Oculus today offered up some details on the ‘Insight’ tracking system of their new Quest headset. The inside-out tracking goes “beyond roomscale,” according to Oculus, enabling large-scale experiences that let players physically move around large spaces. Additionally, Oculus Quest is equipped with the familiar Guardian system to keep you from bumping into your surroundings, now upgraded to support multiple rooms.

Oculus Quest uses four wide-angle cameras to not only track the Touch controllers, but also to track the environment around the user in order to understand where the headset is located in space.

This ‘inside-out’ tracking, which Oculus calls ‘Insight’, means that users don’t need to rely on external sensors or trackers, freeing them to move around large scale spaces rather than being constrained to a room-scale tracking volume. As such, Oculus says that the headset can support “arena-scale” tracking.

At Oculus Connect the company is showing a multiplayer VR FPS arena for Dead and Buried that occupies several thousand square feet, allowing players to have a VR laser tag-like experience where they are physically moving around a large space with real objects for cover, all while battling in VR. In this early stage, it sounds like this kind of large-scale tracked experience is still experimental, but something the company is hoping to expand going upon forward.

Oculus Announces Quest, The High-end Standalone Headset Starting at $400

For consumers in their home, Oculus says that Quest will support a multi-room Guardian system. Oculus Rift users will be familiar with Guardian, which allows them to trace an outline of their physical space in order to set a safe boundary for their movements in virtual reality. When approaching the edge of the boundary, the Guardian system shows itself as a virtual wall that looks like a blue grid, preventing you from running into a wall or punching your computer monitor (usually).

Since Oculus Quest offers ostensibly unconstrained movement via inside-out tracking, Oculus has announced a multi-room Guardian system. The company says that this will allow users to set up Guardian spaces in multiple rooms, and Quest will remember those setups and automatically identify which room the user is in to show them the right Guardian boundary.

It remains to be seen how well this will work, as it’s surely challenging to reliably identify rooms in various lighting conditions and when objects could move from one session to the next. We’ll be going hands-on with Quest soon to bring you more details on how it all works.

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  • daveinpublic

    Crazy to have an all in one VR system of this caliber just a few months away. It will be a first for VR. Seriously hope this does well in the consumer space.

    • Mei Ling

      Yes it’s quite impressive indeed. It has all the elements necessary to get VR into the mainstream especially with the positional tracking and wireless capability. These are the two things that people have been droning on and on about since the inception of the Oculus DK1 and now it’s here (in a few months).

      If this product doesn’t get VR into the mainstream then I’m really not sure what will. The only reason I would see it not doing well is because of a lack of useful applications that take advantage of the technology. The other reason being that the “physicality” of the product is still something people cannot get used to; they cannot bear to strap something over their heads in order to get entertained.

      Humans are sociable creatures and until there is an application that allows them to interact with their friends and family and get connected in ways that phones are not capable of then VR may not succeed at all.

      • MosBen

        It’s always a smart bet to be cautious about predicting the death of VR. People have been setting arbitrary deadlines for it to become mainstream since the original Kickstarter, but the industry has continued to plug along.

        That said, I agree that if this doesn’t see some significant increase in sales, I’m not sure what will, at least in the next several years. $400 is a really attractive price for consumer electronics, and you can bet that if it’s released in Spring 2019 then there will be some really enticing bundles by Holidays 2019, and a price drop in 2020.

        I think the key is going to be, as you point out, getting some really compelling multiplayer experiences on the Quest. Oculus spent a bunch of money developing Marvel Super Power United, so though it needs some graphical tweaks, that seems like a lock to me. Star Trek Bridge Crew also seems like an obvious port.

  • gothicvillas

    Sounds really good. If they confirm Beat Saber I’m getting 2 of these

    • MosBen

      I really want Star Trek: Bridge Crew. There’s not a chance in hell that my wife will buy a gaming PC, but she really liked Bridge Crew, and it would be awesome to play it together, in the same room.

      • Kev

        Bridge Crew is a blast to play with friends. Highly recommended.

        • MosBen

          I’m sure that it is. I’ve played through the tutorials, but I don’t love playing online with randos, and none of my friends have VR, so I’m kind of stuck at the moment. Hopefully this will change that.

  • Kev

    So this is the Oculus Go “Plus”. Same resolution, same Fov, faster cellphone processor, 6DOF. This sounds strangely the same as the currently available Lenovo Mirage Solo (also $399).

    It’s ironic that Oculus seems to have the same plan their legal rival Bethesda Softworks does. Bethesda has rebranded Skyrim how many times? Next we will have the Oculus Go lemon scented edition.

