Oculus Rift VR headset seeks Kickstarter funding

Want to help fund the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset? There’s a Kickstarter for that. The folks behind the gaming-focused VR googles have taken to the crowdfunding site and are looking to raise $250,000 to fuel the creation of developer kits. Here’s the pitch:

The Oculus Rift has an impressive list of supporters, including id’s John Carmack, Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski, and Valve’s Gabe Newell. Carmack has been particularly vocal about his enthusiasm for the headset, which offers stereoscopic 3D rendering, low-latency head tracking, and a wide field of view. The current incarnation has a display resolution of only 1280×800—640×800 for each eye—but it apparently offers an immersive experience despite the limited number of pixels.

If the Kickstarter project is successful, backers who pledge at least $300 will get a developer kit of their own. The kit comes with the goggles, a copy of Doom 3: BFG Edition optimized for the headset, plus code samples, tutorials, and the like. Oculus is targeting developers early because it wants them to help shape the Rift’s hardware and software.

Don’t want to cough up hundreds of dollars for a dev kit? Shirts and posters are available for folks who want to help without breaking the bank. The project is about a third of the way to its goal already.

Comments closed
    • Irascible
    • 7 years ago

    If all those industry heavyweights think it’s a winner, why did they need to crowd-source the funds? Surely one or several of those wealthy people in the video saw an investment opportunity.

    Nevermind. Just read from their comments page.
    “Each kit is provided at a little over cost price, therefore there are no stretch goals for breeching $250k. This is purely about gaining awareness and support for a future consumer version.”

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    This is nice, but not as cool as Koronis Rift.
    Unless.. I can play Koronis Rift with the Oculus Rift… then we may be on to something.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Definitely looks cool, but 640×480 2 inches from your face? I think there are a lot of people that would pay a couple hundred extra for a retina level display in this thing. The LCDs are small, I don’t know why they haven’t done that.

    On a side note, the player they have for KS is really good. I was streaming at 1.2Mb as per usual and the quality looked better then 480p found on youtube, also loaded faster.

      • Namarrgon
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]The LCDs are small, I don't know why they haven't done that[/quote<] Too small - the reason Rift uses a single, larger display is to get that all-important 110 degree field of view. There are no suitable high-res displays available today - but that will change next year.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        A iPhone display uses ridiculously high pixel density and the panel is about as big as these goggles are. A smaller panel could easily be made and yields would increase due to it’s size.

          • Namarrgon
          • 7 years ago

          The iPhone display is somewhat lower resolution than these goggles, and probably too small physically as well.

          The [url=http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/27/3047538/lg-1080p-smartphone-display-announcement<]LG 5" 1080p display[/url<] would be better, but it's not yet available in quantity.

    • blitzy
    • 7 years ago

    OMG this Occulus Rift is gold, even Derek Smart is posting on the Kickstarter comments. lmao

    I am actually seriously hopeful that it will turn out well, because I’d love to see VR go mainstream but I can’t help but laugh when I see a knob like Derek Smart chiming in

      • d0g_p00p
      • 7 years ago

      Derek Smart is still around? LMFAO!!

    • vargis14
    • 7 years ago

    I have been looking for a headmounted stereoscopic VR type deal for years. But resolution has never been good enough, The Personal 3D Viewer from sony is the best set i tried but i could see the pixels on what was a 100″ maybe more virtual display and i believe it was 720p along with being heavy and uncomfortable with so many adjustments just to get it to fit correctly, but they would come out of adjustment if you had to itch your neck quickly or something like that…..they were cool looking 🙂

    I am very happy to see some big names getting on board and opening the project to anyone. I just hope they make them so you can watch anything you want movies/games etc. Also i hope they have some technology that smooths the pixels so they are not noticeable. My fingers are crossed for them.
    Wow i can only imagine how immersive a flight simulator with a hands on stick and throttle control setup along with racing simulations with no lag from head movement would be….that’s where it would truly be spectacular.
    Considering i have a Hands on stick and throttle setup sitting in a box along with a act labs force feedback wheel with a real shifter and clutch brake and gas pedal setup all collecting dust.
    With a headtracking display setup all you would need would be a PC and your controls setup anywhere besides your regular desk……no worry of having room for 3 monitors for surround/eyefinity etc.

      • Namarrgon
      • 7 years ago

      The Rift is a lot lighter than the TMZ-1 (220g vs 420g), and although the pixels will be clearly distinguishable, Carmack assures us the Rift’s much more immersive field of view more than makes up for this. It’ll be a lot more responsive than the Sony too.

