The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking.
DK2 isn’t identical to the consumer Rift, but the fundamental building blocks for great VR are there. All the content developed using DK2 will work with the consumer Rift. And while the overall experience still needs to improve before it’s consumer-ready, it's getting closer everyday — DK2 is not the Holodeck yet, but it’s a major step in the right direction.
Like the Crystal Cove prototype, DK2 uses a low persistence OLED display to eliminate motion blur and judder, two of the biggest contributors to simulator sickness. Low persistence also makes the scene appear more visually stable, increasing the potential for presence. The high-definition 960×1080 per-eye display reduces the screen-door effect and improves clarity, color, and contrast.
DK2 also integrates precise, low-latency positional head tracking using an external camera that allows you to move with 6-degrees-of-freedom and opens up all sorts of new gameplay opportunities like peering around corners, leaning in to get a closer look at objects in the world, and kicking back on a virtual beach.
Precise positional tracking is another key requirement for comfortable virtual reality; without it, an enormous amount of your real world movement is lost. Occulus developers are looking forward to seeing the new experiences the community creates now that positional head tracking is a core element of the platform.
Development Kit 2 also includes updated orientation tracking, a built-in latency tester, an on-headset USB accessory port, new optics, elimination of the infamous control box, a redesigned SDK and further optimized Unity and Unreal Engine 4 integrations.
All in, DK2 delivers a massive leap forward in terms of the quality of the VR experiences you’re able to create and enjoy. The consumer Rift will be another major step beyond that, but in the meantime DK2 brings the world closer to great consumer virtual reality than ever before.
DK2 will be $350 at launch and you can pre-order the hardware starting today, with an expected ship in July.
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