I Wore The New Oculus Rift And I Never Want To Look At Real Life Again

So the Oculus Rift is fantastic. If you've used it in its original incarnation, you know that it's incredible. It's virtual reality done better than you've ever seen it before. It's revolutionary. And it's nothing compared to what's coming next. I mean Oh. My. God.

Dubbed Crystal Cove, the newest model of Oculus isn't meant for consumers. It's also not just the 1080p upgrade that's been floating around (though it does have a glorious 1080p panel). It's a lot more than that.

There are two main upgrades here, the first of which is "positional tracking." Previous models of the Oculus treated your head like it was affixed to a stick in the ground. A rolling, pitching, yawing brain-box with a body that couldn't move. No more. Thanks to an external camera, the Oculus can now grok the motion of your entire upper body. This means you can lean in to get a closer look at control panels, or lean to the side to peak around a corner.

I Wore the New Oculus Rift and I Never Want to Look at Real Life Again

This, on its own, is freaking incredible. You're not just observing a virtual world, you're immersed in it. There's a table in front of you, there's a world around you. I played a simple tower defence game demo built in Unreal Engine Four and I couldn't help but reach out and try to grab the stupid little goblins because they were right there. RIGHT THERE!

But it's not just positional tracking. Crystal Cove also has a screen technology called "low persistence" that helps make the whole experience better and less nauseariffic. In the Oculus Rift dev kit models, swinging your head around caused pretty serious motion blur motion blur. As you'd turn your head, you'd bring with you a whole screen of outdated data and its travel across the screen would blur everything out. Basically, reading text was damn near impossible.

With low persistence, this smearing is gone, because instead, the display only lights up when it has good data, and imperceptibly fades to black when it doesn't. In short, there's no more motion blur.

I Wore the New Oculus Rift and I Never Want to Look at Real Life Again

All the technical mumble jumbo in the world can't encapsulate the utter amazingness of this device. The squeal-demanding, face-melting, mind-bending, soul-rending miraculousness of the experience. It's just…. oh my god you guys. I really did not want to ever take it off. Even the simple tech demoes I played — the aforementioned tower defence thingy, and an INCREDIBLE space-flight sim — would have been enough to hold my attention for days.

I piloted a space fighter and got shot out of a tunnel and I did a loop and my stomach dropped because it felt that real.

And this isn't even the consumer model yet! Granted there are still more kinks to iron out; the 1080 panels are great, but you still get a little bit of that "I'm looking through a screen door" effect, which is less than ideal. And sometimes objects appear fuzzy at the edge of your field of view. There's a little room for improvement.

But if the original Oculus was a proof of concept, this model is proof that the concept is genius. There's zero doubt in my mind that when the final version of this device comes out it is going to change the world. For me, today, already has.


Comments

    dammit hurry up and just take my money, all this teasing is killing me!

    God we live in a cool time. Best start saving my money now.

    This is a game changer, can't wait !!!

    And their creators then moved into homes made of pure gold.

    Iribe: But the house is sinking into the ground
    Carmac: SHUT UP! MONEY FIXES EVERYTHING

    Just waiting for this + Star Citizen and all my dreams will come true.

      Yeah it should look pretty sweet in Star Citizen. The new Elite is also going to support the Rift ... bring it on :)

    by the time they finally get a consumer model out for everyone, I'll be long over it I think. The time it takes to get to market on these products is becoming an issue. Yes it should be perfect... but its a bit irrelevant how good it is if no one can buy one (and yes I know there are dev kits).

    Stop saying 'grok' in articles as if it's some kind of word that is appropriate to use in a journalistic setting. It is some bullshit invented word which is not in the common vernacular, and leaves many readers with no idea what you're actually trying to say. I shouldn't have to Google a word in order to decode your writing. You're a journalist, supposedly. Speak in proper English.

      "...the Oculus can now GREP the motion of your entire upper body." Better?

        Now you're separating us into the grep faction, and the sed faction. I sense a war coming.

      You mean like "Mumble Jumbo"?

        Don't you mean "mumbo jumbo"?

          Anyone remember a character called Mojumbo?

      When shakespeare couldn't find a word he invented them.
      All of these words are 'invented' somewhere along the line.
      Pull your head out and learn to evolve.

      Read more books, and then you won't need it explained. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Grok is also in the Oxford English Dictionary.

      I'm sorry, you can't define "the common vernacular" as only the words you know. I for one love reading new words, because it widens my vocabulary while demonstrating a context for the new word. There are plenty of words far newer than grok, which caught on in the 1960s.

      I encountered and learned the verb 'grok' in a student newspaper quite some years before you were born. Perhaps you should learn more of your own developing ever evolving language.

    It's not the authors fault you have an inadequate vocabulary and/or have insufficient intellectual curiosity. If it's good enough for the OED and Websters it's good enough for Gizmodo.

    It is proper English, and while it may not be familiar to arrogant ill-mannered clods like you, it's certainly not horribly obscure.

    Grok was first coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his 1960's classic novel Stranger In A Strange Land, he wanted a new word to describe achieving a full understanding of something, so he made one up.

    Heinlein was infinitely more familiar and competent with the English language that you could hope to be, if he decided a new word was needed, I'll take his word for it over a braying jackass like you.

    Next time, if you're tempted to parade your ignorance, you might want to think twice, lest people think your a fool

    Ooops, too late.

      You could have made your point without lacing your entire post with personal attacks. Resorting to insults only puts you at the same level of poor form as he was.

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