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Oculus reveals wireless VR headset prototype, others

Facebook Inc. unit Oculus VR Inc. unveiled a prototype of a stand-alone virtual reality headset and several other products during the third annual Oculus Connect VR developers conference.

In an Oct. 5 official blog post, Oculus showed a video of the device prototype dubbed "Santa Cruz," which has an inside-out tracking feature.

Oculus also announced that its Oculus Touch wireless motion controllers will be available to preorder for $199 from Oct. 10, with a Dec. 6 shipping date. Customers who bought the Oculus Rift headset via the Oculus website will be given priority for Touch preorders, provided that they place the preorders by Oct. 27.

Further, Oculus revealed its earphones for Oculus Rift worth $49, which will have the same preorder and shipping dates as the Touch controllers.

The VR company also introduced Oculus Avatars, which allows people to customize their VR identities. The feature will be available for Rift by Touch's debut and for mobile devices by early 2017. In addition, Oculus revealed Oculus Parties, which enables voice calls with multiple people in VR mode; and Oculus Rooms, where users will be able to interact and share VR experiences. The two features will be available on the Samsung Gear VR headset in the succeeding months and for Rift next year. Oculus also lowered the minimum specifications for Rift via the Asynchronous Spacewarp feature.

Oculus' other product launches include new mobile software development kits and a Facebook Live broadcast feature for its Gear VR headset; three VR gaming apps exclusive to Touch that will launch via Oculus Rift in 2017; three VR art apps; and a VR karaoke platform dubbed SingSpace, which was developed by Harmonix and will debut in spring next year.

Oculus also revealed partnerships with Walt Disney Co.'s Walt Disney Studios for creating VR experiences, with Alcon Interactive on producing interactive VR clips based on the sequel of science fiction movie "Blade Runner," and with U.S. space agency NASA on training astronauts in VR.

Aside from the partnerships, Oculus said that it earmarked $10 million to support existing VR programs and the production of VR films, including those that will come out of the newly launched Diverse Filmmakers Project.