Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg took the stage today at Oculus Connect 4, the company’s VR developer conference, to tell the crowd that the high-end standalone Project Santa Cruz VR headset will be heading to devs next year and it will be coming with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) controllers.
Update (10/11/17): In the confusion of the avalanche of updates from Oculus, it was incorrectly reported that Santa Cruz was a wireless PC VR headset when in reality it is a completely standalone, high-end mobile VR headset.
Project Santa Cruz is a high-end standalone headset with inside-out tracking, something that’s differentiates itself from the newly revealed Oculus Go mobile headset because it uses the a high-end, head-mounted mobile PC to drive the headset’s graphical abilities and comes with 6DoF controllers similar to Touch in function.
Oculus says in a blogpost announcing the headset dev kit and 6DoF controllers that “[g]etting the infrared LEDs on our new Santa Cruz controllers to work with the sensors used for inside-out tracking on the headset was a significant computer vision, design, and engineering problem. This is a milestone we’re proud of. By using four ultra-wide sensors, we achieved a large controller tracking volume, allowing for natural and unrestricted movement.”
Ever since building Rift, our dream has been to bring the magic of a PC VR experience to an untethered form factor. That’s why we were so excited to share our early work with Santa Cruz at Oculus Connect last year. Although that first prototype had a full-blown mobile computer strapped to the back of your head, the feeling of freedom you got when first experiencing fully untethered positionally-tracked VR remains unparalleled.
Today, we showed the next phase of Santa Cruz development, delivering hand presence with two positionally tracked controllers. This is an important, industry-first milestone that brings the magic and incredible design expertise of Touch into a completely standalone experience.
The Santa Cruz headset includes 4 camera sensors to allow for a wide field of view, allowing for both inside-out positional tracking and the controller tracking that allows for a seemingly full range of motion. The controllers integrate infrared LEDs to accomplish 6 degrees of freedom.
Zuckerberg told the crowd that “Santa Cruz headsets [will be] in your hands and the hands of developers in the next year.”
The company say they’ll be sharing more updates on Project Santa Cruz soon.