The boss of virtual reality (VR) software developer VR Education Holdings PLC (LON:VRE), David Whelan, has hailed the upcoming launch of the new Oculus Quest device as the beginning of “affordable high-quality VR”.
Speaking to Proactive, Whelan said that the Quest, which is developed by Facebook-owned VR firm Oculus and scheduled for release in the second quarter of this year, will help take some pressure off the customer’s wallet if they want to get their hands on a high-quality VR experience.
“Up until now, the limiting factor for good virtual reality is the cost of hardware. For a good experience, you would have needed a computer and a VR device, that’s around a US$1,500 expense. With the Oculus Quest that becomes a US$400 device.”
Unlike the Oculus Go, the last iteration of the headset that was released last year, the Quest functions more as an all-in-one video game system as opposed to the Go which was less high-powered and was aimed more at watching content like Netflix and YouTube.
The prospect of a high-powered, affordable, and portable VR device is good news for VRE, which last December launched the first commercial version of its ENGAGE platform, a virtual environment that allows users to participate in meetings and classes in a shared space without needing to be in the same room.
Whelan said the platform had been released with “significantly increased functionality” as users now had the ability to record and publish their own content as well as being able to purchase Pro ENGAGE accounts that give access to enhanced editing and publishing tools and the option to create virtual avatars from photos.
If users and creators can get their hands on convenient VR that they can take with them anywhere for an affordable price, the concept of VR meetings and classes seems to be inching closer to reality.
In late-afternoon trading Wednesday, VRE shares were steady at 9.5p.