Facebook Introduces Another Oculus Virtual Reality Headset
Facebook has introduced another virtual reality headset.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that the social network would release its new Oculus Go virtual reality headset next year, marking a major expansion to the company’s lineup of VR gear.
Unlike Facebook’s high-end Oculus Rift headset that requires a personal computer to operate, the new Go headset works on its own without being tethered to another device.
The Go headset is part of Zuckerberg’s plans to “get 1 billion people in virtual reality,” although the CEO did not give a date when that would happen. He also did not give a specific date when Facebook plans to sell the Go headset in 2018.
The new headset will cost $200 compared to $400 for the Rift.
Speaking at Facebook’s annual Oculus Connect developer conference in San Jose on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the new Go headset represents the “sweet spot in the middle” between expensive PC-based VR headsets and their smartphone-powered counterparts.
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The Go headset comes with cameras embedded in the headset that will let the device accurately track a person’s movements, making it unnecessary to place cameras around the room. Such a setup is required for the Rift and rival HTC Vive. This so-called inside out tracking feature is becoming standard in recent competing headsets from hardware makers like HP, Inc. (HPQ), Dell Technologies, and Samsung’s new HMD Odyssey VR headset. Those headsets sold by HP, Dell, and others, however, require personal computers to operate.
The new headset will also come with motion controllers that will let people pick up and interact with digital objects in virtual worlds, Zuckerberg said.
Facebook’s (FB) head of Oculus Hugo Barra bragged about the Go’s size, saying it is “super lightweight, despite its all-in-one full mobile computer.”
A developer version of the new Go will ship to coders in November, Barra said.
Facebook is also a partner with Samsung on yet another virtual reality headset, the Samsung Gear VR. Facebook provides the software while Samsung builds the hardware for the device, which costs $130 and must be tethered to an Android-based smartphone to operate.