    • MosBen

      Well, except the Mirage Solo doesn’t have 6 DOF. But yes, this is a device that by design sits between the Rift and the Go, in capabilities and cost. Indeed, I’m fairly confident that after a few years the Quest will just replace the Go entirely, and we’ll be left with a PC tethered product (Rift) and a mobile product (Quest).

      • Kev
        • Veron

          That’s an add on in beta.

          And your comment about this being the Oculus Go Plus is somewhat inane.

          • Kev

            Why? it’s the same resolution, same FOV, just adds 6dof instead of 3dof. It really is just a Go with 6DoF and +$200.

          • MosBen

            I mean, they haven’t officially confirmed what Snapdragon chip is running the thing, but it’s like the 845, which is a pretty significant step up from the Go.

          • Kev

            Indeed you get to move up from the power of a 2015 cellphone to a 2018 cellphone… I have a Go btw and I do like it. I just think for the investment Oculus received they are barely innovating. I mean fanfare over just 6DOF and an SD845 for +$200 over a Go? That’s it???

          • MosBen

            I mean, it’s got a higher resolution and two controllers that are fully tracked. That’s a pretty big difference in the immersion that it can create. Going from 3DOF to 6DOF controllers is a big deal, not least because it gives you access to a bunch of the best games that have been released on the Rift that can be ported over.

            But the biggest feature is the cost. Of course this isn’t going to present graphics as pretty as you can get on a top end PC, but you’ll be able to play interesting games like Superhot, Star Trek Bridge Crew, Beat Saber, etc., that really wouldn’t work, or wouldn’t work nearly as well, on a Go (or similar systems). And you’re not required to own a gaming PC.

            Oculus is trying to grow the VR industry and audience, and that means releasing products that appeal to and are affordable to a mass market. They’re not chasing the enthusiast market with ultrawide FOV HMDs. Leave that to Pimax. Oculus wants to sell tens of millions of these things, but tens of millions of people aren’t going to buy something like the Pimax and the super expensive graphics hardware that it requires, and a wireless kit, and, and and…This is VR for the masses, and that’s a really necessary and exciting innovation.

          • Limo

            What the hell man
            going from 3DOF to 6DOF is like making a bicycle to a fkin spacecraft

        • MosBen

          From what I’ve read, there is no plan to release those to retail for the Mirage Solo. Maybe there’ll be a Mirage Solo 2 with 6 DOF controller tracking, but it’s not going to be in the current system.

      • Omar Ceja Salgado

        The Mirage Solo does have 6DOF, but strangely enough only the headset is capable of that, the controller is still 3DOF which adds up to a strange experience when in use.

    • Downvote King

      It does roomscale, if you don’t see that alone as a big upgrade I don’t know what it takes. That’s a fundamentally different experience from Go, and runs many Rift apps as well. This seems like a sea-change in product capability and value.

      • Kev

        I’ve had roomscale since my Vive Pre in 2016. Over 2.5 Years ago. I was an Oculus kickstarter backer in 2012, again 2012… 6 years ago.. I was blown away when I first tried it. But here we are 2018, same FoV, almost the same Resolution and now their new innovation is not the power of the PC but the power of a cellphone to drive it. Over $2B invested. I mean they really should put some innovators in there.

        The next product will be the Oculus Go Away Smart Watch. $99.95 / you stick it to your eye. Just 2 ounces, totally portable, runs on a calculator CPU.

        • MosBen

          I get that you want to be on the bleeding edge of VR tech and don’t think that this is it, but most people don’t own gaming PCs and aren’t interesting in building or buying one. Giving people an option for room scale VR without the cost or hassle of being tethered to a PC is a legitimately big deal. Is it some out of left field innovation? No, it’s very much like the Mirage Solo, but with better controllers (and I’m not sure how the displays stack up). When released it will be the best mobile VR option, and at a really compelling price. Again, that’s a pretty big deal for the VR industry.

          It may not be something that you personally will buy, but then perhaps it’s not a product targeted at you. There will always be the Pimaxes of the world that will target the enthusiast crowd that want to be on the bleeding edge and are willing to pay for it. And that’s great. But for VR to grow we need tens of millions of people to use it, and this is how that happens. PC gaming is great, but lots of people play on consoles, and that’s good for gaming as a medium of expression and as an industry that employs people.

          • Kev

            I think it’s great for people to get a taste of VR with this sort of tech. Like I said I have an Oculus GO. Where I’m critical is it is just a taste that effectively has the ingredients. High powered PC’s can barely drive great VR and here we are with yet another “cake” with a different mix of the same stuff.

