Virtual reality set to go mobile as Oculus announces Android compatibility for Rift
It's been over a year since the developers of the Oculus Rift raised almost US$2.5 million through Kickstarter, and it looks like they've been putting those funds to good use. Besides working on a consumer model of its innovative virtual reality goggles, the company recently revealed it has been adapting its headset especially for mobile devices running Android.
The brief announcement was made during Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe's keynote chat at the GamesBeat 2013 conference on Tuesday, Oct. 29, so details are still scarce.
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“We have some exciting plans on the mobile VR side as [well as] the PC VR side,” said Iribe. “We’re really looking at hitting the consumer market. We’re very excited about what we’re seeing. Skeptical about how good mobile VR could be on such a small platform? It’s pretty incredible what [John Carmack has] been able to do.”
Originally, it was reported that the company was developing a completely new headset just for Android, but Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit to refute these claims. Instead, according to Luckey, the company plans to release a single headset that works with both PC and Android devices (a rep for Oculus verified to Gizmag that this is the case). While this confirms the Rift will be compatible with certain mobile devices, the company still has not mentioned any plans to adapt its VR goggles for iOS at this time.
Unfortunately, this new info raises more questions than it answers, since there's still no word on how the goggles will even connect to a smart device, but another OS to work with should open some doors for more software developers. If the Rift's visuals on Android can match the quality we've seen on the PC, it could at least provide some serious competition to other mobile VR headsets, such as the vrAse, which recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign of its own. Stay tuned for further details as they arise.
Editor's Note: Previously this article stated that Oculus was developing a separate headset only for Android devices. We have now learned that this is not the case, and the article was updated accordingly on October 31, 2013. We apologize for the confusion.