Virtual reality gaming may have just taken a huge step forward with the Oculus Rift. The most impressive virtual reality headset to date premiered on crowd-funding website Kickstarter yesterday ad quickly raised far beyond the $250,000 they needed to launch the product.
According to Kickstarter's rules the project will continue to take donations for 30 days at which time all funds will be transfered to the company to help manufacture and sell and revolutionary new gaming device.
Oculus Rift currently has $961,852 in donations with 29 days to go before the project gets official funded. Donations ranged from $10 to receive a special thank you note from the Oculus Team, to $275 for a unassembled prototype model that funders will receive a month before regular shipping and build themselves (sold out). Seven backers (our of ten total available spots) have even donated $5,000, buying them a Oculus prototype, a bunch of other goodies and best of all a personal day-long tour f the Oculus lab to meet the team and try out some games.
The Oculus Rift has been designed specifically for video games and promises to "change the way you think about gaming forever."
"What I've got now, is, I honestly think the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen," DOOM developer John Carmack says in the Oculus promotional video.
The Oculus Rift was designed following three key principles. The headset offers wide field view, high resolution display and ultra-low latency head tracking to create a completely immersive experience.
Oculus hopes to get their prototypes into the hands of game developers as quickly as possible so that they can begin designing video games for the virtual reality headset. The first Oculus-ready video game, DOOM 3 BFG, is already available.
This latest story of Kickstarter success is just another example of the runaway success that becomes possible thanks to online crowd-funding. By offering backers the chance to get an early copy of a product, shell out for some special treatment, and most importantly feel like they are investing in something they care about, projects like Oculus can change the world.