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Oculus Rift

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset (VR headset) that is designed to connect to a high-powered PC to enable advanced computations and graphics rendering.

 

oculus rift inside

Oculus Rift VR headset

Oculus Rift features and specifications:
The system's Constellation positioning technology uses gaze tracking and IR LED sensors to identify the user's position while interacting with the virtual environment. Users can move freely within their physical environment, sitting, standing, walking, turning, ducking and dodging as they desire. An Xbox One controller provides familiar gaming functionality and the system’s Touch input devices enable left and right virtual hand control.

The headset has an OLED display with 2060 X 1200 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. Field of view (FOV) is 110 degrees and the tracking area is 5' by 11'. Sensors include accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. The system enables full 360-degree positional tracking.

The system does require a high-performance computer. Specifications recommended:

  • Video card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Video output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • USB ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Operating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

The history of Oculus Rift
The original prototype of Oculus Rift was created in 2011 by the (then) 18-year-old Palmer Luckey in his parents’ garage in Long Beach, California. John Carmack, founder of the pioneering 3D gaming company iD Software, took the prototype to the E3 videogame show. A year later, an HD (high-definition) version of the device reignited consumer interest in virtual reality. In the fall of 2012, Oculus raised over two million dollars through its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign – significantly more than the $250,000 the startup sought.  

Following the successful campaign, Luckey co-founded Oculus VR with Brendan Iribe. The company's headquarters are in Irvine, California. Facebook acquired Oculus VR for two billion dollars in July 2014.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Oculus VR's Chief Scientist Michael Abrash discuss the significance of virtual reality:

This was last updated in March 2016

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