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Duchess of Cambridge Samples Oculus Rift

Plenty of celebrities and high profile figures have sampled virtual reality (VR) content over the past few years. Famous filmmakers such as Guillermo Del Toro and, more recently, Neill Blomkamp have fallen in love with the technology and plenty of others have been blown away by it. This past weekend has even seen a member of the Royal Family try out the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) for the first time. The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Windsor, was recently seen trying out the device for herself.

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A video posted on Reuters shows the Duchess putting on what appears to be a second development kit (DK2) version of the device yesterday, 26th July 2015. Both the Duchess and the Duke, Prince William were seen at the base of Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR Racing team during a cancelled day of the America’s Cup sailing race. With the race stopped due to bad weather, the Duchess instead sampled a sailing simulator within the Oculus Rift. It’s not clear who was behind the VR experience that was on offer, nor what the Duchess made of it.

Events like this are helping VR build a much more public profile as the technology heads towards the consumer market. The Oculus Rift itself will be going on sale in Q1 of 2016, though a more specific date and pricing are yet to be revealed. It’s hoped that creator Oculus VR might be sharing such details in September as it hosts Oculus Connect 2, the second edition of its annual developer conference to take place in Los Angeles, California. The consumer Oculus Rift greatly improves on the DK2 that the Duchess sampled, replacing the latter’s 1080p OLED display with two higher resolution ones and providing better tracking among other aspects.

VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift’s progress closely, reporting back with the latest updates on the kit.