Designs revealed as Oculus Rift prepares for consumer launch

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which has previously only been available to developers, is set to go on sale to consumers next year.

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Oculus has revealed new designs for its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which is set to go on sale to consumers next year.

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The Oculus Rift headset was first released in 2012, but has so far only been available to developers and not released for consumer sale.

Oculus has now announced that the consumer version of Rift will be available for pre-order at the end of this year and will be released at the start of 2016.

The new Rift headset is an adaptation of the most recent Crescent Bay prototype, which was unveiled in September 2014.

Oculus says the new version will feature “a highly-refined industrial design and updated ergonomics for a more natural fit”, as well as “an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experience”.

The first iteration of the Oculus Rift headset was released in 2012 and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Since then, Oculus has released several developments of Rift and in March 2014 the company was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion (£1.3 billion).

Several design companies have acquired Oculus Rift development kits and have been working on projects for the platform.

In 2013 AKQA partnered with Nissan to develop an installation for the Tokyo Motor Show that allowed visitors to design their own concept cars. The project was later named as a winner in the 2014 Design Week Awards.

Uniform has been using the Rift platform to work with architects and property developers to create virtual spaces, which means potential buyers can view properties off-plan before they have even been built.

Meanwhile consultancy Allez Studio – part of the newly formed Output Group – is putting the Oculus Rift at the centre of its offer, which is producing large-scale immersive content for brands.

We take a deeper look at how designers can use the Oculus Rift platform here.

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