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Kickstarted Oculus Rift VR Headset Shipping In March/April

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the oh-look-it's-the-future dept.

Businesses 93

An anonymous reader writes "After an amazing Kickstarter campaign garnering over $2.4M in backing, VR headset Manufacture OculusVR has announced manufacturing details and also a shipping delay until March or April 2013. Oculus says that due to the number of backers, mass manufacturing would be required. 'All together, preparing the factory for mass production of a product like the Rift takes approximately 90 days and the factory can’t begin until design and feature set has been locked down. Our manufacturer is already underway with the first tooling (T1), which takes roughly 50-70 days. Once the primary tooling is complete, we’ll do a series of pilot runs for minor tweaks and adjustments before mass production. Simultaneously, we’ll be testing and certifying the device for public use.' Additional details are included on their 1000hz 9DOF head tracker and 7" screen: 'Ultimately, we selected a modern, 1280×800 7’’ display for the developer kit. The bright side is that the new display beats the old display in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast, and color quality. The improved switching time of the panel actually alleviates most of the motion blur people saw in earlier prototype demos. The downside to our new 7’’ is the weight differential: approximately 30g more than the 5.6".' It looks like the VR revolution will have to wait a little bit longer."

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93 comments

BEWARE !! IT IS EVIL !! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121511)

This is not good !! Stay away !!

How does this compare with Google glasses? (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#42121609)

I am somewhat interested in VR glasses but not enough to have followed them in detail. Is the Oculus any better than what Sergei Brin is wearing?

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121681)

I was under the impression that Google classes provide augmented reality [wikipedia.org], as opposed to virtual reality [wikipedia.org]. They're two similar, and yet very different, things.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42122251)

Augmented reality: Now you can look busy at work while checking Facebook continually!

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123487)

What I'm waiting is that you could see your desktop and code with infinite space with Oculus Rift, not Unlike the goggles from Cowboy Bebop.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about a year ago | (#42123357)

I imagine it will take about 24 hours before the first dev hacks together two phone cameras on the front of this thing and then pipes the input back through the screens for an augmented reality kit.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

am 2k (217885) | about a year ago | (#42125457)

The focus would be way off though (always at close to infinity, no matter how close the surrounding really is). I can't even guess at what that does to your brain when you're using it for more than a few minutes.

The Google glasses don't have this issue, but they do have the problem that you have to switch focus to look at the overlay, which is probably pretty uncomfortable as well.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42126929)

The high tech way of doing augmented reality is with projection into your eye (virtual retinal display/retinal projection). That method projects in your entire field of view instead of just the dimensions of a display surface, has no focus issues, and involves less bulky gear on your head. I know Brother Industries had a hand in developing a working version of this technique.

I still haven't heard if that's what Google is using, but I do hope so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display [wikipedia.org]

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#42129173)

I tried out a retinal projection display at a SIGGRAPH conference many years ago. I was surprised and disappointed by the experience.

I'm not an optical scientist, but as best I understand it, retinal-scanning displays simulate a lens with a very high F-number (very small aperture). The good news is that aberrations in your own lens don't make much difference -- even if you need glasses for normal vision, you don't need them with this display technology. The bad news is that you get massive diffraction artifacts from the things that normally cause nearly-unnoticeable "floaters" in your field of view. They show up as big, bright-and-dark blobs in a monochrome system; depending on how a color system is arranged, I guess they could get pretty psychedelic.

This was maybe fifteen years ago, and I'm sure aspects of the technology have improved since then -- it'll be less bulky now, with higher resolution, and probably full color. But I'm not sure there's any way around these optical artifacts, at least without giving up the "infinite-focus" feature. I'd welcome input from others who are more in touch with the current state of the art.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#42129729)

The focus would be way off though (always at close to infinity, no matter how close the surrounding really is). I can't even guess at what that does to your brain when you're using it for more than a few minutes.

The Google glasses don't have this issue, but they do have the problem that you have to switch focus to look at the overlay, which is probably pretty uncomfortable as well.

Finally, a case where technology will favor the middle-aged over the young. Our eyes have already lost most of their ability to adjust focus, so we should no longer suffer ill effects from vergence-accommodation conflict [nih.gov].

GG not really augmented at all (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42125297)

I was under the impression that Google classes provide augmented reality

Not really, they provide a data stream you can look at but it's not overlaid on the world you see at all, which is what most people think of when talking about augmented reality. If GG are "augmented reality" then so is your smartphone since you can hold it up an look at it.

