Oculus Rift has a new, improved prototype – ‘Crystal Cove’


Oculus VR, the company behind the impressive (and crowdfunded) Oculus Rift, took to CES this year with a new prototype for their head-mounted virtual reality unit. The prototype, called ‘Crystal Cove’, has made a series of improvements to the initial design of the Oculus Rift by adding a new head tracking system and an improved OLED display.

As can be seen in the image of Crystal Cove (left), the head-tracking setup makes use of several white dots on the outside of the headset. The dots contain infrared LEDs which can be seen by the camera used by the prototype, allowing the VR unit to more accurately track the user’s head position. This leads to things like the Oculus Rift being able to zoom forward when a user leans forward, thanks to the improved accuracy, and reports say that the user’s virtual environment will remain static as the user moves about rather than following them. You’d actually be able to move around a virtual object with the point of view updating according to how your head is positioned, though the prototype is designed for use while the user is seated at the moment.

The OLED display has been updated from an LCD, with the effect of reducing motion blur when moving around in a virtual environment. The HD display updates faster than previous screens, eliminating some instances of nausea which can arise from attempting to interact with virtual reality.

The updates seem to be rather minimal but reports as to how effective the changes are indicate that these relatively small changes have some rather large effects. Crystal Cove certainly seems to be impressing people all over the place, going as far as being awarded Engadget’s Best of CES 2014 accolade. Now we just need to see what developers do with the updated Oculus Rift when it becomes more widely available.

Source: Ars Technica


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