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Mohd Fahad

IWB Editor

Can Facebook’s Standalone VR Headsets Knock Down Hurdles Faced By Its Contemporaries?

  • IWB Post
  •  October 12, 2017


Yes, Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are expensive. Yes, they depend on technology providers. Will people still go ahead and buy them? Probably not.

Wait! Let’s check out Facebook’s Oculus headset.

Believed to be the next big things in terms of technology, VR is yet to take off. Facebook, which owns VR maker Oculus, is trying to tackle issues that mar the headsets.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while launching it during Oculus’s annual conference in San Jose, described the Oculus Go as the “all-in-one” and “accessible” VR headset ever. The Oculus Go is a standalone VR headset, which means it does not require additional devices to function, like the Samsung Gear VR.

Also, it is priced at $199 (Rs 12,960 approximately), making it one of the most affordable headsets from the Oculus portfolio. The Oculus Go, however, is still more expensive than the Samsung Gear VR and Google’s DayDream View, which are priced at $129 and $99 respectively.

While Oculus Go retains the look and feel of the original Oculus Rift, it is touted to be a more compact version, and is lighter and more comfortable to wear for users. The device features same lenses as on the Rift and is bundled with a small controller that is similar to one available for Gear VR. It comes with a WQHD LCD display and built-in audio drivers.

Facebook hasn’t disclosed full specifications, including battery life, of the Oculus Go yet. The device will ship to consumers in 2018 while the developer kit will be available starting next month.

The Oculus Go is expected to revive interest in building low-cost premium VR headsets. Tech giants like Samsung, Google and Microsoft are betting big on the VR industry. However, the “standalone” along with “affordability” are going to give an extra edge to Facebook in an industry still at a nascent stage.

According to a report by research firm Gartner, about 16 million head-mounted display devices were shipped last year. The number is expected to shoot up to 22 million by end of this year. According to a separate study by WSJ, the VR headset sales are estimated to amount to $21 billion annually by 2020. As many as 500 million annual sales of VR headsets are expected by 2025.

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