GG is really more an omnipresent data stream in a way that is not practical with smartphones.

Occulus is not really meant for augmented reality, but it could be used for that. There's no reason you could not feed a live view into the display and then overlay other things on top of it. It would look WAY geekier though and be really heavy.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121793)

A 2 second search should have told you the difference but to sum it up: Google glasses will be used to superpose a layer of so called "augmented reality" over your daily routine while the Occulus rift is a true virtual reality headset. Your mom will be using Google glasses to read a recipe while you'll be immersed in a pool of sweaty pornish pixels on the Rift.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42122933)

There's a youtube video on the linked page. This isn't exactly your Mom's google glasses.

Re:How does this compare with Google glasses? (2)

Kazymyr (190114) | about a year ago | (#42121975)

They're aimed at different (yet in some areas common) consumers. The Rift is for gamers, to provide a completely artificial replacement of the surroundings (virtual reality). Think Star Trek holodecks.

Finally (1)

end15 (607595) | about a year ago | (#42121677)

Finally I can retire my VFX1 and move onto new VR games. Can anyone recommend a game to play with this new headset? I just finished Quake and this new game called Half Life sounds promising.

Re:Finally (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | about a year ago | (#42121993)

The upcoming Star Citizen will have full support for the Rift.

Re:Finally (2)

nschubach (922175) | about a year ago | (#42122259)

It will apparently also feed your children while you are magically flying around a unicorn filled environment with proper analyzation of your play-style and adjust how many magical unicorns will be within your particular server instance.

Sorry, but there's a load of different ideas on what that game will finally ship with and plenty of people all dumping loads of cash into that unknown. A lot of that has to do with Chris' unclear specifications. He has a vision he can't clearly describe, and everyone interprets that vision using the current model of gaming to try to best describe it to themselves. It wasn't until about two weeks after the initial hype hit that I found out that it will be a fully PvP game (unless you opt out of the social aspect and host your own), which they later changed to a mostly PvP game where you can adjust your "PvP preference slider" which doesn't allow you to completely avoid PvP (especially if you just want to explore the edges of the galaxy). I'm assuming that will change as production starts along with a great many other aspects, and I fully expect it to not meet the expectations of a great many people.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122701)

Maybe so, but the developers have stated that it will support the rift from the start. If they hadn't, integrating Rift support has been described as a fairly trivial process. Even further, they're fleshing out entire 3D models of each ship, not just the exteriors, but every functional detail of the interior as well. Every detail about the game released so far is conducive to Star Citizen being made to function seamlessly with the Rift.

If I've got 7 inches strapped to my head (0, Offtopic)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year ago | (#42121739)

does that make me a dick head?

Re:If I've got 7 inches strapped to my head (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121855)

does that make me a dick head?

Maybe. However nuts on your chin would probably mean a dick in your mouth... ZING!

One good point is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121909)

That Its getting released how much kickstarted hardware will be able to say the same?

Re:One good point is (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42122191)

It hasn't been release yet. They still have tooling, production, testing and certification to go. If the tooling gets fucked up enough or pre-prod testing shows big flaws or certification fails they may not have enough money to completely re-do the tooling. It's not cheap.

Re:One good point is (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42126493)

Hear, hear. I was one of those that ordered the Pandora handheld console when they crowd-funded it's development. They were very open with how they were progressing and as a result I got to see a lot of what can go wrong, especially for small-time players that are only looking to make a few thousand units - a few hundred units a day in an injection-molding plant pretty much means you're being squeezed into the slack time between major orders and can expect production to be delayed indefinitely if there are any scheduling issues because they don't really care if you take your business elsewhere. I stuck with it and did eventually get my handheld, a year (two?) later than the initial estimates, and it was pretty cool even if I no longer really had a niche in my life for it. It was enough to convince me not to put much credence on the initial estimates of someone who's never actually done mass-production before though.

Maybe these folks will pull it off, they've got more funding and more potential for run-away success (so their suppliers may care more about keeping them on), and estimates have only slipped about 80% (so far) from their initial not-mass-produced plans, so who knows. This time though I'm waiting until the product is actually shipping before I even think about ordering. Though... anybody want to buy a lightly used Pandora? I think it's about time to start replenishing my cool gadget fund...

