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Definition: Oculus


A family of head-mounted, virtual reality devices from Facebook Technologies, LLC. Invented by Palmer Luckey in 2012, Oculus VR launched one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, receiving USD $2.4 million for a $250,000 goal. In 2014, Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook. Oculus goggles come in a tethered model for a Windows PC (Rift) and untethered (Go and Quest).

Rift and Rift S (Tethered to the PC)
The first Oculus Rift shipped in 2016. Praised by reviewers for its realism, developers have created applications not only for games but for military training, robotic vision as well as physical and psychological therapies, the latter, for example, helping PTSD victims confront battlefield memories.

In 2019, the Rift S superseded the original Rift model. Completely overhauled, the Rift S has greater resolution, and its array of cameras eliminated cables (USB port requirements dropped from four to one). On the S, the HDMI connection was changed to DisplayPort.

Go and Quest (Untethered)
In 2017, the company partnered with Qualcomm to develop the Android-based Oculus Go, which was the company's first stand-alone product. In addition to VR apps, after some configuration via the Oculus smartphone app, Android TV and many regular Android apps can also run in the display; however, there is no touchscreen equivalent in the goggles. See untethered.

In 2019, the Oculus Quest was the second-generation untethered display. The Quest added positional tracking, which enables six degrees of freedom (see 6DOF) like the Rift models. See Samsung Gear VR and virtual reality.




Oculus Rift and Touch
Using two Oculus Touch controllers, this gamer is immersed in a 3D game on the Rift. (Image courtesy of Oculus VR, LLC, www.oculus.com)






A Very Large Oculus
Meaning "eye" or "circular opening," the Oculus in New York is the V-shaped building in front of the World Trade Center. It is a transportation hub and multi-level shopping mall.