Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Facebook's Oculus Has Revealed A Stand-Alone Virtual Reality Headset

Facebook's Oculus Has Revealed A Stand-Alone Virtual Reality Headset

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the company's intention to get 1 billion people into virtual reality (VR), so a new emphasis on the social aspects of VR is no surprise. It will cost only $199 and will not need a PC or mobile phone connection to work.

More news about the upcoming Oculus Go headset will be released in the months leading up to the release.

"Oculus Go" has cameras on the headset and uses computer vision tech to figure out orientational tracking.

"We want to continue getting VR into more people's hands, so we're permanently lowering the price of Rift", Oculus said in a blog post.

"People see how much they're investing in systems, but they can do a lot more in making VR development open", said Francisco Camberos, associate creative director of TVGla, a Los Angeles-based ad agency that counts Hulu and Netflix among its clients.

Facebook also said that the device would include spatial audio instead of headphones.

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Alphabet Inc offers a rival headset, Google Daydream, that works with yet more smartphones.

The Oculus Go still supports the same lineup of games and VR experiences as its fully-fledged sibling, and it takes advantage of a small handheld controller that's virtually identical to Samsung's effort.

And now with the introduction of Oculus Go, Facebook might be a one step ahead in realizing its ambition. The Santa Cruz headset has been updated with more tracking sensors on its front face, though we have to take Oculus' word for it about how much that improves the device's tracking, since it hasn't really been demonstrated all that often in public just yet. What people mostly didn't like was that the $129 Gear VR had to be used along with a high-end Samsung smartphone.

About 16m head-mounted display devices were shipped in 2016, a number expected to rise to 22m this year, according to Gartner.

That's right, the Oculus Go is the company's first all-in-one VR headset, negating the need to awkwardly slide your smartphone in or out, or avoid tripping on bulky wires when in the virtual world.

Facebook has shaken up the Oculus management team since then in a series of moves that included the departure of its founder, Palmer Luckey, earlier this year.

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