The wildly successful Oculus Rift has been used by many third party companies to further enhance the virtual experience for the user, but new research between a team at Oculus and scientists at the University of California, could soon lead to a whole new level of immersion in social virtual reality applications.
The team made modifications to a Oculus Rift DK2 allowing facial expressions of the wearer to be captured and then displayed on the face of an avatar in real time.
Head of the project Hao Li recently told the press that the goal of the current project was strictly research based, though he did suggest the headset add-ons could be modified to make them more user friendly.
He also noted that in its current format, the system requires up to 10 minute calibration process that requires the user to engage in facial movements, and another shorter calibration routine before the user is ready to go.
The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2016, making it one of the first consumer-targeted virtual reality headsets to hit the market. As well as consumer uses, the Rift has attracted significant interest from industry and professional spheres for productivity enhancement, visualisation, and advertising.