ahead to say that “If you can’t think of any way that the reality can be better then you’re not thinking hard enough.” Early this week Zuckerberg was criticized after using the VR technology to visit Puerto Rico using a 360 video playing at the background claiming that it was insensitive but he, however, has apologized for that.
Stephanie Llamas VP of research and strategy at market intelligence firm who says that no significant growth is going to be experienced in the VR technology till 2019 or 2020. A lawsuit had been filed over the VR tech that forced the company to part with $500m. This was after the Jury determined that Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus had violated his non- disclosure agreement forcing him to step down.
Cutting edge of Facebook’s Oculus Go
The two gears set to be released by Facebook is going to change the competitive edge of the company as it goes beyond its partnership with smartphone makers for support gear. This means that they will no longer rely on Samsung for PCs and smartphone to function hence able to grow solely in the VR technology.
A teaser prototype of the VR headset ‘Santa Cruz’ was unveiled at the same event and it promises new positional tracked controllers with up to 6⁰ of motion. Some of those indulged in the production of the VR technology include NBAs start LeBron James and President Barrack Obama. The development kits are set to be shipped in December with as Oculus Go officially launches in early 2018.