We have already known for a while that Oculus and Valve are taking two different approaches to virtual reality, with Oculus focussing more on the seated experience and Valve springing for room-scale technology that will allow you to physically walk around and interact with the world. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for the two to overlap as it turns out that the Oculus Rift will support some of Valve’s ‘Chaperone’ technology.
Chaperone is Valve’s name for its Virtual Reality safeguard feature, which essentially allows a headset wearer to see out into the real world whenever they come into close proximity with a wall or object.
The Chaperone feature is also built to allow users to have a drink or interact with things in the real world without having to take the headset off to see properly.
Obviously the Rift doesn’t have all of the necessary hardware to fully leverage the Chaperone feature, like the front-facing camera, so instead Oculus users will have to pick out a preset box size using Valve’s software to see those virtual walls in game. Valve is currently saying (via Engadget) that once the Oculus Touch controllers arrive, they will allow users to define their own 3D spaces rather than using presets.
KitGuru Says: Valve generally likes to support the broadest amount of customers possible so while not all of its VR technology will be usable by the Rift due to design differences, Valve will offer whatever support it can. Are any of you planning on jumping into VR this year? Will you be going with the Rift or the Vive?