Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift Uncensored : The Technology Behind Virtual Reality’s Headset

Oculus Rift Consumer Version 1

In another article, I’ve explained the basic concept behind virtual reality. This time though, I’m back to explain the details hiding behind this technological marvel called Oculus Rift.

For some, Oculus Rift is just a headset that when connected to your PC you can start having VR experiences like playing games, or seeing movies. However, it’s more complicated than that.

The first thing that comes to play is the creation of stereoscopic 3D environments. Oculus Rift it’s pretty impressive even without adding fully functional, expertly realized 3D environments. A complicated process, even in the 2D world of monitor gaming, creating games that are capable of virtual reality experiences it’s a drag. The basic concept behind those games is this: imagine seeing the same picture in two screens, only that one of the two parts comes from a different angle.

If this happens, then you have the same effect that we notice in our 3D movies. However, this little trick means one thing: traditional methods like motion blur, have to stop. In 3D environments, blurring the picture would mean instant motion sickness, and thus practically destroying your experience in the virtual world.

The next best part of the headset is its cable. A lightweight, 10-feet-long cable sending video to Oculus Rift via HDMI, with an optional DVI adapter for laptops and newer graphics cards. Moreover, it includes USB and USB port, making it a fully fledged machine for every esteemed player.

A new part of Oculus Rift “consumer version” will be the positional tracker. A small pole looking like a microphone is the latest addition to Oculus Rift’s positional technology, making it even easier for your PC to track your head’s position in the 3D space. A slick, distinctive design makes it seem natural even in the middle of your desk.

And then we move to the main body of Oculus Rift: the headset. This is where the magic happens. A wearable gadget that includes a single custom motherboard, an ARM processor and control chips for the LEDs. It’s comfortable and the “consumer version” is designed to accommodate every kind of user, even those who wear glasses and don’t feel comfortable wearing contact lenses. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and overall designed to feel natural.

But, when we get even deeper in the technology behind Oculus Rift headset, we meet the “Adjacent Reality Tracker”, a part that was developed independently of the Oculus Rift and has become a key component to the whole design. This tracker includes a magnetometer, a gyroscope and an accelerometer, meaning that it’s the perfect tool to accurately track the user’s position in the three-dimensional space.
We don’t end here, though. The screen is another great part of Oculus Rift. Using the same technology that smartphones use nowadays to squeeze as many pixels as possible to a really small screen, it is said that the “consumer version” will have 100-degree horizontal degree of view, total resolution of 2160×1200 and refresh rate even higher than Oculus Rift Development Kit 2, which was 60 Hz.

Closing to the end, what would virtual reality be without the Head-Related Transfer Function(HRTF) tech. To explain, by the time Oculus Rift launches, the headset will also come with a pair of headphones that will able to track “the changes of a sound when it reaches your head from a point in space”, as the company said. It’s a neat effect, making the immersion to a virtual reality even deeper.

So, there we go then. After an intensive cataloging of the technologies hiding behind that closed case of Oculus Rift, those features are the reason behind why you’ll be able to have virtual reality experiences in the recent future. In the end, all that matters, is that you can get on the headset and have the best possible experience, even if that means you’ll have to be stranded in your chair before you screen.

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