Oculus Rift and VR Technology
Date added: 12/21/2015
by Jon

There's always the 'Next Big Thing' when it comes to technology. Even if you just bought the very latest that's available, there's always something new around the corner. Interestingly, while consumers are making the transition into 4K technology with increasingly frequency this year, the 'Next Big Thing' may just be able to co-exist alongside it rather than serve as a direct competitor.
Oculus Rift and VR Technology
Referred to as the "Rift," it's a virtual reality headset designed specifically for consumers by Oculus VR. Having first launched in 2012 after securing funding from a Kickstarter campaign, Oculus VR has continued to develop their virtual reality technology as they forge towards the consumer market. Tech companies have certainly taken note of it as well, which culminated with Facebook purchasing the company in July of 2014 for a whooping $2 billion.

What Makes Oculus Rift Different?

Virtual reality as a technology is nothing new, as it's been around during the last few decades of the 20th century. The difference with Oculus Rift is that it's the first virtual reality headset that is trying to be mainstream in nature. In the past, virtual reality was only for an extremely niche market. Currently, it still is, since it's mainly been relegated to exhibitions, military simulation programs, and in special arcade games.

But that's all about to change. Oculus VR has big plans for the Rift and have worked hard to establish relationships with Epic Games, Valve, and numerous other video-game companies. Even Nokia is creating a camera that will allow the user to capture VR video.

The Launch of the Rift

Oculus VR plans on releasing the Rift in the first part of 2016, and consumers will be able to pre-order it at some point this fall.

Considering that it's a new technology, it's expected to retail for around $500. However, Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus VR, has stated that the "full experience" will cost upwards of $1,500 because of the need for a high-end computer. It will include a 2,160 v 1,200 OLED screen, built-in headphones, a black frame for comfort, and a special camera on a stand to track the user's movements, similar to Xbox Kinect.

Competition is on the Way

While the Rift has the head start, public hype, and important partnerships already established, that's not stopping others from trying to get in on the gamble on virtual reality. Sony, so as to not lose any ground to Microsoft's Xbox One, is working on Project Morpheus, which is their own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4. On the PC gaming side of things, Valve and HTC have joined forces to create the HTC Vive.

Porn Once Again Will Be a Deciding Factor

The porn industry has always been one of the innovators and early adopters of new technology, even when it hasn't yet been fully adopted by consumers. Their role in deciding the VHS vs. Betamax war in the 1980s is legendary. Will this time be the same?

Porn producers, including major companies such as VirtualRealPorn and Naughty America, have already or are in the process of developing content specifically for the Oculus Rift. Time will tell if they also develop content for the Rift's competitors, but it'll be interesting to see if it makes a difference in which VR headset ultimately wins out.

One thing's for sure. Virtual reality is about to enter the mainstream in a big way.


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