            2012 to today, especially when you consider the total money involved, Oculus is just painfully slow and here we are 2018 with largely the same stuff. More portable, yes, sleeker, yes. But they just aren’t innovating the fundamentals. Fortunately others will move the industry forward.

            I hope in a big way Oculus wakes up and realizes the fundamentals need a lot of work for your average person to put one of these devices on and exclaim “it’s like a scuba underwater adventure” in just 5 minutes. $2B should have placed this in a much better position than Oculus has done.

          • Marcus

            High powered PC’s can barely drive great VR

            It seems that we have very different ideas about great VR. To me it’s Superhot, Beat Saber, Windlands 2, Budget Cuts, Vacation Simulator, Rick and Morty, Google Earth, Tilt Brush, etc. None of these need a monster GPU.

          • Kev

            Do you walk through life wearing a pair of binoculars? How about staring at a giant pincushion? How about trying to discern objects that are far away? The more you try to correct those things the more GPU you need even for easy titles.

            StarVR for instance has a 210 degree field of view, virtually no SDE, visual artifacts like godrays etc.. almost non-existent, has the ability to display realistic textures and bump maps. Did Oculus try to solve any of those issues? Nope.

            There will be a flood of devices next year that solve those problems and unfortunately Oculus will not be among them.

          • ShiftyInc

            Well it’s clear that you have no sense of business here. Luckly the folks at Oculus do, otherwise VR would be dead right now.

          • Marcus

            Do you walk through life wearing a pair of binoculars?

            This is not about devices to wear all day. It’s about having fun for an hour or so. IMO the FOV of current devices is good enough for that.

            How about staring at a giant pincushion?

            I had a PSVR and the SDE was small enough to be ignored after a few seconds. I guess it’s at least that good with the Quest.

            How about trying to discern objects that are far away?

            I think there are enough titles that are fun without the need for that.

            There will be a flood of devices next year that solve those problems and unfortunately Oculus will not be among them.

            Oculus is heading to mass market. The masses do not have or want gaming PCs. So the first step must be to get rid of needing a PC.

          • Konchu

            I think cost of entry is the biggest hindrance to VR. And I think tech like eyetracking will lower the cost of entry performance wise but I think the wide FOV headset are going to 1st become the premium user experience like gamers running 3 144hz monitor setups in SLI configs looking down to the pleebs from atop their Gilded rigs. 399 is a great starting point for full VR, PSVR has not been bad even being a little under-powered with subpar tracking. This has a great chance to changing this.

            Overall this should be cheaper that PSVR(sans sales) and give a great experience that is low enough to compete on the console space. And so convenient anyone can use it.

            VR even in Binocular view is still really fun this is already an upgrade over 1st gen VR res wise(vive/oculus) and those systems are still a blast. Though not 210 FOV it may be a little more pixel dense as the Star VR per degree is 1,830 × 1,464 per eye vs 1,600 by 1,440 on the quest.

        • Downvote King

          Really? You had portable wireless PC-less room-scale VR for $399 in 2016? Not until the TP-Cast could you even get wireless period and you still needed a PC. The setup cost til now was $3000 for wireless room-scale. More than 7x the cost of the Quest. This is a remarkable change in the market. BTW the Quest also ~80% more pixels than the original Vive. Still salty?

          • Kev

            Salty? Geeeze. Its already pushing the limits of PC tech for great roomscale and here we are with these devices based on battery operated smartphone tech. It’s roomscale GearVR. It sad really.

          • Downvote King

            Lol whut? Pushing the limits? You just said your current system is running on 3 year old hardware. You’re salty. This is a mainstream breakthrough, like the Wii was for Nintendo. Doesn’t matter that it was two Gamecubes duct-taped together, it was a fundamental disruption that reached the masses.

            Wireless room-scale VR is now something parents can place under the Christmas tree, and grandparents can setup. It’s now a trans-generational impulse purchase. What this represents is fundamentally different from both tethered $3000 systems and 3DOF portables. Put the salt away you’re turning into human jerky.

          • Kev

            Uh that thinking didn’t work for the Oculus Go and it was half the price. Ok start then rapidly down. They need to work on the fundamentals and aren’t. I get it though… You are married to Oculus and not the improvement of VR itself. Now I’m sad for them and you.

            The Go is making inroads into commercial use though.

          • Downvote King

            I’m not married to any headset. The closest I am to purchasing anything is PSVR or maybe a Windows MR headset, and that’s because of cost, not performance (and to a certain extent ergonomics; I dig the flip-up visor style). That said, those are still going to run me $800 – $1500 and be tethered. Windows MR is at least portable if you have a capable laptop(re: $$$), but the controler tracking is low-volume.

