Pre-Review : Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift in packaging Box
Oculus Rift in packaging Box

I was one of the luckier ones to score an Oculus Rift Development Kit.  Luckier because like a lot of KickStarter projects, this one had delays and there are many, many people who are still patiently waiting for their development unit.

 

Oculus Case comes wrapped in a plastic bag!
Oculus Case comes wrapped in a plastic bag!

I’ve spent many a time trying on various personal media glasses/3d glasses at Best Buy/Brookstones, and each time, the immersion effect is limited/requires active suspension of disbelief(similar to when watching an IMAX big screen – the picture looks great, but you are fully aware that you are sitting in a room looking into a screen and telling yourself that you are watching a movie).  The Oculus Rift puts the screen up close and overs wide FOV, so you don’t get the looking through a tunnel/floating screen in a dark room feel.  The headtracking portion of the Oculus Rift also adds a new level of immersion; while roaming around the Unity demo, I found that I would involuntarily twitch or move, and found the slight change in perspective really sold the illusion that I was standing in a fully populated 3D world.

 

This unfortunately, is one of those experiences where first-hand experience best describes the… ease.  traveling in the demo is not unlike controlling the camera with the mouse while using WASD keys to travel.  The fact that camera look is done via the actual head rotation works surprisingly well in convincing that you may, in fact, reside in the fantasy world.  That.  Is. Cool.

 

I will follow up with additional reviews, once I get more photos and scenarios to test this.  Right off the bat, Oculus Rift is light, portable and does it’s job surprisingly well.  It would be very well suited in flight sim/cockpit scenarios and various situations where you can’t move but can look around(e.g. roller coasters, vehicle rides, planetarium simulations etc)

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