Project Santa Cruz: Everything you need to know about the Oculus standalone headset

Update: The big Facebook developer conference arrived and was held in early May without the release of the Santa Cruz Project, but the week did not end without a provocation for the wireless VR headset.

CTO Mike Schroepfer from Facebook revealed that the handset is currently in the hands of external developers, and that the company will have "exciting updates" to share later this year.

"Later this year" probably refers to the Oculus Connect conference, which normally takes place in October.

Is it then when the launch date of the Santa Cruz Project will be revealed? It seems that could be the case.

Meanwhile, do not miss our hands Santa Cruz Project review !

Read on for more information on Project Santa Cruz …

Oculus is not taking its foot off the accelerator when it comes to virtual reality (VR) innovations. The company, owned by Facebook, recently launched the independent handset Oculus Go, and appears to be preparing for its next big product, Project Santa Cruz, which will be launched later this year.

The Santa Cruz project seeks to bring the experience of PC- quality virtual reality for a headset without ties.

That's a big problem for virtual reality. While mobile virtual reality experiences such as Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR bring virtual reality to the masses with smartphones, the best-quality virtual reality remains tied to a computer of some kind. The Santa Cruz project seeks to change that.

There is a serious technology under the hood that allows this experience without ties, such as sensors and trackers.

The Santa Cruz project has four wide-angle lenses that track both the controllers and their hands. Keep track of everything around your head, and even some things behind you, which should allow a much more immersive content.

Oculus has come a long way in the development of this handset, and it's not really a recently announced product. The company announced for the first time that it was working on an untied headset in 2016, but it was not until Oculus Connect in 2017 that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to show a revised and seemingly fully functional of the headphones.

But when can you get your hands on independent headphones? And what should you expect him to be able to do? Here is everything you need to know about the new helmet Oculus Project Santa Cruz virtual reality.

Cut to the hunt

  • What is it? A high-end independent virtual reality helmet from Oculus
  • When is it? outside? There is still no firm release date, but Project Santa Cruz has sent third-party developers
  • How much does it cost? Still no price, but it will probably be more expensive than Oculus Rift

Project Release date and price of Santa Cruz

Unfortunately, we still do not know the launch date of the Santa Cruz Project, although the good news is It seems that it will not take long.

The hearing aids have already made their way to external developers, the Facebook CTO was revealed in May, which is a sure sign that the development is moving towards its final version.

In addition, Facebook mocked the "exciting updates" on the Santa Cruz Project "later this year," with an October revelation of Oculus Connect that seemed likely.

Is this a guarantee that the launch date of the Santa Cruz Project is scheduled for the end of 2018? No, but it bodes well for those who want PC-tied VR quality without the hassle of a cable.

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And the price? That is something that we do not yet know. The also new, also independent Oculus Go costs $ 199 in the US. While the Oculus Rift costs $ 399.

Since the Santa Cruz Project is the company's new flagship VR offering, you may simply be able to replace the Rift at its previous price point of $ 499.

Due to all the new technology, however, it is also quite possible that the Santa Cruz Project is much more expensive than the Rift at launch: we will just have to wait and see.

Characteristics of the Santa Cruz Project [19659024] The Santa Cruz project was first revealed in 2016, but at that time it was less refined. As you can see in the image below, it is basically a small computer tied to the back of your head. Now, all that technology made its way into the headphones.

Perhaps the newest feature is the inside-out scan, which involves placing all the sensors inside the headphones instead of having to place cameras and sensors around them. That's all thanks to the four wide-angle lenses and on-board processing, which can track the movements of your hand and the movements of the controller in real time.

How does the headset track the drivers so accurately? We will dive into the hardware within the controllers in the next section, but essentially involves the use of tiny infrared LEDs, which is the point controlled by the camera.

Those cameras can follow the tracking even when the controllers are above the user's head. This is a notable difference between this handset and the HoloLens design from Microsoft .

The result of all this technology is that magical six degrees of freedom (6DOF), or the ability to move forward and backward, from side to side, and up and down in a virtual environment space. That's something that not all virtual reality headsets offer, especially mobile offerings like Daydream and Gear VR, which depend on smartphones to work.

Much is still unknown about the Santa Cruz Project. For starters, we do not know the computer specifications of the headphones. It is basically a computer in itself, so you will need a processor, RAM and storage, just like any other computer.

Perhaps equally important is the battery life. Virtual reality can seriously tax a battery, but with a headset connected it is not a concern. It would be surprising to see an unattached headset that can last more than a few hours, but obviously we will have to wait and see what Santa Cruz has to offer.

Drivers of the Santa Cruz project

A large part of the Oculus Project Santa Cruz puzzle is the drivers, and while they are similar to the current Touch drivers, there are some notable differences. For starters, the controllers have tiny infrared LEDs, which are tracked by the cameras in the headphones.

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Apart from that, the experience of the controller of the Santa Cruz Project remains the same.

The controllers still offer a firing button accessible by the pointer, along with a grip button on the side. That's good news for those who are used to existing Touch controllers, as it means they will not need to become familiar with a new design.