Latest Oculus Rift innovation brings new audio wizardry

Oculus VR has taken to the show floor at CES to show off some of the latest developments for its Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.

Although the firm is not showing off a new prototype, or even announcing a consumer release date at this year’s event, it is debuting new audio improvements within its current prototype.

The Facebook-owned company is showing off new spacialised audio technology, which is similar to a surround sound system sitting directly within the headset.

So, if gaming, incoming gunfire can be heard from the originating direction, airstrikes can be heard as if they were coming in over head and, well, you get the idea.

The new feature should do more to enhance the sense of immersion within Rift experiences and comes as Oculus continues to work to get the device ready for a prime time launch sometime in 2015.

The innovation sits within the new, lightweight Crescent Bay headset, which is the last version of the hardware. It was unveileved back in September as the first to include built-in audio, thanks to a pair of integrated headphones.

When the VR company announced the new model it claimed it was now working as hard on the audio experience as the video and promised further details on the new sonic skills in the ‘coming months.’ These appear to be those details.

Despite appearing at CES, Oculus is still staying mum about a potential consumer release date for the pioneering VR headset. Most observers expect it to land in time for the holidays, but it is yet to be confirmed.

CEO Brendan Ibe told The Verge the firm is attempting to confirm some aspects of the final design in order to get the manufacturing supply chain in place, so perhaps we can expect some news soon.