Leave it to Oculus to just casually throw some major news into a simple little tweet; the VR specialist has just announced a brand new boundary system in passing.
VP of Product Nate Mitchell teased the news just moments ago. He told Oculus developers that an incoming software development kit (SDK) update, 1.8, would include Guardian, a new boundary system for the company’s upcoming position-tracked controllers, Oculus Touch. More details will be coming at next month’s anticipated developer conference, Oculus Connect 3.
FYI for Oculus devs – this week’s Rift Sept update (1.8) includes Guardian, our boundary system for Touch. More details to share at OC3!
— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) September 14, 2016
It’s the first time we’ve heard mention of this new system by name, though its eventual inclusion in the Oculus SDK was something of a given. A boundary system likely refers to showing VR users the limits of the area they’re being tracked in. That way you know you can move around an area safely, and the given experience will alert you to when you’re nearing the edges of that zone. Hopefully that means no walking into walls and tripping over chairs; we somehow doubt Facebook wants that.
We actually saw something very similar to this concept already when going hands-on with Oculus-developed Touch shooter, Dead And Buried a few months ago. This may have been early implementation of the system.
Valve already has a boundary system — Chaperone — for its SteamVR platform and the HTC Vive . It’s essential for the kit, which places a big focus on room-scale user tracking.
Developers may be getting their hands on Guardian later this week, but fans probably won’t hear more about it until Connect from October 5th – 7th. As for Touch itself, we know the controllers will be launching in Q4. Last week a European retailer listing suggested it could be here in November for around $230 but, again, we may have to wait on Connect to hear more.