Re:One good point is (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42127331)

That Its getting released how much kickstarted hardware will be able to say the same?

well.. they still have all the hard parts about the manufacturing left.

which is kind of a bummer since everyone assumed(as would have been necessary if their previous estimates were true) that they had already done the things they still need to do - turns out they've been mucking with the design they said they had ready, switching the display and doing a new sensor board.

yes it's a bummer. especially so since their customer facing pr was all working as if it would ship on 12.12. they already asked for shipping information ages ago too.

Re:One good point is (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42128439)

well.. they still have all the hard parts about the manufacturing left.

which is kind of a bummer since everyone assumed(as would have been necessary if their previous estimates were true) that they had already done the things they still need to do - turns out they've been mucking with the design they said they had ready, switching the display and doing a new sensor board.

One of the interviewees in the Kickstarter pitch vid (the head of Valve, IIRC) said that he thought Palmer was the person to solve the "hard problems", which told me that the rest of the pitch was whitewash. It really sounded as though they just needed to tool up and fabricate the developer versions, and that the only remaining R&D was refining the hardware and upgrading the components for a higher-def production model. But then the Valve guy talked about "hard problems". And my enthusiasm vaporised with the hardware....

Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121925)

This is only going to be the first delay. I have serious doubts that this thing is ever going to get off of the ground. It is more likely that they'll pocket the money and run.

Re:Here we go... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122029)

Yeah, but you're a fucking moron so who cares about anything you say?

Re:Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122495)

I could easily kick your ass, kid.

Re:Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123715)

Only a kid would say that.

Will it work with glasses? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42121949)

One of the main reasons why I didn't do this KS was because they said on their main page that the initial developer units are NOT compatible with glasses, but the one that becomes commercially avialable will.

Since the design has to be locked down - did they end up supporting glasses or not?

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122091)

One of the main reasons why I didn't do this KS was because they said on their main page that the initial developer units are NOT compatible with glasses, but the one that becomes commercially avialable will.

Since the design has to be locked down - did they end up supporting glasses or not?

Just put lenses on your eyes.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42122587)

I'd rather get kicked in the nuts.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42128263)

I'd rather get kicked in the nuts.

While it will hurt you more then it will hurt me, I'm willing to do the kicking...

=)

Re:Will it work with glasses? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42122097)

Have you considered alternatives to glasses?

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | about a year ago | (#42122261)

I have, and they're not acceptable.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42126531)

Sure, contacts suck (well, except for the peripheral vision), but have you considered a seeing-eye bimbo? More expensive than a dog, but the handles are much more ergonomic.

In all seriousness though I have been eying Lasik for a few years, even watched a procedure done once. It seems much preferable to earlier laser surgery techniques, but still sounds like the sort of thing that can only be done once, and I can't say I like the idea of having my cornea flayed open and carved away at. Still, now that my eyes seem to have finally stabilized it is tempting.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (2, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about a year ago | (#42122399)

How hard would it be for them to add a little program where you tell it your prescription and it fixes the video feed for you?

Re:Will it work with glasses? (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42122899)

How hard would it be for them to add a little program where you tell it your prescription and it fixes the video feed for you?

Impossibly hard.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42123453)

How hard would it be for them to add a little program where you tell it your prescription and it fixes the video feed for you?

Impossibly hard.

The impossible is just something that hasn't been done yet. - Anonymous

Re:Will it work with glasses? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42124003)

try getting a slashdotter to pull his mouthparts away from steve jobs' pecker for a mo'

now that's a fairly workable definition of impossible.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42125083)

The impossible is just something that hasn't been done yet. - Anonymous

How dare you quote me without my permission!

Re:Will it work with glasses? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42127297)

How hard would it be for them to add a little program where you tell it your prescription and it fixes the video feed for you?

Impossibly hard.

The impossible is just something that hasn't been done yet. - Anonymous

anon is stupid - anon.

sure, you could make it work with sw.
if you added moving optics and hw to move them, silly bear.

so contacts it it is. BY THE WAY - when the KS from them went underway they were not clear about this.

Re:Will it work with glasses? (2)

tringstad (168599) | about a year ago | (#42124549)

Impossible? Care to explain why?

Carmack seems to think otherwise:

"While the headset is light and fits well, the player can't wear glasses under the current design. If you move the display further from your head you lose field of view. There are things they can do with sharpness in the software, or they can create adjustable optics that remove the need for glasses, but those are problems that will be solved in the retail version. "Astigmatism I could correct for with a fragment program," Carmack told me without skipping a beat. This is the world we live in; your vision problems can be solved in software."

