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Hoping to Battle Apple's AR Ambitions, Oculus is Planning a $200 Headset in 2018

Apple's Competitors
July 13, 2017

With Apple widely expected to make a big augmented reality push starting with the “iPhone 8,” a virtual reality pioneer is planning its next move. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Facebook’s Oculus is planning to produce a standalone, wireless handset that could arrive next year for just $200.

Apple's ARKit for developers was announced at WWDC and will be part of iOS 11.

Apple's ARKit for developers was announced at WWDC and will be part of iOS 11.

Unlike current products from Oculus, the new device won’t require to be tethered to a PC and will cost around $200. Here’s more from the report:

Like current Oculus products, the new headset will be geared toward immersive gaming, watching video and social networking, said the people who asked not to be named to discuss a private matter. Code-named “Pacific,” the device resembles a more compact version of the Rift and will be lighter than Samsung’s Gear VR headset, one of the people said. The device’s design and features aren’t finalized and could still change, but the idea is that someone will be able to pull the headset out of their bag and watch movies on a flight just the way you can now with a phone or tablet.

Oculus specializes in virtual reality that completely immerses a person in a new location. Augmented reality is designed to display important information over images and videos of the real world. A great example of AR technology is seen in the hugely popular Pokémon Go app.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone, expected to be unveiled this fall, is rumored to offer a number of AR-related features.

On the software side, Apple unveiled ARKit at WWDC in June. The API is all about augmented reality and is designed for developers to bring AR features to both the iPhone and iPad starting with iOS 11. To see some of ARKit’s potential, take a look at a clip of Pokémon Go using the API.