My thoughts on my Oculus Rift DK1

Oculus Rift DK1

Oculus Rift DK1 (photo from Wikipedia)

I’ve had my Oculus Rift Developer Kit Version 1 (DK1) for just under a year, after receiving my kit on April 11, 2013. In that year, I’ve built a few apps and played with a ton of other people’s apps from Oculus Share. My experience with the DK1 is that, while it’s good, it’s not great. It’s funny, because, while the low resolution and heavy screen-door effect were the two initial problems I had with the unit, over time, they took a back seat to another, more basic problem:

The Oculus Rift DK1 wire is fucking annoying. Not just annoying, but a lot of the time it ruins the experience of immersing yourself in the virtual environment. The new term that people are using for this is “presence.” When I’m wearing it, I can’t turn around fully without feeling the wire tickle my neck or hear the breakout box slide across my desk, which makes me worry that it’ll fall off and I’ll break it, so I take the headset off to make sure it’s safe. The wire undoes exactly what the rest of the kit is trying so hard (and succeeding, mostly) to do: immerse me in the experience. All the time that I use the unit, I fear of fully moving in any direction because the wire is there.

That wire has got to go.

I know that Oculus is working its hardest to reduce the latency between the time that you move and the time it shows the movement on the screen in the headset. I know that going wireless will increase that latency. But, hot damn, at this point, I’m almost willing to take a slightly more delayed response if I can do without the wire.

5 Responses to My thoughts on my Oculus Rift DK1

  1. Um, that wire IS going to go, it’s been announced that the DK2 does away with the control box..

  2. The control box is getting axed, to be sure. But, I still feel that the wire needs to go, entirely. Someone on Reddit mentioned that, if this is done, batteries, which will make the unit heavier, will need to be added.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  3. Why not device a little clip for the back of your shirt to hold maybe 12″ of wire up in the air to prevent it from rubbing or pulling when you turn your head?

  4. I agree, the wire can be annoying. The future is definitely in either building the hardware into the device or having a support vest for the hardware with the wire positioned in a way that you cannot feel it. I wonder if there is any way to beam line-of-sight data back and forth, I know micro satellites can transfer at gigabit speeds with line-of-sight. Wireless extremely low-latency HD data transfer is a tricky problem.

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