This year’s Developer Conferences have been heavy in major announcements, and Facebook was not going to be left behind in that department. Today’s Oculus Connect 4 delivered many newsworthy items, so we decided to bring you the most important announcements from Day 1.
Like any good Tech Giant CEO, Mark Zuckerberg made a few bold statements, here are our favorites:
“Why put a computer in your pocket when most people want a phone for text messages? Why do virtual reality when most people want to watch on a 2D screen?,” Zuckerberg said in his opening speech. “The future is built by the people who believe it can be better.”
“We all have limits to our reality, and opening up more of those experiences to all of us is not isolating,” he said. “It is freeing.”
“We are setting a goal,” he said. “We want to get a billion people in virtual reality.” We’re right there with you, Mark.
Facebook’s Rachel Franklin, head of social VR, made one of the more important announcements of the day, one that in our opinion surpasses the hardware announcements:
Later this year, Spaces will allow you to share live 360-degree video from anywhere in the world, making it even more social. The 360 livestreams will simply show up inside the social space, so you can watch them with friends who are sharing the space with you in real time.
The possibilities this creates for multiple industries ranging from Education to Healthcare, Sales and Marketing, etc etc are something to consider and take note of!
The next big announcement for us is great new for all the Devs out there. Oculus Home’s product manager Christina Womack presented a very positive case study of Samsung VR using the Explore API. It created a Story to alert people about a live musical concert and grabbed the attention of 48 percent of Gear VR users. The API will be available for all Gear VR developers, to enable devs to promote their content in the new Oculus Explore section, meant to help with app discoverability. It will be available for the Rift in 2018.
You may have noticed that we at the 360VR Community are big believers in Mobile VR. That’s why our jaws dropped and we high-fived each other at the office during the announcement of the Oculus Go. Watch this video, and scroll down for our commentary, and for the rest of the Connect 4 highlights.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the Oculus GO the “most accessible VR headset ever.”
In a nutshell, the Oculus GO is a full-on self sufficient VR headset. The unit does not need to be connected to a PC or a Smartphone for its content. Through its 2,5K resolution “fast-switch LCD” that, according to Hugo Barra VP of VR at Facebook, performs better than OLEDs with a “dramatic effect on visual clarity” that “reduces the screendoor effect.”
The content will still be brought to you via the Oculus Store, and all content made for the Samsung Gear VR will be compatible with your Oculus GO. The unit will ship with a controller similar to the Gear VR, features orientation tracking, and will be priced at $299 USD. Dev kits will ship in November.
We are pumped. Now watch this and keep going!
The Oculus Rift User Interface gets a Makeover – Introducing Oculus Dash
We are witnessing the fast evolution of what Google calls “Immersive Computing”, my favorite term to explain where Facebook is heading with Rift Core version 2.0. The entire interface has been redesigned to be motion-controlled via the Touch controllers, allowing you to multitask across your favorite PC desktop apps, VR library, and more with a wave of your hand using an intuitive, built-for-Touch interface.
To understand the Power of this update, consider this: Oculus’ Nate Mitchell said they debugged Dash from within Dash in VR. “It’s a total game changer,” Mitchell said. You can permanently pin something to the dashboard, too. “Every application can have its own virtual display”.
Facebook Provides an Update on Codename Santa Cruz – The High-End Oculus Standalone VR Headset Project
The following 1:25min-long video more than explains everything to expect. I’m wowed for the first time in a long time.
The Santa Cruz system is promising, from a hardware perspective, everything we have hoped for in VR. Positional Tracking without Cables, along with hand presence with two positionally tracked controllers. The Future is now.
Head of Oculus Hugo Barra presented a plan to create a bundle for Enterprise, which means Facebook is gearing up to compete with similar initiatives from HTC Vive & newly-announced Windows Mixed Reality partners.
Last but not the least – Price Cuts!
We reported yesterday that the Oculus Rift Combo would see a $100 rebate for a few weeks, but today it was confirmed as being the permanent price. The combo bundle includes the Rift, Oculus Touch controllers, three sensors, and three facial interfaces.
Stay tuned for more announcements following tomorrow closing day of Oculus Connect 4!