Oculus Rift S headset with cameras for inside-out tracking costs 499 euros

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Oculus presents a new version of its Rift VR headset. The Rift S features built-in cameras for inside-out tracking, eliminating the need for external sensors. The VR headset has LCDs with a resolution of 1280×1440 pixels per eye.

Oculus presents the Rift S as the successor to the original Rift. Because the new version works with inside-out tracking, the Touch controllers have also been adapted accordingly. However, the design of the controllers has not changed. There are five cameras on the headset: two on the front, two on the sides and one on the top.

With the cameras, the headset recognizes the environment and the movements that the user makes with his head and with the controllers. Oculus calls that tracking technique Oculus Insight and it works the same as with the Oculus Quest, the standalone VR headset that was announced last year. The technology is similar to that of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which also work with inside-out tracking. However, Oculus uses more cameras on the Rift S.

The resolution of the Oculus Rift S is higher than that of its predecessor, which had to make do with 1080×1200 pixels per eye. However, the resolution is lower than that of the HTC Vive Pro and the HP Reverb headset. They offer 1600×1440 pixels and 2160×2160 pixels per eye respectively. Also, the resolution is lower than Oculus’ own Quest headset, which also offers a resolution of 1600×1440 pixels per eye.

In addition, Oculus uses LCDs with a refresh rate of 80Hz for the Rift S, while the original Rift uses OLED panels with a refresh rate of 90Hz. However, the refresh rate is somewhat higher than that of the Quest; it has 72Hz OLED panels. The manufacturer does not say anything in the announcement about the viewing angle of the new headset. Oculus does state that better Fresnel lenses are used in the new model.

Oculus designed the Rift S in collaboration with Lenovo. The new VR headset should be more comfortable than its predecessor and better able to block out light. A single cable is used and it is five meters long. There are speakers in the headband, but users can also connect 3.5mm headphones themselves.

The glasses will have a Passthrough+ function. This allows the wearer to see the real world even when wearing the glasses, by displaying the image from the integrated cameras. According to Oculus, that camera image is able to accurately display depth by using different cameras.

It is not yet clear when the Oculus Rift S will be released on the market. The company says in a press release that the VR glasses will be released in the spring for a suggested retail price of 499 euros. The glasses are announced on the American site for $399.

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