There was quite a lot of information to take away from last weeks Oculus Connect 3 conference, with new social options, experiences and of course Oculus Touch headlining. One of the smaller announcements Oculus’ CEO Brendan Iribe made was on the availability of extra sensors, which would enable Oculus Rift with the Oculus Touch controllers to do room-scale. But one question remained unanswered, what about the USB length? Now Iribe has answered.
This initially began when Tested interviewed Nate Mitchell, VP of Product at Oculus who said: “I don’t want to eat my words on this one, but I believe we are going to include a USB extension cable as part of the [third sensor] package”. This was then confirmed today by Iribe via Reddit, saying: “That’s correct. The additional Oculus Sensors will include a USB extension cable.”
He then updated the posting with: “We’ll have more details when they’re available for pre-order later this month. I’d love to share more now but we’re still finalizing and I don’t want to be wrong. Our goal is for the cable to be long enough to be useful for most.”
There’s a number of reasons why customers wanted this question answered. Firstly Oculus Rift’s rival HTC Vive includes room-scale tracking right out of the box, and the sensors don’t require a cable to a PC, they’re wireless apart from a power cable. This means they can be put anywhere a user deems suitable to maximise the play area they have available.
But the Oculus Sensors all require a direct USB connection to a PC. Fine for the single sensor, or using the second that comes supplied with Oculus Touch. But for true room-scale the third would generally need to be placed behind the user, so that no matter which way they’re facing they can always be tracked. While the sensor cables are of a reasonable length, they’re certainly not long enough to give complete freedom of placement, hence why a USB extension lead is so important.
The extra Sensor will retail for $79 USD and begin shipping on 6th December 2016. The only question left to be answered is, how long is the extension cable, which will likely be answered when pre-orders go live later this month.
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