Facebook announces its latest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality gadgets and apps to the world but no NZ pricing yet.
We might be in the grip of a global pandemic, but that’s not holding back the folks at Facebook. They’ve held a live streaming event detailing their latest VR/AR gadgets and apps.
Top of the list is the Oculus Quest 2, their latest standalone virtual reality headset. Being a standalone VR headset, it doesn’t need any external consoles or PCs. This handily means there are also no cable trip hazards or fiddly sensors to set up.
The Quest 2 comes with a display featuring 1832 x 1920 resolution. While the display initially only has a 72Hz refresh rate, Facebook says it’ll be boosted to 90Hz with a future software update.
The Quest 2 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon custom XR2 CPU. There’s 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on the base model (a 256GB model was also announced). Most critically, the new Quest is said to be 10 percent lighter than the original, which should make extended use less painful.
New headsets aside, The Quest 2’s controllers have also been given the upgrade treatment and now feature a more ergonomic design, improved haptic feedback and extended battery life.
While there’s no word on New Zealand availability), The Oculus Quest 2 will be available via the Oculus online store once it launches in the US in early October.
Initial pricing is $US299 (for the 64GB model), and $US399 (for the 256GB model). If you’re in a real rush to get your sweaty paws on one, pre-orders are also available through the Oculus store.
When it comes to VR, it really is mostly all about games. Facebook showcased several Quest 2 compatible titles. The biggest gaming news is that Ubisoft is going to launch Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell games for the Quest. A bunch of exciting game titles were announced. These include a yet-to-be-named Star Wars title, Jurassic World: Aftermath, Myst VR, Warhammer 40,000 and The Walking Dead titles, and a pile of others.
It isn’t all play though. Facebook also announced Infinite Office, which is a VR based productivity suite. Facebook Messenger will be available as a VR app too.
VR aside, augmented reality also got some airtime with Facebook announcing Project Aria, a Smart Glasses technology. While specifics were few, it sounds like Oakley and Ray-ban are partnering with Facebook to kit their employees out with glasses that’ll collect data out in the real world.
Last but perhaps most interesting from a pure tech perspective is what Facebook calls the EMG bracelet. It’s a wrist-mounted widget that’ll let you use your hands with AR and VR apps – no bulky handheld controllers needed. Interestingly, it’ll offer haptic feedback to simulate touch. Both Project Aria and the EMG bracelet are in their research phases and have yet to become commercially available. Here’s hoping they do, as they both sound very cool indeed.