Oculus Rift DK2 Available for Pre-Order
The first Oculus Rift Devkit has managed to leave a wonderful impression. Nevertheless, it was quite limited from a technical standpoint. The 1280x720 resolution (640x720 per eye), high latency and motion tracking was noticeably lagging. It was still enough for active development and proved the possibilities for the future to many people. Its popularity exceeded the creators’ expectations. Obviously, it was just a start and the development goes on.
Oculus VR has just started taking pre-orders on a new version of Oculus Rift devkit – DK2. It is similar to the prototype called “Crystal Cove” shown at CES in January in many ways, but contains improved components. DK2 uses 1920x1080 (960x1080 per eye) 75 Hz OLED display with low persistence. The improvement in resolution is definitely welcome, but it is not the limit, as further improvements will still be very noticeable. While the 5” 4K displays may seem like overkill in phones, they will be beneficial for Oculus Rift’s future. Developers plan to include even higher resolution display in the final consumer version. The low persistence is another interesting addition. With it, each frame is only shown for few milliseconds and the display stays dark for another ~10ms before showing the next frame. This approach helps to avoid the blur effect, which is extremely annoying in VR. It has some similarity to CRT displays, or LCDs using Lightboost to reduce persistence.
Other important improvement in DK2 is the position tracking. To improve precision, a camera was added which tracks 40 invisible infrared LEDs at the front of the device. It helps with determining your position and orientation. Together with responsive gyroscopes and accelerometers inside the device, the position is now determined to sub-millimetre accuracy. However, as the tracking LEDs are only located at the front of the device, the turns approaching 180° lose accuracy as camera’s assistance disappears. As DK2 is intended for developers, there is also an integrated latency measurement tool, which allows determining how long it takes for input from players movements to be shown in VR.
DK2 connects to PC using HDMI 1.4b cable and USB 2.0 for data transfer. Additional power adapter is required if you want to connect USB controller to the Oculus Rift itself. The price of DK2 is $350.