At the Oculus Connect keynote last night, Mark Zuckerberg revealed a new Oculus VR headset in a short video. The prototype seems to be nestled in the gap between the smartphone powered Gear VR and the full Oculus Rift.
The new headset takes some of the strengths of both headsets. It’s a wireless, standalone device that’s capable of inside-out tracking — which uses a camera inside the headset to track your position, unlike the positional tracking currently used by the Oculus Rift which currently requires a separate camera.
While Zuckerburg was quick to point out "It’s still early" before showing the video, he also mentioned that they have a demo, just not a proper product yet. He also mentioned that while inside-out positional tracking was hard, "one of the toughest problems in computer science", but that they’re making progress on solving the problem and providing tracking that can locate you to within a millimetre.
The new headset seems to fit with some ideas Zuckerberg floated for the future of VR. He mentioned wanting virtual reality hardware that’s smaller, capable of VR and AR and can do eye and hand tracking. We’ll find out more about the headset in the coming months.
Elsewhere during the event, the price and shipping date for Oculus’s Touch controllers has been revealed. Oculus will be taking pre-orders later this month, with units going out in volume by December 6th. The touch controls will be shipping for $199, with no UK price yet revealed.
Oculus attracted significant criticism over their handling of Oculus Rift pre-orders, so will undoubtedly be hoping this process goes smoother. Oculus have long been championing its Touch controllers as the true Oculus experience, and this brings it in line with the HTC Vive in terms of features, but the price could be a bitter pill for some to swallow.