Oculus is a young company that is working on what everyone else has given up on: a great consumer-level virtual reality headset. It was a huge trend in the 90s, but hardware and software developers ultimately bumped on two walls: 1/ the field of vision was too narrow to be truly immersive 2/ the latency between the head movement and the screen response was too low, and could induce sickness (your brain is used to immediate visual response when you move your head). At the time, this couldn’t be solved – even with throwing money at the problem, and ultimately, even the Pentagon gave up. [Video in the full post]
Oculus claims that it has (somewhat) solved both problems with its Oculus Rift headset. First, Oculus uses a 110 degrees field of view and a lower latency head tracking, thanks to the progress made in motion sensors. Also, the larger field of view probably helps reducing the head motion as well. The cool thing with Oculus is that it has two screens (one for each eye), so it is inherently in stereo 3D.
The Oculus team’s work is so good that top developer John Carmack who created Doom and Quake says that it is “the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen” during the last E3. Oculus is a Kickstarter project and at the moment, their goal is to raise enough money to build development kits. From the developer feedback, they hope to refine and make a great consumer product.