Oculus Rift VR headset Kickstarter launches

August 2, 2012

(Credit: Oculus)

James Iliff recently described Palmer Luckey’s amazing Oculus Rift stereoscopic head-mounted VR display in the KurzweilAI blog and mentioned a Kickstarter was in the works.

It launched Wednesday here.

The goal of the Oculus Rift Kickstarter is to to “speed the distribution of early development kits to game developers and enthusiasts around the world” for this new virtual reality (VR) headset, which is designed specifically for video games.

The funding goal is $250,000.

“With an incredibly wide field of view, high resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favorite game and explore new worlds like never before.

“The Rift takes 3D gaming to the next level. There are a number of VR headsets out there, but none that deliver a truly immersive gaming experience. Most products either lack the technical features required for believable immersion or sit at a very high price-point ($20,000+) reserved for the military or scientific community.

“We set out to change all that with the Rift, which is designed to maximize immersion, comfort, and pure, uninhibited fun, at a price everyone can afford.”

Oculus says it’s including a copy of DOOM 3 BFG Edition, the first Oculus-ready game, with every Rift dev kit on Kickstarter. (John Carmack showed DOOM 3 BFG at E3, stunning the press and creating incredible anticipation for the release.)

“What I’ve got now, is, I honestly think the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen.” — John Carmack, id Software

Technical specs of the Dev Kit (subject to change)

Head tracking: 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) ultra low latency
Field of view: 110 degrees diagonal / 90 degrees horizontal
Resolution: 1280×800 (640×800 per eye)
Inputs: DVI/HDMI and USB
Platforms: PC and mobile
Weight: ~0.22 kilograms

The developer kits acquired through Kickstarter will include access to the Oculus Developer Center, a community for Oculus developers. The Oculus Rift SDK will include code, samples, and documentation to facilitate integration with any new or existing games, initially on PCs and mobiles, with consoles to follow.

Oculus says it will be showcasing the Rift at a number of upcoming tradeshows, including Quakecon, Siggraph, GDC Europe, gamescom and Unite.

Any developer or publisher interested in meeting with Oculus should email rift@oculusvr.com. For more information, visit:www.oculusvr.com