Oculus VR Unveils Upgraded Crescent Bay Prototype VR Headset

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Irvine, California-based VR technology firm Oculus VR has announced an enhanced prototype of its virtual reality headset that features built-in audio and higher resolution, Reuters reporter Lisa Richwine and other media outlets reported this weekend.
The new device, which was unveiled by CEO Brendan Iribe Saturday during the company’s Oculus Connect developer conference, is also said to be lighter than the previous prototype of the Oculus Rift headset. However, according to Richwine, Iribe noted that while the device is “not the consumer product,” this most recent prototype is “much, much closer” to what the headset will be.
According to AP reporter Derrik J. Lang, the new device has been nicknamed Crescent Bay, and it also features a higher refresh rate than the original 2012 Oculus Rift prototype and 360-degree head tracking technology. The new model also boasts “improved ergonomics” over previous models, added Emanuel Maiberg of Gamespot.
The company, which was acquired earlier this year by Facebook for $2 billion, has already shipped approximately 100,000 development kits to film and video game makers in 130 countries, Iribe said. The Oculus chief executive went on to state that Crescent Bay “has the presence we need for consumer VR,” and that the difference between it and Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 was as pronounced as that between the first and second developer kits.
In a recent blog entry, the Oculus Team said that while the hardware is still “incredibly early” and that there are “plenty of technical challenges left to solve,” they called Crescent Bay “the best virtual reality headsets we’ve ever built.”
They also announced they had also created original demo content entitled Crescent Bay Experiences that was developed in-house and was “designed to demonstrate the power of presence and give you a glimpse into the level of VR experience you can expect to see come to life in gaming, film, and beyond.”
Earlier this month, Oculus teamed up with Samsung to their $200 Gear VR mobile headset, which includes a slot that allows the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to be used as a VR display, said Lang and Adi Robertson of The Verge. Robertson said that Oculus had created its first actual in-headset user interface for the Gear VR, and that the company went on to announce that it was planning to release a mobile app for VR games in the near future.
“Oculus product VP Nate Mitchell says that its current online games catalog (not yet a real store) has seen 699,000 downloads since launch,” Robertson noted, adding that Mitchell also announced “a new demo from longtime partner Epic Games… and a partnership with development company Unity, which will support the Rift as an official platform on its free and paid versions, removing a major barrier to making VR games.”
Finally, the Oculus Team also revealed they had signed a licensing agreement to use RealSpace3D audio technology, a software stack they said was developed over the course of a decade and was based on technology originally created at the University of Maryland. RealSpace3D’s tech enables high-fidelity VR audio with a combination of HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.