I used the new Oculus DK2 headset to create a skydiving experience especially for the visitors of The Conference in Malmö on 20th Aug 2014. It’s an incredibly well run conference with inspiring speakers in a relaxed setting. I’d definitely recommend it and you can see videos from most of the sessions.
People sat in a swing seat then put on a VR headset, headphones and experienced gently falling down to earth over the city of Malmö. Clouds added to the 3d effect and a fan on the ground in front of them completed the sense of immersion.
Crucially people have their feet off the ground, removing an innate sense of how far above ground they are. As people came close to the ground at the end of the experience, most visibly flinched at the thought of hitting a virtual ground and a few shouted out. Most took the headset off with a big smile on their face, which is great result for an interactive experience.
I’d ran the Skydive experience in London at the WIRED 2013 conference and in Berlin at NEXT 14. Those used the original Oculus DK1 and while the overall experience was positively received, there were many comments about lack of resolution and some people felt a bit queasy afterwards.
I got my DK2 in just enough time to port the experience especially for Malmö. There were a few changes and workarounds that needed to be made for the brand new SDK, but mostly things just worked.
The DK2 is much better in terms of visual quality. It has a higher resolution display but also a low persistence mode which completely removes the motion blur that affected the DK1. I don’t think anyone commented on the resolution and only a few mentioned feeling a bit wobbly afterwards.
Technically, the DK2 is more demanding requiring a computer and graphics card able to run a 1920x1080 resolution at 75fps, but my MacPro comfortably managed that for this experience.