Facebook’s Oculus VR Saturday unveiled Crescent Bay, a virtual reality headset prototype, further refining the technology for eventual consumer use. The headset features a number of improvements, including support for 360 degree head tracking and integrated audio. Crescent Bay is also said to weigh less and feature improved ergonomics. Previous models required users to provide their own headphones.
Though the headset is still a prototype, the Irvine, California, virtual reality company said it is the best virtual reality headset it has built. In addition, Oculus VR is working on developing its own audio tracking software to use alongside existing solutions and its latest hardware prototype to improve the immersion experience.
“As part of our audio initiative, we’ve licensed RealSpace3D’s audio technology, a software stack developed over 10 years based on technology from the University of Maryland,” Oculus VR wrote in a blog entry Saturday. “RealSpace3D’s tech enables high-fidelity VR audio with a combination of HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.”
The company also formalized its partnership with the Unity game engine, which will bring Oculus VR support to the game development platform, used by game developers on a number of mobile devices, consoles and desktops.
Oculus VR shipped the first iteration of its Oculus Rift headsets to developers in 2013. While the headset continues to be improved, it’s not known when the company plans to release a consumer version. The company has explored other uses of its technology, including in mobile devices, with Samsung’s introduction of the Gear VR in September.