Oculus have already revealed plans to release a standalone headset to sit in-between the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Now further information has emerged that Oculus are in fact planning to make various different options available for consumers who are interested in standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Ars Technica has reported that Oculus is exploring various different options as what they describe as a ‘spectrum’ of devices. This includes further investment in headsets that allow for ‘six degrees of freedom’ full motion tracking. There are also indications that Oculus are pursuing a goal of implementing ‘inside-out tracking’ for the standalone devices, which allow for motion tracking without the need for additional external sensor bases stations. Some of this technology is an advancement on the wireless ‘Santa Cruz’ Oculus prototype that was demonstrated at Oculus Connect in 2016.
Reportedly, Oculus are not seeing the upcoming standalone devices as a replacement for an Oculus Rift, but an option parallel to the current hardware. The company also hopes that the removal of the requirements for a specific smartphone or powerful PC rig will encourage wider adoption of VR technology.
Oculus are aiming to overcome one of the current major barriers to mainstream VR adoption, which is the high cost of entry. Oculus is said to be wanting a price of $200 for its standalone VR device, which will bring it more in reach of many potential customers. The recent price drop for the Oculus Rift, along with the decision to bundle the Oculus Touch controllers with new headsets seems to confirm that this is part of the ongoing strategy.