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Virtual reality set to go mobile as Oculus announces Android compatibility for Rift


October 29, 2013

The makers of the Oculus Rift have revealed a version of the VR goggles designed for mobile devices running Android will launch alongside the full-sized PC model

The makers of the Oculus Rift have revealed a version of the VR goggles designed for mobile devices running Android will launch alongside the full-sized PC model

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.

“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.

Source: VentureBeat

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.

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

I believe John Carmack made a passing mention of there eventually being a stand-alone Rift that runs Android on the HMD itself, but this is only a potential idea for a future product iteration.

Phillip Foshée

In their rush to announce new models I hope they don't forget to deliver something. Whether or not they can remains to be seen. The developer kit shows they can hack inadequate technology but can they actually deliver an adequate product?


Not being tethered to a PC would be a huge plus.

Seth Miesters
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