Naomi Assaraf is the CMO of cloudHQ, a cloud computing and Gmail tool company. Additionally, she is a world-class speaker on marketing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. She has had a continued presence on social networking as being an influencer in all of these areas, pairing with groups like WCF and speaking in Seoul on these technologies. Virtual reality is a large passion, as she is partnering to produce a VR app that helps individuals learn how to play instruments.
Oculus Connect, the company’s annual developer conference, has arrived yet again. Now in its fifth year, Oculus is anticipated to update the world on what’s next from in VR content and hardware. Here’s a look at what we anticipate seeing this coming year.
Happening this week on the 26th & 27th, Oculus Connect 5 will likely be hosted in San Jose, CA. The opening keynote on the 26th is the place where the majority of the major announcements can happen, while smaller developer-focused sessions across both days will probably give deeper glimpses into what Oculus and partners happen to be approximately. You can get the complete OC5 schedule here, and if you aren’t attending yourself you’ll have the ability to watch the keynotes and some of the VR esports action via livestream (details here).
Santa Cruz will be the code name of Oculus’ high-end standalone headset. While the facebook launched Oculus Go just earlier this coming year, at $200 Go is built being an entry-level VR device for casual users. Go lacks positional tracking on the head and hands, limiting its capabilities to the point of being in a different class of VR device compared to high-end VR headsets like the Rift.
While Go targets the casual user, Santa Cruz will be built with the same positional tracking features as high-end headsets, meaning it’s expected to be able to take part in the same class of high-end games. Being a ‘standalone’ headset however, all of the compute hardware is made in, with no reliance on a high priced gaming PC to power Santa Cruz. While that brings ‘take-it-anywhere’ accessibility, it also means users should expect mobile-class graphics.
While we don’t expect Oculus to outright launch Santa Cruz at Oculus Connect 5, we all do expect those to formally announce the buyer version, meaning branding the headset having a proper name and detailing some features which will be included at launch. The specific launch of Santa Cruz is presently rumored for Q1 2019.
It appears Oculus could take an identical method of Santa Cruz’ announcement and launch as they did with the Go headset. Go was announced at Oculus Connect 4 (right around this time around this past year), and after that launched inside the vjwnnl 50 % of 2018. At Oculus Connect 5 this week, we could begin to see the company formerly announce the consumer version of Santa Cruz having a launch date set for early 2019, which aligns with all the headset’s current release date rumors.
While an expanded field of view and eye-tracking will be big improvements alone, the varifocal display could end up being Half Dome’s most unique feature. A varifocal display is one that will focus at multiple focal lengths, in comparison to today’s VR headsets that are locked with a single focal length. In Two Dome, the headset identifies what area of the scene the consumer looks at (due to eye-tracking), and then physically moves the display within the headset to get the correct focal length. Doing this can be quite a solution for what’s referred to as vergence-accommodation conflict in today’s VR headsets.
Having said that, we don’t think that Oculus will announce one half Dome-based ‘Rift 2’ at Connect this coming year. Instead, the organization may do what they’ve completed in years past with Santa Cruz: show Half Dome to some select group of press and developers in a ‘behind-closed-doors’ setting so it doesn’t steal the spotlight from items that are nearer to launch. Beyond that, it feels just a little early for that company to provide any indication of the release date to have an eventual Rift 2, which we may not see until late 2019 or even into 2020.