It has been an arduous journey to successful commercialization, but attainable virtual reality finally became a reality in 2016 when Oculus released the long-awaited Rift headset. The concept was one of the science fiction – immersing yourself in an interactive augmented experience that stimulated multiple senses via a computer-generated environment.
The first built concepts of an entertainment experience that engaged sight, sound, and touch, even predated digital computing. A revolutionary boom in technology in the 50s and 60s soon led to the further indulgence of the idea. Predominantly utilized as a device to provide simulation for training, VR could not quite find its feet as a fully integrated entertainment option.
Persistence was key and by the mid-1990s, market leaders like Sega and Nintendo had entered the race and produced headset simulators in an attempt to integrate VR into the home entertainment industry. The venture was not overly successful – the visuals still too primitive to truly immerse the user and issues with the disruption of individuals’ equilibrium. After a few quiet years, fledgling company, Oculus, initiated a successful Kickstarter campaign and were soon after acquired by Facebook.
An innovative period for VR followed – Oculus, Sony, and Samsung, all competing in the market to create VR peripherals for computing. Fast forward to today and the emergence of standalone systems, allowing us to experience VR, without having to also invest in computers and consoles.
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The Oculus Go
Experiencing the Oculus Go and VR is about to become an affordable and viable activity for the masses. Their first standalone VR headset with no computer required was universally launched in May, with a wealth of software readily available, and countless more titles to come.
It is more than just a gaming vessel. The Oculus Go offers the chance to explore game worlds, take part in experiences and simulators, and participate and watch movies, gigs, and sports events in an immersive and interactive augmented reality.
Not limited to individual play, multiplayer and social titles are part of the fun. With the Oculus app, you can browse and download new experiences to explore while you’re on the go.
The Techy Stuff
Available with either 32 or 64 GB storage space, the Oculus Go is the pinnacle of VR technology. Displaying a 2,560×1,440 resolution via the fast-switch LCD lenses, visuals are detailed, rich and vibrant, with a wide field of view. Spatial audio speakers are built into the device to surround you with sound and further enhance your VR experience. The wireless controller, which is smart and sleek, tracks your natural movement to transfer into the VR world. The controller is easy to operate once you become accustomed to it.
The Oculus Go certainly looks the part. The aesthetic lines and the gray color are clean and attractive. The size of the device is surprising – smaller than you imagine, making it an ideal piece of kit to take to a friend’s, or to pull out at a get-together.
Designed for adaptability and comfort, the Oculus Go is built to feel wearable and functional for a greater experience. Constructed using breathable fabrics, and using injection foam molding, the headset is light and comfortable. The straps are fully adjustable for a better fit, and you can accessorize with a glasses spacer and prescription lens inserts for an ideal fit. The inner padding feels soft, comfortable, and well ventilated when worn. This is an advantage for when wearing the unit for prolonged periods.
As a standalone VR unit, the Oculus Go is an accessible and impressive unit. If you haven’t yet been introduced to VR technology you’ll find the Go immersive and entertaining. If you’re an experienced user of VR the step down in quality in graphics and field of you may be disappointing. All in all, it remains an innovative and exciting step in the legacy of virtual reality.