The Oculus Rift is a VR (Virtual Reality) headset developed and manufactured by Oculus VR, a technology company which launched the device as a research project. They later launched Oculus Touch. Now Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch are owned by Facebook Inc.
When Oculus Rift was launched back in March 2016, it was delivered to us prematurely. The Oculus Touch controllers weren’t with it and Oculus hadn’t yet figured out how to do full room-scale VR. Since then it has been righted the both wrongs and has taken its first steps to fulfilling our Star Trek HoloDeck fantasies.
Let’s analyze Oculus Rift VR:
The Rift has a stereoscopic OLED display, 1080×1200 resolution per eye, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and 110° fields of view.
It has integrated headphones in a way that it provides a 3D audio effect. Oculus Rift also has a rotational and positional tracking system, called “Constellation”. It is performed by a USB stationary infrared sensor which is picking up light emitted by IR LEDs that is integrated into the head-mounted display.
The sensor normally sits on the user’s desk. This creates 3D space, allowing for the user to use the Rift while sitting, standing, or walking around the same room.
Oculus Rift requires a wired connection to a PC in order to have enough power to drive two 1080×1200 resolution images to each lens inside the headset. It can’t just be any old PC. You’re going to need a top of the line gaming PC to enjoy everything the Rift has to offer.
Oculus Touch: The Controller
A motion controller system known as Oculus Touch is now available for Oculus Rift.
They consist of a pair of handheld units for the left and right hand, each containing a joystick, buttons, and two triggers – one for grabbing and one for shooting or firing. The controllers are fully tracked in 3D space by the Constellation system.
Oculus Touch also features a system for detecting finger gestures. Oculus Touch was not included with the Oculus Rift headset on its launch, and now it is sold as a separate accessory.
The contoured controllers fit firmly in the palm, guiding your forefinger over a springy trigger and curling the rest of your fingers around a large lower grip button that depresses when you make a fist. An invisible panel on one side slides off to reveal a single AA battery for each controller.
This grip provides something that VR has sorely needed: a button obviously dedicated to picking things up. Most non-Touch games make do with clicking a trigger, which is serviceable. Closing your fingers around the Touch grip clearly evokes the feeling of grabbing an object, while leaving your trigger finger free for other interactions.
Overall the Touch strikes a great balance between being full-featured and streamlined. It doesn’t load you down with inputs, but you’re not left grasping for options that aren’t there. It won’t reflect your hands perfectly, but it stylizes them in a way that feels intuitively correct.
Oculus Rift with the Oculus Touch controllers gives us very good reason to be optimistic about the future of virtual reality.
How the Oculus Rift works
VR is all about fooling our senses into seeing something that is not out there. Imagine standing on the ledge of a 100-story building.
Imagine looking down to the street below you. Imagine the tightening of your stomach and the sense of dread that you might, at any second, fall to your demise.
Now imagine taking one step forward. You’re falling and the world is whirling before you. You’re petrified. But you also feel alive. The second right before you hit the ground is the worst. On that time your brain is actually prepared for the moment by dumping adrenaline into your system as a mild painkiller.
But while all this is happening, you haven’t actually moved. You’ve been sitting in a chair in your own home, staring at the screen. Your biometrics has changed, but, geographically speaking, you’re exactly where you were 10 minutes ago.So this is how it feels in a virtual reality.
It gives the experience of being somewhere else in a different time, different place all without ever leaving your home. And all of these things you can enjoy by wearing an Oculus Rift.
So this is how it feels in a virtual reality. It gives the experience of being somewhere else in a different time, different place all without ever leaving your home. And all of these things you can enjoy by wearing an Oculus Rift.
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Preloaded Games & Apps
Gaming is an obvious virtual reality application. Oculus is preloaded with Superhot, Robo Recall, Dead & Buried, VR Sports Challenge, Final Approach and many more games.
There are also two lovely art-creation apps. One is ‘Medium’, where you sculpt 3D designs with the Touch controls and another is ‘Quills’, a 3D paint/drawing app.