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Oculus Rift Explained and Virtual Reality Game Demos For Non-Gamers

Oculus Rift Explained and Virtual Reality Demos

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift

Ok, I want to talk about the amazing Oculus Rift. I am going to talk about it in a few ways. First the headset, then explain the motion tracking system and then finally the content I demoed at the Computer Game Developers Conference.

1. The headset or head mounted display. The Oculus rift uses an Oled screen for beautiful picture quality. The screens are stereoscopic. Each screen has a resolution of 1080 ×1200 pixels for each eye. The headset has good headphones for sound.

2. The headset comes with a kit that includes a game controller and a sensor tracker which is sometimes called a tracking camera (not an accurate name for it). This uses infrared technology. The tracking sensor emits a cone shape field. The headset is lined with infrared sensors in 360 degrees to track your head movement. The tracking sensor picks this up. This means that the best Virtual Reality experience is within the cone field. Tracking all this movement and refreshing your headset with the visuals is data intensive. You need a strong PC to use the Oculus Rift. It is a tethered experience and there are wires. You have to be careful not to get tangled in the wires when you are immersed.

I can't speak on the game controller because I am not a big gamer, but I understand Xbox is very good.

3. I am not a big gamer. I am huge advocate of Virtual Reality, I am going to make another video with my visions and predictions on other uses then gaming, but hallejulah for gamers as the early adopters making this happen. I am going to show you my experiences demoing Oculus Rift.

Eve: Valkyrie. A futuristic game in which you are riding in a space ship. This is a good technique for story telling with Virtual Reality. if you do not have a fixed location it can be disorienting, you could get motion sickness and you could get displaced without a sense of space. Valkyrie is a beautiful experience. You are supposed to shoot things, but I just toured my spaceship around and looked at the view. I had the ephiphany after this game, that there is a lot of us out there who might just want more of that kind of experience, just to explore. I personally found that I was profoundly relaxed after this demo and I think a few minutes a day doing this would be terrific a way to meditate. Not this game per se, but Virtual Reality for relaxation.

Oculus Rift is set to release Hand Controllers. They call It “touch”. So, if you think back to what I said about the camera tracking sensor emitting about a 15 foot cone shape field, it becomes more important to stay in the sweet spot with the hand controllers.

In the video I ungracefully fall into the subway tracks. I get out of the cone of the infrared sensors and the game starts to fall apart and not function. The demo person had to guide me back into game play, (Remember my eyes are covered) back up out of the subway and into the sweet spot of the sensors.

This may not be a must have for your household right now, but I can see this as a feature for a lot of households in the future. Imagine being about to chose from a huge library of experiences and having this as a pastime. In theory this is better then passive couch bound tv watching. As far as it being addicting, yes, I would say so.

In Bullet Train you have to shoot enemies to survive. In the end there is an alien ship or something in the sky and you are supposed to catch what he is launching at you and throw them back to blow him up. I can not throw. I found myself ducking behind things and I hid behind virtual walls of the subway train. I really got into the experience.

I can not show you what it is like visually, you are going to have to try it yourself and it is worth it. Screen shots don't do it.

I don’t feel like there is a vast library of titles available just yet that would suit what I would want from a VR set up, so this is not on my current buy list. As soon as there are more experiences perhaps of the educational variety, I want one. But for anyone who is a gamer, this is the creme de la creme. I don’t want to shoot things or blow them up, but I do want to explore worlds, perhaps practice tennis or other sports, flight simulation and I would be very excited about experiencing Cinematic VR that you could explore. Travel things like that. There is also the future of social experiences in VR in which you meet other people in virtual worlds. I’ve seen this before in VR 1.0 back in the 90’s. It did not work out then due to supporting technology, but I am hopeful for it now. It is an interesting and viable idea.

Oculus Rift is great and I am glad it is finally here.

Virtual Rides are going to be big. There are already 24 Virtual Roller Coasters. Nexperience uses a motion simulator on a platform used in conjunction with Oculus Rift. I did not try it but I asked a few people how it was and they said it was awesome.

So there you are. There is a lot of excitement about the launch of Oculus Rift because this is just the beginning.

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