      That said, Palmer has said he has plans for a higher resolution unit (dual 1080p) next year, while keeping the wide field of view. If resolution is a dealbreaker for you, you might want to wait.

    • blitzy
    • 7 years ago

    LOL @1:55 David Helgason ridiculous popped collar, what a bitch hahaha

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      I had no clue who the guy was but judging by the image search results this dude pops his collar regularly. What a ridiculous man…

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]VR googles[/quote<] You can now search the web in virtual reality! In all seriousness, this does look promising. Not only for home use, but I can definitely see this being implemented in big game simulators at places like Disney Quest. All they need is to put a gun/sword/whatever controller in your hands, put you inside a giant motion sensor, and maybe use the same hybrid treadmill tech that they used in that crazy BF3 simulator. I'd cough up the dough to experience that.

    • Prion
    • 7 years ago

    Surely that’s a sufficient resolution for displays about an inch away from your face.

      • Namarrgon
      • 7 years ago

      That close up, the pixels just look larger. Carmack has said it does look a bit on chunky side.

      He also said that’s really not a big deal. While resolution is nice, a really large field of view is much more important for immersion, as is ultra-low latency, and these are what set the Rift apart. He abandoned all the other units he was working with, once he got Palmer’s prototype.

      You can [url=http://www.siliconmicrodisplay.com/st1080.html<]buy 1080p glasses[/url<] today, but with a 45 degree FoV they're more like looking through a peephole than being there (apart from costing nearly 3x as much).

    • BloodSoul
    • 7 years ago

    I’m digging the popped collar at 1:55 🙂

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Just a thought, if everyone pitched $300 max, would it be enough to fund the project? I imagine the goggles alone would probably cost more than that in retail, unless retailers really jack the price up on things like these or each middleman gets a fair bit of cash.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      I dont have $300 to spend on a VR headset though, and really, i don’t need one, certainly not at that price. I like the idea, but its the sort of thing that would really be a good idea to wait for the market to grow, games to support it properly and prices to drop. They definitely look a lot of fun but $300 is a bit steep when i already have a nice big monitor.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Hope this does well. I doubt it will, but I hope it does. I think this is one of those obvious, “Why couldn’t someone have done this already?” things, but hey, I’m sure the support will be fleeting. I mean, of the three mentioned in this news post, you got two guys who make primarily console games with poor PC ports occasionally. Newell has supported things in the past that didn’t go anywhere.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    I would get a tax write off for buying them… I just need to scrape together $300 before the end of the month instead of buying another monitor. Hmm, tough call.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Developer? Go for it since it’s a write off. The monitor can wait.

      • dukerjames
      • 7 years ago

      I’m sure you can use this headset as a low res monitor.

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 7 years ago

        Lol! That would be interesting.

    • Price0331
    • 7 years ago

    This looks a lot more promising than ouya. They actually have real figureheads in the industry commenting on it, not just vague statements of random things that MIGHT happen. They have a working prototype, and have it in developers hands. Ouya hasn’t even been built yet, and people are throwing millions at them.

      • BloodSoul
      • 7 years ago

      OUYA does have a prototype bro… check out 2:00 of their video.

      I still like the Rift, but I feel like it won’t bode well for the average nerds social life haha :-).

        • thesmileman
        • 7 years ago

        OUYA also sold it as though all games would be free then clarified it. Also how could they not have a prototype. That is basically just a pandaboard with android installed, a bluetooth controller, and 10-25 hours of mobile development on top.

        • Price0331
        • 7 years ago

        They are actually misleading people by stating that,

        [url<]http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/the-reality-of-the-ouya-console-doesnt-match-the-hype-why-you-should-be-ske[/url<] The software and distribution system that is supposed to tie this altogether is no where near where it should be, especially if they are shooting for a March release.

      • LastQuestion
      • 7 years ago

      What’s to build in any event? It’s all using h/w that’s already mature and easy to get. Their only major concern is assembling it all together in a cost-effective manufacturing process.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve been waiting so long for something like this.

      • mikakukkonen
      • 7 years ago

      Truly the future of VR:

      [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxptk8P15TI[/url<]

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t get the point of this post.

      • Draphius
      • 7 years ago

      me 2! i cant wait for one of these. i was lucky enough to get chosen for a VR demonstration when i was a kid and ive wanted one ever since. some extremely high pixel density displays in one of those and u will feel like u stepped into another world when u put that puppy on

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