Did Facebook Just Accidentally Leak Its Next VR Headset?
The headset, code-named ‘Del Mar’, will supposedly use a ‘Jedi’ controller.
According to leaked documentation recently discovered by a handful of Oculus developers, it appears as though Facebook has already begun development on its next VR headset.
Code-named ‘Del Mar’, the device was referenced briefly in an infobox posted on the official Oculus website. Facebook has since scrubbed the information from the site, though screenshots taken by several developers can be found on Twitter. The Verge has also retrieved information from a Google cache of developer portal pages which add additional details.
Titled as “Oculus Del Mar Development”, the infobox states the following:
“The information contained on this page is restricted to early Del Mar developers only. Do not share this information. Any questions should be directed to the Del Mar First Access forum or your Oculus partner.”
Not exactly an avalanche of details. A closer look at the mobile input API documentation, however paints a slightly clearer picture.
Based on the information detailed above, it sounds as though Del Mar will be a standalone headset similar to that of the Oculus Quest and Go. Along with several references to Oculus Touch and GearVR controllers, there’s also mention of an additional “Jedi” controller. While it’s possible the headset could feature a redesigned physical controller, the term “Jedi” could be indicating the use of hand-tracking technology à la the Force. As pointed out by Upload, Facebook hinted in an interview last year that its Oculus Go successor would most likely feature controller-free interactions.
Then again, it’s possibly Del Mar isn’t a VR headset at all. We know Facebook is currently in development of their own AR headset; perhaps this “Jedi” controller is in fact a reference to onboard hand-tracking for an AR device. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s an actual light saber.
As for why the code name “Del Mar”, Oculus has been naming its prototype hardware after California beaches and cities since 2014, beginning with Oculus Development Kit 2 aka “Crystal Cove”. There’s also been Project “Pacific” (Oculus Go), “Crescent Bay” (Oculus Rift), and “Monterey” (Oculus Quest).
With Oculus Quest and Rift S headsets currently out-of-stock both online and in physical stores, it’s unlikely we’ll be receiving any official updates on the next piece of Oculus hardware anytime soon. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has caused significant delays in hardware production and shipping, resulting in a mass shortage of headsets. As Facebook struggles to get their hardware out of the factory and into stores, it seems as though the company has enough on its plate as it is.
Feature Image Credit: Facebook, Oculus