I am using VR Glasses like cheap Google Cardboards and better Samsung VR Gear since a few years. So my main question when watching Mark Zuckerberg this Tuesday on Stage at F8 Facebook Developer Conference was: Which extra value could I get if I would purchase the new Oculus Go Glasses? Before I list a personal choice of main features and most important values I have to admit that I bought them directly after Mark`s presentation (without deeper diver into Tech Specs) and hold them 2 days later in my hands.
- Excellent Price-Quality-Ratio
For 199 US$ or 219 € (32 GB) you can get Oculus Go Glasses including one controller, batteries and a USB-Charging cable.
- You don`t need a PC/Mac or Smartphone to use it
That was indeed surprising and offers me a lot of freedom: no cable connection to a PC like with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. No SmartPhones are attached as a display. You just might want to use Android or iOS App to navigate through Oculus App Store (but could it also without the phone directly in the glasses)
- Microphone and Loudspeaker Quality is surprisingly good
I had a few Conference Call experiences with friends in “Oculus Rooms” and we were all surprised how good microphone and loudspeakers sound are. I can hear people talking from different sides which was unexpected and creates a very realistic, less virtual, communication experience. If you want to get a more intensiv Hifi experience when watching a 360 Music Concert or a Netflix / YouTube Movie, you can use Headphones, connected with 3,5mm cable. Obviously Headphones also help in places like public transport to prevent that others are not disturbed. I am fully aware that it might look ridiculous to wear them in these spaces but the movie experience is just incredible and much better than staring on your Phone.
- > 1000 Apps available in Oculus Store
Yes, I was also tempted to buy one of the Microsoft Mixed Reality Glasses. They look good, quality is great, prices are around 200-500 € but I have prefered for my Consumer and Non-Business Use Cases the Oculus because of their attractive Store.
- Oculus Venues and Events
In the Oculus SmartPhone App you can directly see events which are coming soon like SpaceX Rocket Launch (Let see what Elon Musk is presenting here!) or a Music 360 Live Concert. I have subscribed immediately and can join for free, also online Gaming Sessions like Catan. I can imagine that Facebook wants to monetize it, so finally I can sit on my sofa in Central Germany watching my favourite Band in the US performing live and pay for a virtual VR ticket.
- Go offline and be online
Usually when I am watching movies I am using my SmartPhone to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or eMails. That is going to reduce the experience in some ways although I have a lot of fun when talking about a TV Program live on Twitter. Using VR Glasses deliver me a more intensive Movie experience because I don`t touch my Phone. It`s just the virtual living room and the embedded movie displayed on a large screen. Quite a new experience, very cinema like.
- Slow Media Consumption offers more intense communication
Similar to number 7 I have observed that I am watching my friend`s Panorama and 360 photos and videos for a much longer time and more intense. I have seen a few videos where my contacts were talking and I have seen more non-verbal signals and communications because I saw their face larger. On my SmartPhone I was more focused what they were saying, didn`t see other aspects which can help to bring relationships on a different, less superficial level.
- Leaving my filter bubble
Oculus Store is offering > 1000 Apps, so I installed Apps like “Experience Mecca”, “The Body VR” or “Cervantes” immediately and now diving into topics which I know less about it
- Easy to wear with glasses and contact lenses.
I haven`t tried it out yet because I don`t need glasses but I was surprised that a special connector for glasses are inside the box and special contact lenses can be purchased as well
- New immersive Live Streaming Experiences (e.g. YouTube)
My son and I were flying our Mavic Pro Drone to our local castle and could watch in a YouTube Live Stream directly what Drone Camera was filming. Here we could save 499 US$ for the original DJI Goggles (but have never used them, so difficult to compare the experiences)
- Easy to use with Controller
Oculus does not extra charge for the controller which offers a touch display, back + home button and a trigger. All my 3 kids (5,10,13) have tried the controller and it was self explaining. Pairing with Oculus was done within 2 seconds.
What do find not so great? Where am I disappointed? Find out more here