From:
http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/behind-the-scenes-with-the-oculus-rift-the-hardware-that-could-change-the-w [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Will it work with glasses? (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42126587)

Astigmatism would be relatively easy to correct for as it's basically an asymmetrical geometric distortion which could be (in theory) corrected for reasonably well applying an inverse distortion to the rendering. Focal problems on the other hand can't be corrected for except with optics - if the image on your retina is out of focus then that sets the maximally-clear image that can be perceived. If it's only a little out of focus (you have a weak prescription) you could apply a sharpen filter to the rendering so that the blurry image on your retina looks a bit clearer, but it's not actually an inverse function so its corrective abilities are minimal. If you have really bad vision you're SOL, no amount of "sharpening" will correct for the thirty-pixel-radius blur filter your eyes are going to apply.

Time for binaural copulation (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121989)

While the news of a good-enough virtual reality headset for the masses is amazing, I'm wondering if it would be anywhere possible to couple the occulus with a real-time binaural reverberation solution. Given that, contrary to the propagation of light, sound propagation involves delays that can be easily perceived, I am aware that a real-time binaural simulation can be very costly in terms of resources. But still, I'm wondering if with today's graphic cards (which should be used to perform this kind of calculations) and today's algorithms it could be considered to integrate this into modern game engines. I believe that the "reality effect" of sound immersion have too often been neglected by most gamers and developers. (The following video should be enough to convince non-believers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA)

Re:Time for binaural copulation (1)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#42125171)

Binaural yaddah yaddah

Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) are pretty common, your bog standard motherboard sound chip (intel HD, not AC87) can probably do them if you install the drivers. Add a pair of IEMs/'canalphones' (so you're not sending sound through your algorithmic pinnae followed by your physical pinnae) and you have positional stereo sound.

Re:Time for binaural copulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42125575)

your bog standard motherboard sound chip yaddah yaddah I'm not talking about mere filter that would simulate the HRTFs. A "real" binaural reverberation solution involves having locally placed sound sources in a virtual 3D environnement and then calculate how this sound is diffused/refracted/etc in that environment and produce some output corresponding to the listener's position. This would imply having an engine capable to perform those simulation as well as being able to apply different types of "accoustic materials" on your scene. Unless I'm far off, this is nowhere near what's done in a soundcard. Just check that link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQt1jtDBNK4 [youtube.com]

Re:Time for binaural copulation (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year ago | (#42126449)

That video looks very much like a beefed-up form of Aureal's wave-tracing [quantexzone.com]. A3D 2.0 required a simplified version of the geometry, with acoustic materials applied, and simulated the the main reflections, occlusions and reverb, then (optionally) applied HRTFs to the result.

This project appears capable of using the raw scene geometry and textures, and works in software with modern multicore CPUs, but it looks conceptually quite similar. I'm not aware of any commercial efforts using this approach though. One of the reasons A3D didn't take off back then was the large amount of extra developer work required; maybe this would ease that somewhat.

Re:Time for binaural copulation (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year ago | (#42125461)

That's pretty much what HRTF [wikipedia.org] audio cards were doing 15 years ago. Notably, Aureal's A3D 2.0 [wikipedia.org] was doing full wave-traced audio in hardware, up until they got shut down by Creative.

Since then, Creative's cards have been doing HRTFs [codinghorror.com] for some time, available to any game using DirectSound 3D through CMSS-3D [wikipedia.org], but DS3D was cut from Vista & Win7. For more recent OpenAL games, products like Rapture 3D [blueripplesound.com] can get your HRTF fix on.

1280*800 7" (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42122145)

It would have been nice if they could get some of them nice new cellphone LCD's in the 4" ballpark. The Galaxy S III is 1280x720 in a 4.3". Even the much cheaper Xperia S is 1280x720 4.3". A 7" screen is a big thing to strap on your face.

Re:1280*800 7" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122235)

Not only that, but there're two 7" screens attached to your face. This thing will be awesome to use, but won't make much of a fashion statement.

-1, Assumptions... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122355)

Making an ass out of yo... or just me.

