New Equipment: Oculus Rift (CV1)

The DiVE is on top of the latest virtual reality gadgets and gizmos. Earlier this year, Oculus released the newest head-mounted virtual reality display: the Oculus Rift (CV1). We are so excited to announce that we have acquired the Rift!

Contrast to the DiVE’s 6-sided, CAVE-type system, virtual reality head mounted displays do not allow one to directly see one’s hands and body while in the virtual world, which leads to a slightly disembodied experience. However, this does provide interesting opportunities for alternative embodiment (e.g. you could look down and see a dragon body and dragon wings!). Oculus Rift (CV1)

The Oculus Rift (CV1) comes with four different pieces: a position tracker, a headset, an Xbox remote, and an integrated audio system. The position tracker looks like a classy microphone. It embodies the Constellation Tracking System. This system monitors infrared LEDs in the headset. The presence of LEDs on both the front and the back of the headset provides a 360 degree experience.

The headset is light and adjustable. The two lenses magnify the screen to eliminate blurriness. The Adjacent Reality Tracker is a key part of the headset. It is what enables the system to take into account the many small movements of the head and adjust the program accordingly. There are two displays in the headset and they run at a high resolution of 2160 x 1200.

The Rift’s audio system provides an immersive sonic experience; sound seems to come from all directions. It does this through the combination of the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) and the Oculus’ head tracking. The HRTF has data references data pointing to changes in sound coming from different directions. The result is a smooth and immersive sound system. Detachable headphones come with the headset in order to provide the user with the option of using his or her own headphones if desired.

Oculus’ partnership with Microsoft has enabled Oculus to provide an Xbox One controller with every Rift. The controller adds an interactive component to the virtual reality experience, enabling the user to play a part in the world.

Compatibility with Windows 10 is built into the Rift. This compatibility enables developers to create new worlds through the Microsoft system. Doing this requires computers that meet a list of requirements. They must be Oculus ready.

The DiVE is very excited for the research and education opportunities that the Oculus Rift (CV1) will enable. We also are enjoying exploring the new technology by playing applications such as Lucky’s Tail!

For more information on the Oculus Rift, read “How Oculus Rift works: Everything you need to know about the VR sensation” and Oculus’ Page on the Rift.