Oculus Rift, new virtual reality device, breaks out at Toronto's TAVES show

Eager fans can get their hands, and their heads, into the new virtual reality device at the 2014 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show .

The highly anticiapted device is 'breaking out of the nerdy basements' at TAVES

Canadians will be able to try on Oculus Rift at the 2014 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES) on Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in Toronto. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty)

Back in the early '90s, virtual reality, or VR, promised to revolutionize gaming and many other experiences. But the clunky goggles, gloves and jerky lag time between the user's movements and the visuals were underwhelming if not vomit-inducing.

Flash forward to 2014: where experts say we're now finally on the verge of a VR revolution that will soon change the way we play games and experience the movies.

Oculus Rift development kits sell for about $350. (TAVES Consumer Electronics Show)
Getting a lot of the hype is a new piece of hardware called Oculus Rift. These VR goggles put the user inside an invented 3-D world with no lag time and stunning results. The company was bought a few months ago by Facebook for $2 billion.

Now eager Canadian tech lovers will be able to get their hands on the not-yet-available device at the 2014 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show.

Stephan Tanguay​ is one of hundreds of thousands of developers designing products to take advantage of the technology, creating content for when the consumer models are available.

"It can't be stopped," said the Toronto-based designer who is developing his own VR game for the headset.

"To actually be able to throw myself and project myself into a universe where I feel the depth and there's no window I'm looking through but I'm in that space, I don't think you can get much better than that."

The race to revive VR

Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane (2nd from left) cut fans heads off during an Oculus Rift demo at San Diego's Comic Con. (FOX)
​Pietro Gagliano is the Creative Director of Toronto company Secret Location that recently created a virtual reality experience to promote the Sleepy Hollow TV series. Thousands of people at San Diego's Comic Con were able to enjoy an immersive experience created for the Oculus Rift that featured the character Ichabod Crane cutting your head off. 

Gagliano says he's sold on the future of VR. "I definitely see virtual reality as a technology that is going mainstream. We are on the cusp of it breaking out of the nerdy basements and becoming a viable commercial product."

An Oculus Rift development kit is available to developers for about $350. A consumer version of the headset is expected sometime next summer.

In the meantime, Sony, Samsung and Google are all racing to get their VR devices into the hands of consumers.

These devices should hit the market sometime in 2015. If the advance hype is correct, the world of entertainment will never be the same. 

TAVES Consumer Electronics Show runs until Nov. 2 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.


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