The Oculus Rift is the main contender for the demand of virtual reality experiences. There are other options on the market but the Oculus is the best selling and most polished of them all, delivering impressive imagery and high levels of immersion.
The Oculus headset places the user in virtual situations, usually in the form of video games, via the two lenses which completely fill the view of the user. The head tracking feature is fluent with low input delay and high accuracy in relation to the position of the user’s head. Although Oculus haven’t released the specifications of the VR headset yet, I can say out of personal experience that the viewing experience, in terms of image quality, is very good. The resolution of the two eye lenses at the front of the headset may not be very high, but when in use it is very immersive and doesn’t look any worse than HD displays, as the lenses are so close to the user’s eyes.
There are problems with the viewing experience though, for example: the design and the build of the headset could be improved; as it is quite heavy and can be tiring on the head and neck after long periods of use. Many users have issues with experiencing motion sickness and getting headaches due to the displays being so close to the user’s eyes. Although this does not effect everyone, it has an impact on a lot of people’s opinions of the headset. I have experienced this motion sickness when I tried out the Oculus a few months ago, and the demo that I was shown was a virtual roller-coaster ride. Your body does not move in relation to what you are seeing through the headset, and because of the high level of immersion the headset offers through the lenses, motion sickness is a big issue.
Recently at the E3 convention a new version of the Oculus Rift was announced, the new model featuring a lighter frame and built-in headphones. I have not had first hand experience with the new model of Oculus Rift, but from reading reviews and articles on it I have gathered that people who used the new model still find the headset a little bit too heavy, although it has improved dramatically. The speakers are decent enough to use when gaming, but there is the option to use your own headset with the Oculus on at the same time; which is highly recommended for the full immersion experience.
Overall the Oculus Rift is a very immersive and excellent piece of technology that I am sure will become very popular in the near future, the flaws in it such as the weight are being improved over time with every new model they release. The Oculus is the future in virtual reality hardware.