            Quest specifically marks almost every box of a mainstream, casual system. It’s essentially a console, and definitely not aimed at the hardcore VR enthusiast. The Nintendo Wii seems a very apt comparison. This is grandparents and kids stuff. For me it’s all about being able to experience 6DOF. Most people never have, and it’s a game-changer where everything just clicks when you experience it. The first thing people do when you hand them a Google Cardboard, besides reaching out to touch something, is stand up. Or lean. They try to move into the space and interact. It’s incredibly disjointing and disappointing on a fundamental level when they can’t move their body or see their hands.

            Wireless, portable 6DOF headset and controllers changes everything – and at the price of a console. Graphics be damned. Same thing they said about the Wii. As long as developers can create involving, well-crafted experiences, VR will finally hit the mainstream. The hands-on articles we are seeing come out today even feature arena-scale games. If they can tailor visuals properly around the lower spec Snapdragon 835 they have a winner with some turn-key killer-apps like Superhot and if they have any sense, Beat Saber or maybe Creed. All the ingredients are there.

          • Kev

            By that logic the Go which is 90% of that and 50% the price of the Quest should have sold like gangbusters. It’s console like with a lot of titles, it’s portable, it’s battery operated, you can watch movies/consume media with it, It does show 1 hand and allow you to move around hand and body to a limited degree.

            Add to that 6dof and $200, poof you have the quest. You really think seeing two hands instead of 1 and walking around instead of just moving around for $400 will make this sell dramatically better?

          • Downvote King

            That’s where we disagree. I see Go as 10% of the Quest. 6DOF is more than the sum of its parts. It’s what makes everything click. Without it is not VR, it is only – as you point out – a media viewer with a clicker. 6DOF is what makes VR. What brings you into the world instead of just being a passive, moored observer. It’s a fundamentally different experience.

    • It´s not same resolution, it´s bigger.

      Also, it has IPD adjustment, like Rift (for perfect sweet spot, regardless of your skull shape).

    • Andrew Jakobs

      it has higher resolution displays, it has better audio, it has IPD, and it has 6DOF and a better soc.. the lenovo Mirage Solo doesn’t have 6DOF controllers. The Quest really is a big improvement on the Go. And I whish they would have removed the battery, no 835 soc and made it thetered for a PC and have a pricetag of $299-$350..

  • Ted Joseph

    Day one purchase for me!

  • brandon9271

    Hopefully it’s better than their completely wonky room calibration on PC. Holy shit, does it suck!

  • brandon9271

    I wish they’d release the Quest sans controllers and allow us to use our existing touch controllers. Possibly some technical reason why this won’t work. Would be nice since i have four touch controller :-/

  • HomeAudio

    I am completely not interested in this device. I am looking for high end device and top notch experience. This lowpoly devices with narrow FOV are not for me :( Where is Fovetal Rendering? Where is dynami focus technology? Where is wide field of view announcement (140 degree is NOT wide FOV!). So far only dissapointments on this OC5 :(

    • Andrew Jakobs

      If they would release a PC version of this headset (so only thetered, so no battery and no need for a 835 soc) for around $299, I would certainly buy this.. This is all targeted at mainstream, not highend.. Hell even the 2080ti isn’t capable of driving these displays with 90+ fps and everything on max.

      • Danilo

        I would instant buy a Quest if it had VirtualLink!

  • DaveOfLosAngeles

    Im confused as to how this arena-scale is “experimental”. Is that Oculus doesnt have games that support large movement areas or is there some other software/hardware changes needed to enable “arena-scale”?

    • Danilo

      Would love to know if “experimental” means “not for home use” or if it means “you will need a PC and follow this tutorial”.

      • Peter Hansen

        It probably means that it is a carefully set up custom thing which is not easy to replicate and comes with substantial potential safety issues.

  • John Horn

    This is sounding like a great move forwards. What I’m really curious about now is: Will it be possible for Oculus Quest players to play multiplayer with Vive/Pimax/Rift users who play multiplayer on SteamVR?

  • WyrdestGeek

    This looks great. The only real downside I see right now, is that the company behind Oculus is Facebook. And, no matter what they say, Facebook doesn’t care about your privacy at all. Ever.

    Big brother is going to be right there on your head.

    I’ll probably wind up buying one anyway.

  • Peter Hansen

    This might be great for multi-room arcades having controlled lighting conditions and little to no furniture being moved around. This would allow for extremely cool escape room adventures, like _escape houses_! :D

  • Danilo

    I would really love to know if I could replicate the laser tag experience in a large room, maybe using a PC as server.