Naomi Assaraf is the CMO of cloudHQ, a cloud-computing and Gmail tool company. Not only this, she actually is a world-class speaker on marketing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. She has had a continued presence on social networking as an influencer in most of these areas, pairing with groups like WCF and speaking in Seoul on these technologies. Virtual reality is a large passion, as she is partnering to create a VR app that helps individuals learn how to play instruments.
Oculus Connect, the company’s annual developer conference, has arrived once again. Now in the fifth year, Oculus is expected to update the entire world on what’s next from in VR content and hardware. Here’s a look at what we expect to see this year.
Taking place in the week on the 26th & 27th, Oculus Connect 5 will be hosted in San Jose, CA. The opening keynote on the 26th is the place where most of the major announcements can happen, while smaller developer-focused sessions across both days will likely give deeper glimpses into what Oculus and partners have been as much as. You can get the entire OC5 schedule here, and if you aren’t attending yourself you’ll be able to watch the keynotes and some of the VR esports action via livestream (details here).
Santa Cruz is the code name of Oculus’ high-end standalone headset. While the oculus quest launched Oculus Go just earlier this year, at $200 Go is constructed being an entry-level VR device for casual users. Go lacks positional tracking on the head and hands, limiting its capabilities to the point of being in a different class of VR device when compared with high-end VR headsets such as the Rift.
While Go targets the casual user, Santa Cruz is being built with the exact same positional tracking features as high-end headsets, meaning it’s expected to be able to play the same class of high-end games. Being a ‘standalone’ headset however, all of the compute hardware is constructed in, without reliance upon a costly gaming PC to power Santa Cruz. Although that brings ‘take-it-anywhere’ accessibility, in addition, it means users should expect mobile-class graphics.
While we don’t expect Oculus to outright launch Santa Cruz at Oculus Connect 5, perform expect those to formally announce the consumer version, which suggests branding the headset with a proper name and detailing some features that will be included at launch. The specific launch of Santa Cruz is presently rumored for Q1 2019.
It appears Oculus could take an identical method of Santa Cruz’ announcement and launch because they did using the Go headset. Go was announced at Oculus Connect 4 (right around now last year), then launched within the vjwnnl one half of 2018. At Oculus Connect 5 this week, we could see the company formerly announce the customer version of Santa Cruz with a launch date looking for early 2019, which aligns with the headset’s current release date rumors.
While an expanded field of view and eye-tracking could be big improvements alone, the varifocal display could prove to be Half Dome’s most unique feature. A varifocal display is one that will focus at multiple focal lengths, when compared with today’s VR headsets which are locked with a single focal length. In Half Dome, the headset identifies what portion of the scene the user is looking at (thanks to eye-tracking), and after that physically moves the display within the headset to get the correct focal length. Accomplishing this could be a solution for what’s called the vergence-accommodation conflict in today’s VR headsets.
Having said that, we don’t believe that Oculus will announce a Half Dome-based ‘Rift 2’ at Connect this coming year. Instead, the business may do what they’ve completed in years past with Santa Cruz: show Half Dome to some select selection of press and developers in a ‘behind-closed-doors’ setting so that it doesn’t steal the spotlight from products which are nearer to launch. Beyond that, it still feels a bit early for the company to offer any indication of the release date for the eventual Rift 2, which we might not see until late 2019 as well as into 2020.