The Oculus Rift is a next gen virtual reality headset that once again started as a project on Kickstarter. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this project is its funding from Valve, who are working their butts off to get us some Oculus Ready games. Currently Team Fortress 2 is being updated with a Free VR Mode specifically designed for the Rift. With a company as experienced as Valve behind you it’s hard to imagine that the Oculus Rift wouldn’t be awesome. We could start seeing some incredible immersive action (Portal 3 VR anybody?) in an affordable headset.
It is speculated that the consumer version of the Rift will be launching in time for Christmas – whether it’s a present or not I’ll certainly be near the front of the queue to get my hands on one of these. There have been several attempts over the years to create something like this. Vuzix created their range of fairly well received video glasses, but they never felt quite finished.
With the attention Oculus is getting as well as their funding, hopefully Oculus will be able to create a polished beautiful and functional product for us all to enjoy. The Rift differs from other 3D headsets in that it’s not just another virtually projected silver screen. The Rift is designed to engulf you in your gaming and really make you feel like you’re inside of the game as opposed to just spectating from outside. On top of this the Rift has an “immersive stereoscopic 3D” with a “massive field of view” and advanced head-tracking technology.
Excited? You should be, because the Rift isn’t some small-time garage project, it’s got the support of top-name game developers such as id Software’s John Carmack, Valve’s Gabe Newell, Epic’s Cliff Blezinksi as well as executives from Gaikai and Unity. Join this together with Leap Motion and you’ll have a fully functional AR system.