A couple of days ago, we reported that the folks at Oculus Rift would have a new kit to show off at CES 2014, and sure enough they do. The company has taken off the wraps of their latest Oculus Rift kit which they have codenamed “Crystal Cove” for now. As you can see in the image above, the Crystal Cove kit remains a prototype for now, but it does come with some improvements and new features that may or may not make its way into the final product. So what sort of changes are we looking at? Well prior to Crystal Cove, wearers of the Oculus Rift had no problems turning their heads and the screen would turn with them as well.
However with Crystal Cove, what Oculus Rift has done is introduce position tracking. Thanks to an external camera that is able to track points on the headset, it will allow users more natural movement of their head, such as leaning forward, with the visuals in the headset following your head movement as well. Along with improved latency, the folks at Oculus Rift are hoping that this should reduce motion sickness. Speaking to Wired, the company’s CEO, Brendan Iribe said, “We still may change how it’s done, but we feel great about the positional tracking system. It’s been a year in the works, we’ve tried multiple different approaches, and this delivered the experience we were looking for.”
We have yet to try this out for ourselves so we can’t speak to Oculus Rift’s efforts, but based on those who have managed to take it for a spin, the results are largely positive. There’s still no word on when Oculus Rift will be made available commercially, but hopefully it won’t take too long because companies, such as Sony, are looking to compete with their own offerings.