Virtual Reality (VR) first appeared back in the 80s, but it wasn’t very good and the fad didn’t last long. But a few years ago, it came back with a vengeance with the launch of the Oculus Rift in 2016, which is paving the way for the future of VR.
After being bought by Facebook, Oculus became one of the leaders in VR. Other headsets came along from Sony and HTC, and it looked like VR was making a serious comeback.
Fast forward a few years, and VR is still a very niche market. While nearly everyone has their own smartphone these days, very few people have their own VR device.
But that could all change with the arrival of a new VR headset from Oculus.
The Problem with VR
The problem so far with VR is that it is not exactly convenient. To enjoy the real VR experience, you need not only a headset and controllers but a powerful PC – and that’s a big investment. Being tethered to the PC via wires also restricts movement.
All this affects the future of VR by preventing it from going mainstream in the way that it was intended to, even though the experiences provided by modern-day VR are incredible.
And this is where the Oculus Quest could change everything.
Oculus Quest: Taking VR Mobile
The Oculus Quest, announced just a few weeks ago, has been given a 2019 launch date in the USA. This headset-only device contains everything you need inside the headset so there is no need for a computer. Many are saying it is the future of VR.
This is not the first headset-only device. The wallet-friendly Oculus Go came out a short while ago, but it was a fairly basic device. The Quest, however, provides a full VR experience, thanks to its 6 Degrees of Freedom.
6 Degrees of Freedom
One of the big advances with the Quest is the Degrees of Freedom, or DoF. The cheaper Oculus Go has 3-DoF tracking, while the Oculus Rift, with its need for a powerful computer, has 6-DoF tracking. This allows the user to move around the environment freely.
The Oculus Quest provides the same 6-DoF tracking, but it also gets rid of the need for a computer. In short, it is the VR experience everyone has been waiting for.
The Quest’s four cameras provide it with positional tracking so you can walk through a virtual environment, and this is something the Oculus Go does not have. This provides you with much greater freedom, and it can track you over very large areas. It also has motion controllers like the Oculus Touch.
But the real significance of the Quest is what it means for VR in general. For the first time, you will be able to go to the shop and pick up a VR headset, take it home and start enjoying an amazing experience with no expensive computer required.
As a result, the Oculus is expected to ship as many as one million units during 2019, and the Quest is expected to vastly outsell Oculus Rift.
Is This the Future of VR?
The Oculus Quest shows us just how fast the technology is progressing, and it gives us a taste of the future of VR. When we see what VR is capable of already, it’s a lot easier to start thinking about the future of VR and how it will affect our lives. VR technology is only going to get better from here, and its impact will be huge.