Virtual reality is kind of stuck between two markets right now: an extremely mobile but lower quality, phone-powered experience, and an very high end, expensive, wired PC experience. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says neither is really good enough for the future of the platform. Virtual reality needs to be high quality, wireless and mobile. Today at Oculus Connect 3, Zuckerberg announced that it's coming. Referred to as the "Santa Cruz," the company now has a prototype wireless virtual reality headset designed to bridge the gap between the high end Oculus Rift and the portable Gear VR,.
Zuckerberg showed off a very brief teaser video of the prototype device, but warned that the project was still in it's early stages. Still the headset looks familiar -- aping the comfortable frame of the full Oculus Rift, but lacking its collection of wires. Instead it, it has a (presumably lightweight) computer system mounted into the back of the headset's rigging, and does "inside-out tracking" using cameras to judge the headsets position instead of external sensors. Within seconds, the teaser was over. Oculus doesn't even have a name for the project yet, but it's success could create a new, third category for virtual reality -- a cheap, portable, accessible and high quality experience. Sounds good to us.