Oculus has been working on a full-fledged standalone virtual reality headset for quite some time now. It unveiled the project called Santa Cruz at its developer conference last year. The idea behind this headset is to bring the magic of a PC VR experience to a headset that doesn’t need to be tethered to a PC. The company today unveiled an improved Santa Cruz prototype with a new design and new controllers.
The Santa Cruz standalone headset should not be confused with another standalone headset that the company unveiled today. The Oculus Go is more for the casual VR user, it costs $199 and will be out next year.
The Santa Cruz’s first prototype had a full-blown mobile computer strapped to the back of the head. The design has come a long way since then. It actually looks quite similar to the existing Rift headset from Oculus.
There are new sensors on the face of the headset that enable the new Touch motion controllers to deliver hand presence in a completely standalone experience. The headset is capable of inside-out tracking without requiring any external sensors, cameras or a PC for it to be plugged in to.
Oculus says that there is still a lot of work to be done before this product is ready so we’ll have to wait a while before Oculus eventually delivers a proper standalone VR headset. It’s going to ship the developer version of the Santa Cruz next year.