Who needs a life when you can live in a VR world completely untethered from reality? Well that’s basically the gist from the Oculus/Facebook show this week.
There has been a lot of noise being made out of the West Coast as Oculus hosted its third Connect event – suitably named OC3. OC3 brought together 3,000 VR geeks – though how many of those are Facebook employees wasn’t disclosed. In short, it did lots of stuff to get everyone frothed up into a foamy lather of excitement.
Firstly, Oculus was proud to announce it has finally caught up with the HTC Vive by developing some handy controllers for its headset. The simplistically-titled “Touch” controllers essentially bring tactility and greater interaction with one’s virtual surroundings.
But, far more interestingly and significant for the future development of VR is the mysteriously-titled “Santa Cruz Prototype”. And that’s exactly what it is at this point, a prototype. But it’s an exciting one nonetheless, since it is looking likely to be the first self-contained, cordless VR system which doesn’t rely on an external console or device powering it. If it turns out to be good, that’s a big deal.
Oculus/Facebook/whichever is also making a point of pushing further into the mobile ecosystem for VR development. It announced an expanded mobile SDK so developers will be more enabled in bringing their titles to the Gear VR.
And finally it’s doing its best to get people to detach themselves from reality then socialise with their real life friends. Virtually. It seems a bit paradoxical but Oculus Parties is intended to let users start a voice call with up to eight people from anywhere, all in Virtual Reality. TBF it might start getting tricky trying to identify your mates when everyone looks like Cyclops from X-Men.