Archive for the ‘Virtual Worlds’ Category
By Sarah Howell
Since rumors of its existence the Oculus Rift has captured the attention of many. Since its conception – which is the very nature of the thing – the Oculus Rift, also called Oculus or Rift, is a virtual reality head-mounted display developed by Oculus VR, an American virtual reality technology company founded by Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe. It originated as an independent company, raising US$2.4 million for the Rift’s development, before they were acquired by Facebook in March 2014 for roughly US$2 billion in cash.
The Rift began when Luckey developed the idea of creating a new, better, head-mounted display that was both more effective than current models and more affordable. Luckily, John Carmack had been doing his own research into the idea and stumbled upon Luckey’s ideas and developments.
In 2012, days before Id Software announced that their updated version of Doom 3 would be compatible with head-mounted devices, Luckey’s first prototype was shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It was a duct-taped, head-mount unit that featured a high speed IMU, 5.6-inch (14 cm) LCD display with dual lenses positioned over the eyes to provide a 90 degree horizontal and 110 degree vertical stereoscopic 3D perspective. The headphones will use HRTF audio, to mirror a 3D environment more effectively.
The consumer version of the Rift is projected to be released Q1 2016, next year. Developers promise that improved tracking system, adjusted seating and standing perspective and software updates will make it more realistic. Development kits have been released to game developers, keeping them up-to-date with the software advances. Even though a hefty price tag, US$1,500, is all but promised on the first consumer VR versions, it is likely that virtual and augmented reality will become a part of our daily lives.
Sarah Howell is a 25-year-old graduate with a Bachelor’s of Art and Science degrees in Entertainment Design and Game Design and Development, as well as a minor in writing. She is skilled in story creation, management, 3D modeling and multimedia design.