Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe has often likened the appearance of the current Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to that of ski goggles. As it stands right now, the device is probably a little larger and weightier than that, but Iribe and the company have ambitions to bring the device down to something much more comfortable in the future. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus VR’s parent company, Facebook, recently reiterated those hopes, talking of a time that the Oculus Rift resembles a pair of ‘normal glasses’ or ‘sunglasses’.
Zuckergberg said as much this week during a Facebook Q&A from the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. “What I think is going to be really cool is as the form factor keeps on getting smaller and smaller, [it] stops being big goggles or headset,” Zuckerberg said. “But instead it just looks like normal glasses or sunglasses where you can use it without being tied to a computer. In the future you’ll be able to snap your fingers and instantiate a photo album or a big photo, make it whatever size you want, and people will be able to see it through their glasses.”
It’s an ambitious plan, and one that will certainly take time to realise. “It’s going to take five, seven, 10, I don’t know, maybe 12 years to build that out and have that be something that really works and is cheap enough for everyone in the world to use,” Zuckerberg concluded.
For now, VR fans will undoubtedly be happy to see the release of the first consumer version of the Oculus Rift, which the company recently confirmed would be launching in Q1 2016. The first images of the kit, which can be seen above, reveal it to look similar to the Crescent Bay and second development kit (DK2) editions of the device that have come before. Don’t expect a revolution in design with the first consumer Oculus Rift, then, but future iterations will look to make revisions to the ergonomics.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.