The Rift DK1 used a 7-inch (18 cm) screen with a significantly lower pixel switching time than the original prototype, reducing latency and motion blur when turning one’s head quickly. The pixel fill was also better, reducing the screen door effect and making individual pixels less noticeable. The LCD was brighter and the color depth is 24 bits per pixel.
It uses high quality lenses to allow for a wide field of view. 3 The separation of the lenses is adjustable by a dial on the bottom of the device, in order to accommodate a wide range of interpupillary distances. The same pair of lenses are used for all users, however there are multiple facial interfaces so that the user’s eyes can be positioned at a different distance. This also allows for users wearing glasses to use the Rift, as well as users with widely varying facial shapes.
Oculus’s positional tracking system, used to track the position of the user’s head as well as other VR devices, is called ‘Constellation’, 39 consisting of external infrared tracking sensors which optically track specially designed VR devices. The sensors come with a stand of a desk lamp form factor, but have standard screw holes and can be detached from this stand and mounted anywhere appropriate.
The first wave of online pre-orders will begin shipping on 28 March 2016, expecting to arrive in time for early April. This means we could probably expect a street release date of the start of April 2016. However, that could be pushed back due to the immense amount of pre-orders Oculus has recieved, quickly pushing shipping dates for later pre-orders back from 28 March to the end of June and beyond – with some customers having no idea when their headset will be shipped.
While Oculus had previously confirmed that retailers would have Rift headsets available for customers to trial ahead of release, UK retail chain GAME appears to be the first store taking pre-orders of Oculus’ headset. According to one Reddit user, their local GAME store had begun to take pre-orders for the product. However, it seems more than likely this was just a way to register interest ahead of a stock purchase instead of a concrete pre-order.
The key point to remember about the Rift, and VR in general, is that this first wave is not made for everyone. As with every new piece of technology it’s going to be expensive, enter to win an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset with only passionate technologists forking out to have one. Over time the price will drop and new iterations with improved internals will hit the market at a lower price point.