Digital tech: Oculus Rift
When I was a kid we had a toy my parents brought home from USA called a View Master. In its day, it was quite the talk of the town in my suburb – we could view slide-style images on a rotating circular cardboard disk. As you flicked through the images, you really felt as though you’d had seen Disneyland, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.
Today we have its digital evolution. And it eats View Master for breakfast.
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset which uses mind-blowing tracking technology to provide a 360 degree look around a virtual world. Every movement of the head is tracked in real-time to help create a natural and intuitive experience as if you are really there.
While it’s still in a development phase, gamers are being asked to help develop for the Rift – and the gaming community seems to be very excited about it. (It just won ‘Best Hardware’ at +Gamescom 2014 a fortnight ago)
The main difference to other gaming-type goggles seems to be that instead of the usual 40 degree view of a screen – with a defined top and a bottom – the Rift offers 100 degree views which means that the eye’s field of vision is also immersed in the experience.
Aside from the gaming community, there is some discussion about the technology being used for real-life education such as to train surgeons or NASA agents.
And think about what it could do for brands.
We have a number of travel clients and so naturally my mind wonders to the travel sector. Imagine being able to choose which room you’d like on a cruise, which hotel to visit or whether you want to train, boat or drive a popular travel route. Cue the movie ‘Total Recall’ and we aren’t far away.
The Oculus Rift uses brand-new stereoscopic 3D so that unique and parallel images are presented to each eye – much like we perceive images in the real world (when you close one eye, then the other, the image is slightly different).
It is therefore a more natural, human experience.
Developers are able to purchase the kit to help in the evolution from prototype to a consumer reality for AU$373 which comes with a motion tracking camera.
While the timing and cost of the final unit is not yet finalised, I’ll leave you with this quote from TechRadar following a hands-on review of it: “The fact is the Oculus Rift is the coolest product in the world right now, and it gets better every time we see it.”
Thanks for sharing the technology Dietmar Dahmen.