A Jump into the Future

A standalone VR prototype, design with enhanced features in Oculus Rift, using positional tracking of both controllers and headset completes the definition of Oculus Santa Cruz.

In 2016 it was announced that Santa Cruz project will be “the future” of facebook by bringing better VR experience without PC connections to its users. It is fairly parallel to Oculus Rift in design and features. With a self-contained system, it has an internal processor, displays, battery and positional tracking. So, no need of host devices. Unlike Oculus Go, Santa Cruz wants to clutch future ‘high-end’ VR mobile market with its more powerful processor and 6DOF tracking on both headset and controllers. Santa Cruz is in prototype phase so its specifications are not confirmed. A high-end mobile chip, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, is used as SoC.

“The headset’s thermal design allows the processor to run at higher clock rates than any similar device.”   Chris Pruet

Santa Cruz has a pair of higher resolution displays at 1,440 × 1,600 pixels, improved Fresnel lenses and IPD adjustment slider.  According to Oculus the design of Santa Cruz will be same as its prototype. Leading edges are placed with four ultra-wide cameras to perform inside-out positional tracking and tracking controllers too. Hidden speakers are also fitted in the head strap with volume button on headset and headphone jack for higher-quality sound. At first glance, the head strap looks similar to Rift but it has more flexible material. Instead of trackpads, thumbsticks and buttons are used in the controllers of Santa Cruz. In this way inputs can be brought closer to Touch parity.

The release date and price of Santa Cruz is not announced officially. An educated guess can show that it will make its way to market in late 2018 or early 2019. A study of similar VR devices reveals that it will be a bit higher than $400.

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