For some reason I was thinking there's a display for each eye and couldn't figure out why they would show both views on the preview monitor. Duh, it's easier and cheaper to split a single screen between two viewpoints than to have 2 separate screens.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#42122797)

4.3" is to small, as you need something that covers both your eyes. The sweet spot would be something around 5.5" I think.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42123131)

Isn't that what the optics are for? Since you know, its 3D and it would be pretty shit if each eye could only see half the screen. I imagine each eye would be looking at the centre of the screen and there would be LCD shutters on each eye. The Samsung Galaxy Note has a 5.3" 1280x800 screen. A 5.5" screen would have the edges at the outside edge of each of your eyes. (for the average man, centre to centre is about 6.5cm, for women, 5.5cm)

Re:1280*800 7" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123767)

It works by rendering two separate images with view matrices similar to where your eyes would otherwise be. The screen is essentially split right down the middle with your eye only seeing one half of the screen.

Re:1280*800 7" (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42125917)

The optics are for generating the ridiculous field of view, and no, no LCD shutters. Shutters are baaad. You hate shutters and don't even know it. Shutters cut your framerate in half, cause flicker even if you double the framerate to compensate, often cause ghosting and bleedover 'cause they're ever so slightly out of sync with the display, and make the screen look dimmer, all at the same time. Oculus Rift dedicates half the screen to each eye. That eliminates all four of the shutter problems, plus it makes software really easy. No nonsense with trying to correctly sync output to two independent displays simultaneously. No nonsense with trying to correctly sync the display with a shutter, either. Instead you just shove one frame out to one display, and process the content of the frame to display two images side by side, one for each eye. Muuuch easier than independent displays, much better than a shuttered display.

That also means that the 7" display now provides more screen real estate that the optics can turn into better horizontal field of view. 110 degrees of vertical field of view and 120 degrees of horizontal field of view means immersiveness unlike anything you've ever seen. So yes, Rift 1 will have 640x800 pixels for each eye. That's better than 720p vertically, and only a little cramped horizontally. If the Rift 1 does well (and it probably will), they'll try to get their hands on the newest high-DPI displays for Rift 2. That will probably be possible. When Apple starts buying Retina displays from someone other than Samsung, that will free up Samsung high-DPI displays for lots of other people, including Oculus. Then you'll have better than typical desktop LCD resolution providing that crazy high field of view. Games will never be the same.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42126173)

Apple buy their current crop of Retina displays from LG. Samsung are supplying the high DPI Nexus and their own products at the moment. 640 horizontal pixels is no better than Doom 2. The pixels will be big enough to see and will look like wide rectangles.

I wish them all the best for the future but if they want to be "the next big thing" in PC gaming, they'll need to up the resolution or it just seems like a gimmick. Sounds like they should port one of the Lego franchise games, then the blocky graphics will match the resolution.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year ago | (#42126655)

And that's one of the main reasons this is being sold to *developers*, not consumers.And yes, the consumer version will of course have higher resolution.

Much more important than resolution are the Rift's large field of view and low latency response. These contribute far more to VR "immersion" than resolution does, though they're not numbers that consumers are familiar with. The experience is very different from Doom 2.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about a year ago | (#42130427)

Your brain will combine it to 2x 640. If you train your eyes to see side-by-side stereoscopy you can see that the effect is one tall but high-DPI image, without having to wait for the Rift.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42128515)

That also means that the 7" display now provides more screen real estate that the optics can turn into better horizontal field of view. 110 degrees of vertical field of view and 120 degrees of horizontal field of view means immersiveness unlike anything you've ever seen. So yes, Rift 1 will have 640x800 pixels for each eye. That's better than 720p vertically, and only a little cramped horizontally.

I can't see mention of the increased field of view in TFA -- is that something they've announced in a Kickstarter update somewhere? The only figure I've seen was 110 degrees diagonal, which is a very different beast....

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42136329)

I don't know where that weird 110 degree diagonal number came from. I've only seen it on Slashdot. I don't even know what that means. I guess field of view can be measured along any axis, but that axis strikes me as being exceedingly useless. We hold the plane of our eyes level with respect to gravity as much as we can and we pay VERY different amounts of attention to activity in the vertical field of view vs the horizontal field of view. Evolution in action. Threats are most likely to come at us from our own plane, and are far less likely to arrive from above or below. That single number strikes me as a marketing moron run amok, and it should be stamped out before it takes hold.

Having said that, I'm not aware of Oculus saying they intend to convert the extra width to an extended field of view beyond the horizontal FOV already specced. The option is there, especially since they have to redo the optics for the new size anyway, but that was just me pointing out the physics of the situation.

