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Oculus: More Staff Work on Both Oculus & Gear VR than One Specific HMD

Last December saw Oculus VR launch its first commercial product alongside Samsung. That product was the ‘Innovator’s Edition’ of the Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). Despite being available to consumers, the first iteration of the device is still thought of as a developer kit with a number of improvements needing to be made. At the same time work continues on the Oculus Rift PC HMD and its Crescent Bay prototype. You might think that Oculus VR has dedicated teams for each HMD, then, but according to Head of Mobile Max Cohen this isn’t so.

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Cohen explained as much to VRFocus in a recent interview that will be published in full next week. “It’s just funny because, talking about competition from Gear VR and Crescent Bay; it’s not like we are a company that’s divided into two divisions or anything like that,” he explained. “There are many more people that work in common on both platforms than one in particular. They both have strengths and they both have some disadvantages as well. Crescent Bay’s awesome; the incredible high fidelity. The Epic Showdown demo that you see, that looks like you’re in a triple A videogame in an amazing scene.”

Cohen went on the reference the HRTF audio technology that Oculus VR displayed at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month. “Along the lines of the fact that it’s not a competition; Gear VR– actually we have an audio demo as well. So we took scenes from our in-house developed game HeroBound. So there’s a big waterfall outside, a big pterodactyl flying overhead and you hear attenuation as it gets away from you.” He continued, talking about showing this demo to Oculus VR’s VP of Product Nate Mitchell. Mitchell himself was apparently closing his eyes to try and get a sense for sounds coming above and below in the experience.

“So there’s underlying technology that works for both platforms, especially with game engines whether it’s Unity, Unreal, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for developers to create awesome VR that works anywhere.”

VRFocus will continue to follow both the Oculus Rift and Gear VR, reporting back with any further updates.

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