Oculus Rift headset heading to mobiles

Oculus Rift headset heading to mobiles

The Oculus Rift headset is set to come to Android smartphones as well as gaming PCs, the company has announced.

Oculus Rift, the head-tracking three-dimensional virtual reality headset, is coming to mobiles with the company formally announcing that it will support Android smartphones with a special headset variant.

Announced back in 2012, Oculus Rift offers an immersive 3D environment for gamers using a head-mounted display system. Funded by $2.4 million from Kickstarter and private funding of another $14 million, the device is already available as a developer-centric model with plans afoot to release a consumer version with a higher resolution, streamlined design and lower cost.

The device won't be exclusive to PCs, however, with chief executive Brendan Iribe revealing plans to create a version specifically designed for smartphones, designed by the company's recently-appointed chief technology officer John Carmack of id Software fame.

Speaking during the GamesBeat conference this week, as reported by event organiser VentureBeat, Iribe explained his company's plan to launch a mobile Oculus Rift around the same time as the consumer PC version. 'We have some exciting plans on the mobile VR side as [well as] the PC VR side,' Iribe said. 'We’re really looking at hitting the consumer market. We’re very excited about what we’re seeing. [We were] sceptical about how good mobile VR could be on such a small platform, [but] it’s pretty incredible what [Carmack has] been able to do.'

The device, Iribe claimed, would be lighter and more compact than the existing developer units, and compatible with any smartphone running the Android operating system. Thus far, support for other platforms has not been announced, but Iribe did also suggest his company is investigating the possibility of extending Oculus Rift to include home theatre support.

Oculus Rift isn't the only company looking to combine virtual reality with smartphones, however: the somewhat unfortunately-named vrAse headset, which passes images from the smartphone's screen through a series of optics to create the 3D effect, recently raised £66,556 on Kickstarter to bring its own version of the technology to market.

Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus Rift creator Oculus VR, has clarified Iribe's statement at the event, claiming that the company plans to produce a single consumer-grade headset which will work on both PCs and smartphones. 'That is the plan [to add smartphone support to the consumer headset,]' Luckey posted to reddit. 'This [VentureBeat] article is wrong.'


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runadumb 30th October 2013, 11:34 Quote
When I first read about this I assumed it was a misquote from an Engadget interview with Carmack but it would appear not.I wonder what concessions they will make on the Headset and what the price difference will be between it and the "real" version.

Not that I really care, I'm just counting down the seconds until the higher res version comes out with fuller motion tracking. I don't care if its Dev kit 2.0 I will buy it in a heartbeat as the original rift blew my mind when I used it.

bawjaws 30th October 2013, 12:19 Quote
I'd be interested to see how this is going to work in practice - I'm not sure that I see the point of OR on smartphones, to be honest, nor do I see how it's going to work with touchscreen devices. I'd imagine that you'll need some sort of controller as I just can't see how it'd work otherwise.
edzieba 30th October 2013, 13:06 Quote
Venture beat have it totally ass-backwards, according to Palmer Luckey himself.
Gareth Halfacree 30th October 2013, 13:15 Quote
Originally Posted by edzieba
Venture beat have it totally ass-backwards, according to Palmer Luckey himself.
Ah, so there'll just be the one headset which will work on either PCs or smartphones. Makes sense - I've updated the article with that link. Cheers!
edzieba 30th October 2013, 13:41 Quote
Corky42 30th October 2013, 14:12 Quote
Say hello to the star trek holodeck, using the camera on your phone to augment reality.

LordPyrinc 30th October 2013, 16:01 Quote
I feel like a kid on a family road trip....

Is it here yet? How bout now? Now? How much longer?
Malketh 30th October 2013, 20:22 Quote
Having actually used the newer HD headets (EVE Valkyrie @ EveVegas) a couple of weeks ago, all I can do is cheer. More platforms = more fun (in theory).
Nexxo 30th October 2013, 20:56 Quote
I tried the very first VR headsets, back in 1996. They were essentially helmets that clamped over your head. The 3D graphics were simple and blocky, but there we went, stepping through the looking glass into a new universe where there was no there. Good times.... good times.
mr.Ironic 30th October 2013, 21:34 Quote
They seriously called it vrAse? And their t shirt is of a fist? And one of the supporting people has Gas in their name. What were they thinking.
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