New Oculus Touch Photos Released

by Robert McGregor • January 4th, 2016

As part of their pre-order announcement this morning, Oculus launched a brand new splash page prominently  featuring their Touch input solution.

It was only four days ago that we learned that Oculus had recently pushed back their Touch rollout plans to sometime in the second half of the year. The world can be a cold dark place sometimes.

Oculus pre-orders are here! But what about Touch?

We’ll have to wait a while longer, but no worries!  It looks like Touch is more important than ever to the company’s plans this year.

OculusTouch2

We are promised a device that will give us “hand presence,” something familiar and intuitive. Better yet, they included a couple photos of their an updated Touch design.

The IR LEDs are now neatly hidden within the design, giving us a sleek half moon without the craters to go with it. Touch has never looked better.

When Oculus/Samsung released the retail version of Gear VR we saw subtle idents added to the trackpad to help users feel their way to the right spot.

At the top of the Touch, it looks like a circle of braille-esque bumps have been added to each controller, presumably to help users navigate their way to the right buttons by feel alone. A challenge that Oculus faces is making VR accessible for all types of users, including those who have never held a game controller.  Little refinements like these can make all the difference to a user.

OculusTouch3

The Oculus website features an image titled, “The Full Setup,” which features the Rift, the two tracking cameras and Touch controllers.  While an Xbox One controller will be shipping with every single Rift that goes out, it clearly isn’t part of the ultimate Oculus vision for VR.

Speaking of cameras, we haven’t yet seen Oculus’ recommended setup for how a user should arrange these at their desk or in a room.  While Oculus confirmed that the cameras can be removed from their stands and mounted in creative ways, will they ever go as far as matching Valve’s opposite-corner-of-the-room setup?  I’m keeping an eye on this.

OculusTouch4

All of this speaks to small incremental improvements to the design.  Oculus knows how important input is to the future of their platform and it looks like they are very focused on getting it right.  I can’t wait.

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