Oculus revealed a lot of interesting things at it’s first developers conference, Oculus Connect at Hollywood, CA. The event hosted over 1,000 developers from all across the country. It was like the Mecca for VR enthusiasts! You can catch the live stream here.
Among the announcements was the launch of a new prototype, called Crescent Bay, well on it’s way to be .he next consumer version of the popular Oculus Rift. The new prototype features new display technology, 360° head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, dramatically improved weight and ergonomics, and high-quality integrated audio.
CEO Brendan Iribe called Crescent Bay as a level of achievement that isn’t even possible with DK2 (Development Kit for Oculus Rift). For those present at the conference, they would be able to try out the new prototype themselves. It featured demo content called “Crescent Bay Experiences,” developed in-house by the Oculus content team specifically for Oculus Connect.
Oculus & Unity Partnership
Unity remains one of the most active communities developing for Oculus Rift, and now it’s official. Oculus and Unity are joining hands to make Oculus an official platform and build target. This means that Unity will now fully support Oculus and the Rift development with dedicated add-on that includes stereo imaging optimizations, 3D audio support, and other features specifically for virtual reality. Oculus will be supported on both free and pro versions of Unity.
Since audio is so essential immersive VR experience, Oculus is working to build the hardware and software that developers need to create high-fidelity VR audio experiences for the Rift. To locate objects in the world, they use cues that arise from the interaction of sound with the scene, combined with the body of the listener (HRTFs) and head tracking. A great audio engine for VR has to reproduce these cues to fully convince the human perceptual system.
As part of our audio initiative, we’ve licensed RealSpace3D’s audio technology, a software stack developed over 10 years based on technology from the University of Maryland. RealSpace3D’s tech enables high-fidelity VR audio with a combination of HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.