Facebook Unveils Oculus Go headset for VR

Andre Parker October 12, 2017
Facebook Unveils Oculus Go headset for VR

Facebook Inc’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that the social media giant is launching a new virtual reality headset designed to extend the reach of the company’s Oculus technology.

The virtual reality headset, named Oculos Go, will not be required to connect with a smartphone or a tethering cord to a personal computer, unlike its predecessor Oculus Rift or its rival Vive, which was made by HTC.

“I am more committed than ever to the future of virtual reality,” said Zuckerberg to a bunch of computer programmers in San Jose, California at Oculus’ annual conference.

“It’s awesome for watching movies or concerts, playing games, or just hanging out with your friends in VR,” said Oculus a blog post introducing Oculus Go .

According to the post, the headset is “super lightweight,” with a soft and breathable fabric for the facial interface.

“This all-in-one device makes VR more accessible than ever and represent a huge leap forward in comfort, visual clarity, and ease-of-use,” added Oculus.

The stand-alone headset’s price will start at $199 and will start shipping next year, a bit behind this year’s holiday plunge. Oculus Go’s price is quite a drop from Rift’s $599 price tag. Rift also required a certain kind of computer costing at least $500 in order to enable the virtual reality experience and games.

Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner Research Company, said that Facebook makes the transfer to VR “as easy and inexpensive as possible,” describing the $199 price tag as a cheap entry to the VR world. However, he also said, “The problem is you will be spending that money on a device that only does VR and nothing else.”

Blau inferred that the Go will be using an Android operating system to power it, since it will be able to run the same kind of virtual reality as Samsung Gear, which is Samsung bet on the VR space that costs $129. Blau said that the Go will probably include similar processors as phones made by Samsung.

Among other rivals in the still quite niche market is Google’s Daydream View, which costs $99 and requires a smartphone. Google has said that it plans to release its own stand-alone headset, although no specific details have been released yet.

A Visit to Puerto Rico

A couple of days ago, a cartoon version of Zuckerberg visited Puerto Rico, which has been recently damaged by a strong hurricane. It was via a livestream projected as disaster tourism and product promotion fused in one.

He and Rachel Franklin, who is Facebook’s head of social virtual reality, were transfigured into avatars and were “teleported” to different places using Facebook’s Spaces tool, while they were actually in their Menlo Park office.

However, a number of people criticized that said activity, causing the chief executive to apologize.

“One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy. My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness and help us see what’s happening in different parts of the world,” he said.

He also added that his intentions were to publicize his company’s partnership with the Red Cross in creating population maps that can help and be used by rescue workers.

“Reading some of the comments, I realize this wasn’t clear, and I’m sorry to anyone this offended,” said Zuckerberg.

The social media giant has heavily invested in the VR industry hoping that the tech will eventually taper away from the niche interest to a wider consumer interest used in gaming, communication, and business applications.

Although the social media giant has other issues at hand, like the Russian-bought ads and Trump's recent attack against the company, it is apparently also focused on developing in the virtual reality space. On Wednesday, the company stated that it was going to release technologies to build better, customized facial images or avatars.


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Andre Parker

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