The Future of VR Technology

Bangor University Lecturer Dr Llŷr ap Cenydd has been Talking About the Future of VR Technology as Oculus, owned by Facebook is set to launch their new Oculus Quest headset.

Oculus Quest, a new product which is set to launch this month, is one of the first all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. The device does not need to be connected to a phone, console or PC.

Dr Llŷr ap Cenydd from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering explains,

“The Oculus Quest does a number of things that have been done before in VR but not together. Firstly, it’s mobile - it’s called standalone virtual reality headset - so everything is built into it. It’s pretty much plug and play. There’s also positional tracking so it can track where it is in 3D space without any external cameras, which makes it very easy to use. Finally, you can track your hands so that's one of the key features to make VR very immersive.  When you put all those things together; mobile, positional tracking and hand tracking, you have a very attractive device, both from a consumer and developer point of view.”

As an expert in VR, Dr Llŷr ap Cenydd is the brains behind "Ocean Rift", one of the world’s most popular virtual reality programmes. Ocean Rift, a virtual underwater safari, was one of the first programmes to be released alongside the Samsung Gear VR headset, and has become one of the most popular with an estimated 2.5 million downloads since 2013.

Llŷr developed the programme in his spare time, in conjunction with Samsung and Oculus. Published by Picselica Ltd, it has been used as a launch title for many high-profile VR headsets.

At Bangor University, students at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering have the opportunity to explore a broad range of technologies and collaborate with world leading researchers.

Llŷr added,

“We've got a lot of modules in this department like Artificial Intelligence (AI) for games, programming and computer graphics. All these elements are related to virtual reality. In the third year, students have their dissertation project, where they can choose to spend the whole year working on their own virtual reality project.

They team up with a lecturer like myself and we spend a year developing their prototype and that can really be the main thing on their CV when they graduate, therefore it's a very important part of their final year.”

Oculus Quest headset will be available to buy from the 21st of May.

Publication date: 3 May 2019