We’ve just taken delivery of our first Oculus Quest. This could actually be the “breakthrough” VR headset we’ve all be waiting for. Like last year’s Oculus Go it’s a completely self-contained device – no slipping in your phone, no wires to connect to a big expensive PC, it’s just the headset. You use your ordinary phone to control what software is loaded on it – but that just Wifi connects when you want to make a change. The big step up from the Go though is that the Quest has 6 degrees of freedom tracking – this means that not only does it track you as you look around, up and down, it also tracks you as you peer forwards, lean back – or even walk around the room. It does all this through hidden cameras in the headset which “map” the room in 3D (similar to the Hololens), and then track your movement within it – so no need for those Oculus desk sensors or Vive tripods. Graphically it looks fine unless you’re a real purist, and it takes ordinary glasses better than previous models.
Of course the proof will come when we use it for more than games, and the team is already hard at work getting it hooked up to Trainingscapes and Fieldscapes. One key question is how well it works when you have multiple users, each with a Quest headset, in the same room – all not only not trying to bump into other people but also not confusing the tracking. Another potential issue is any hurdles on getting Trainingscapes onto the Quest store – but that should keep us busy over the summer!
For clients Oculus Quest really could be the best solution out there. Slip-in phone devices have never been popular outside of schools, and PC+headset solutions have been too expensive and too cumbersome to deploy. But with Quest you could easily have a box of 6 or 12, turn up at a site or office, hand them out and let training commence!
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