CES 2014: Oculus Rift Debuts Crystal Cove Prototype

The Oculus Rift has garnered much attention over the past few years as being the go-to standard in virtual reality gaming headsets. Now, though, there are officially competitors, as more developers enter the VR gaming space. Oculus has responded to many of the issues with the original design in a new prototype they debuted at CES, called the Crystal Cove. It improves on the Rift in several ways: primarily, the resolution is better – specifically, OLED high-definition – addressing the key issue of the “screen door effect,” where it was possible to see the gaps between pixels. At the same time, a key complaint was that the Rift, because of its blurriness and low resolution, caused dizziness and sometimes nausea after long periods of gameplay. Now, the Crystal Cove features a technique called low-persistance-of-vision, which alters how images are displayed with specific reference to blurriness. The most interesting addition, however, comes in the form of motion tracking: the Crystal Cove doesn’t just know your head’s orientation, but it can now tell where, in 3 dimensional space, your head actually is; if you lean, it knows. The body tracking reduces some of the motion sickness, but also adds to the total immersion of the device itself. It’s a big step forward for Oculus, which now seems well on its way to mass-production.