Away from the noise of CES, away from the curved 4K TVs, activity trackers and sad accessories, I’m sitting in the cockpit of a spaceship. I look to my left, lean in to inspect a screen of information, and do the same on a screen to my right. All systems are go. When I give […]
The world of virtual reality is getting serious. On the heels of Sony’s Project Morpheus announcement, Oculus on Wednesday revealed its Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) is now up for pre-order. This is the first headset Oculus has made available since its original development kit came out last year—but the two are world’s apart, as we found out at CES in January. Priced at $350, the Rift Development Kit 2 integrates all the newest technology we saw in the Crystal Cove prototype.
What makes DK2 so special is that it features a number of technical breakthroughs that consumers will see in the final model. For starters, DK2 will feature a high-definition 960 x 1080-pixel per-eye display, improving clarity and reducing that “screen-door” effect that users experienced with the first development kit. In addition, DK2 integrates low-latency positional head tracking, which is important to VR because it gives users a sense of actually existing in that world; when you lean into something, it doesn’t lean away with you. It would be as it you leaned into your computer screen and it stayed there, instead of moving away from you.
DK2 will also feature updated orientation tracking, built-in latency tester, on-headset USB accessory port, new optics, a redesigned SDK and better optimizations for Unity and Unreal Engine 4. Making DK2 available isn’t just a big leap for eventual consumer availability, but it’s also important because it gives developers the opportunity to create experiences around Oculus’s virtual reality tech. DK 2 is expected to start shipping in July.