Facebook owned Oculus is at the moment building a new version of its Quest standalone virtual reality headset though it is facing potential delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Multiple potential successors to the Quest are being worked on with some models in advanced testing. The reports say some are smaller, lighter, and have a faster image refresh rate for more realistic content, according to people familiar with the matter.
Though the company hasn’t finalised which new version of the Quest it will release, and the final product will have different features, in addition to being lighter, making them more comfortable to wear, one of the people said. The existing model weighs about 1.25 pounds, which is too heavy for some users wearing the device for extended periods. The models in testing are closer to a pound, the person said.
Facebook is also testing the removal of the fabric from the sides and replacing it with more plastic like the current Oculus Rift S. It’s also considering changing the materials used in the straps to be more elastic than the rubber and velcro currently used, according to the people familiar with the matter.
Last year, Facebook was the No. 2 seller of VR headsets last year with about 28% of shipments, trailing Sony Corp., according to data compiled by Statista. Virtual reality encompasses users almost entirely for watching movies and sports and playing games. Augmented reality meshes the real world with virtual images.
Facebook is also working on a redesigned controller that is more comfortable and fixes a problem with the existing controller, which has a battery cover that sometimes slides off. The new controller will be compatible with the current Quest, the people said.
The headsets in testing have four external cameras, versus five on the Rift S, and six degrees of freedom, which lets users look around in any direction and walk through virtual space as they would in reality. The new model will also still support the Oculus Link, a cable that lets a user connect the headset to a PC for improvement performance.