If the last 24 hours has proven anything it’s that interest in Facebook’s next possible virtual reality (VR) headset is not only high but that people are desperate for more information. An image apparently leaking a new Oculus Quest appeared on Twitter and everyone went mad for it, hoping to glean new details about the company’s next device which could dominate the VR market.
Now let’s be clear, a single image render of a possible headset is no confirmation that this is what Facebook actually has planned and should invariably be taken with a massive dose of suspicion and a little pinch of salt for flavour.
What’s actually much more interesting than the image itself is the way the media and enthusiasts have analysed it in fine detail, querying what could be good and bad about the design. The main question is whether this could be a sort of v1.5 like Oculus Rift S or an Oculus Quest 2, bringing with it improved comfort, battery life, inside-out tracking and more. Few of these questions can really be answered apart from one, and that’s comfort.
An issue a lot of Oculus Quest owners note is the front-heavy design because every component is housed together, pressing on their nose. Rivals like the Pico Neo 2 get around this by housing the battery on the back head strap; improving weight distribution – there are third-party battery options for Quest which do this. This new Oculus Quest design has none of that so has it really been made light enough not to worry? Probably not.
The two-tone, white and black design is a nice touch and certainly looks aesthetically pleasing when compared to Oculus’ usual all-black headsets. This has had a positive response on sites like Twitter and Reddit, what hasn’t is the apparent lack of manual IPD adjustment.
While it appears the right-hand volume slider remains the manual inter-pupillary distance (IPD) slider has disappeared, sending most (who care) into an uproar. The feature allows you to adjust the lens spacing for your eyes, ensuring a comfortable, clear VR experience in the process. Some assume its been moved on the top – which wouldn’t look very pleasing – while others suggest software IPD is being used – like Oculus Rift S. The only problem with the digital version is it lacks the same range as the manual version. Hence why people are annoyed, although removing the mechanism would help towards reducing the weight.
The image adds to the hysteria because this news does come at a time where one report in May indicated Facebook was working on a smaller, lighter Oculus Quest, while another this month suggested production was about to start on a new headset. Obviously Facebook is working on new VR devices – it previously showcased two prototypes – as to whether this new image is it, you’ll most likely have to wait until Oculus Connect 7 (OC7) to find out.
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