The Oculus Rift, closer than ever: An interview with Arief Ernst Hühn


A few weeks back, I was researching for my ‘The future is here’ article containing information about the Oculus Rift and virtual realities. Then, through different sources, I learnt that a good person with knowledge on the subject is in the NHTV building. I’m talking about the very kind and always resourceful Arief Ernst Hühn. I asked him a few questions about the subject and I am giving them to you, as a prequel to my piece in the upcoming BREWED Magazine. Enjoy!


What would make the oculus rift more effective than other head mounted displays?

It is a combination of factors. First of all, they have been able to offer the device against low price by using technical parts that have experienced considerable price deflation due to the rapid developments in mobile phone technology. They basically use similar parts that are also present in your smartphone e.g. the screen, accelerometers and gyros. Technically they offer a larger field of view (VOF), lower latency, higher resolution screen which all amounts to an increased form of presence. All of this is also offered in a more lightweight and less bulky package when compared to the competition. Lastly, we should also not forget that they really are an example of how to launch a new product. Through crowd-funding, close cooperation with key-players in the game development, such as Unity and Valve, it seems that they have been able to build a solid support for their platform. As you can imagine, even a technically top notch HMD without content is doomed. But it seems that they know what they are doing


How do you think the new prototype introduced in January 2014 called ‘Crystal Cove’ could work to alleviate nausea feelings experienced by the user?

There are two important improvements that Crystal Cove offers over DK1. The first one is the use of positional tracking which makes it possible to correct the perspective in the virtual world based on the user’s position instead of only tracking the rotational orientation of the head. This basically means that if you lean forward, your perspective in the virtual world moves accordingly. The other improvement they introduced is what they call ‘low persistence’. With all those improvements, in the end, it will be ensured that the discrepancy between your visual senses and your vestibular system is minimized, which is usually the most important cause for nausea and dizziness.


Apart from games, it seems that the oculus rift will also work for movies and filmed worlds that surround the viewer. What other media forms do you think the oculus rift would be a perfect match for and why?

A few things I can think of are telepresence, serious gaming, shopping and research that relies heavily on contexts that are usually hard to research in.


What movie or game would you like to play/watch with the oculus rift? 

I would love to see a movie like ‘Gravity’ in the Oculus. I always dreamed of space flight. A demo that comes close to that is ‘Titans of Space’, really love that one! Furthermore, at NHTV, we are currently working on a Oculus Short Film for the International Film Festival Go Short.

by Alexandra Sofian

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