Re:1280*800 7" (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42139861)

I got it from the video pitch on the Kickstarter page. Using diagonals makes sense in that it's what we already do with TVs, and converting from screen-size to viewing angle is a simple bit of geometry, which is the same calculation as used in translating between a projector's angular rating and the projection size at X meters/feet/standard-noodle-lengths. It's not really "new"....

From entrepreneur POV... (2, Informative)

grumpyman (849537) | about a year ago | (#42122249)

Kickstarter: Non-dilutive, non-repayable financing, beta customers, PO paid up-front....

Re:From entrepreneur POV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128405)

I second that. This is the first and the last time i use Kickstarer.

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122267)

my virtual boy is now obsolete

3D Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123091)

Could these be used to view 3D porn (and 3D videos in general)?

Re:3D Porn (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42125573)

Only in a strange "virtual theater" sort of way that wastes resolution. Virtual Reality is about virtual worlds, not watching 3D movies. 3D movies are filmed assuming a very narrow field of vision for the viewer. The Rift, more than any other VR headset before it, is about cranking up the field of vision as far as your eyes can see. If you use the full resolution of the screen to display a movie, you're almost guaranteed to give yourself motion sickness. Rapid motion that's completely disconnected from your head motion while covering your entire field of vision is a sure-fire recipe for puking.

So yes, if you build virtual theater software to display your 3D movie on a virtual screen, you can watch 3D movies and get 3D effects (if you can interpret the 3D movie data correctly and get it where it needs to go), but that's really not the point.

Re:3D Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42126077)

If it were a traditionally filmed - yah, you'd need a virtual theater. But if the video were capturing the full 360 degrees, you can freely rotate the camera via headtracking. Provided the camera's FOV/distortion fits naturally with what your eye should be seeing, you've got a pretty convincing virtual reality video, whether it be porn or otherwise.

Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42126743)

Come now - the Occulus has a wider FOV than any consumer VR helmet to come before it, but it's nowhere near what our eyes have. The human eye has a roughly 155* horizontal FOV and 135* vertical, and due to asymmetrical distribution (only 60* toward the nose) the combined fixed-eye horizontal FOV is roughly 180*. When you factor in the fact that our eyes continuously move and what we "see" is actually a brain-assembled composite the effective FOV is a bit over 180* in all directions.

The Occulus' FOV covers most of the effectively high-res FOV of our eyes, but does nothing for the remaining 75% of our FOV that comprises peripheral vision. And that's a real shame because, as NASA discovered many years back, with near 100% FOV coverage something really cool happens - your brain decides that your eyes are more reliable than your inner ear, and you start actually *feeling* the motion that you're seeing. If you've ever watched a movie in one of those tilted-dome theaters you've had a taste of what I'm talking about. It's pretty unnerving at first, but quickly becomes an incredible experience. There's nothing quite like desperately gripping the arms of your chair to keep yourself from flying up out of it while the rational part of your brain is still quite certain that, despite all sensory evidence to the contrary, gravity *is* still pulling in the proper direction.

Of course the first VR goggles to actually manage a 180*FOV will probably need to ship with air sickness bags, but the way I see it that's a major marketing point.

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42127081)

180 degrees in all directions. Ha. Some of us wear prescription lenses you insensitive clod. And ever since tiny narrow frames came into fashion, our FOV that's any more than irrelevant fuzz has been even lower than the normal high-res FOV.

A Rift will cover more of my vision range than I can normally use. I'd have to fiddle the optics to let me focus, but supposedly the developer kit will be adjustable. In any case, 180 degrees is far more than I've had since I was a very small child.

(The Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle novel Lucifer's Hammer describes a physicist who had glasses with wrap-around lenses. I've often yearned after such a thing, no matter how funky they might look. But I don't have access to a lab to custom make my own lenses and frames, as presumably that physicist did.)

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42130915)

You'd be surprised - unless your vision is drastically worse than mine (I can read large facial expressions from a couple feet away) your brain is still pulling an incredible amount of information from your peripheral vision. Motion, object tracking, etc. A lot of the general situational awareness/immersion data. It's not exactly high-res vision to begin with so blurriness has much less effect than on your central vision.

Try this - hold your hands out at arms length near the opposite limits of your glass's FOV so that you can see both clearly, then focus your eyes on one thumbnail (which is now pretty much covering your "high res" FOV - it's tiny). Now try to see your other hand while keeping your eyes fixed on that nail - all you'll see is a vaguely hand-shaped blur. Hold up a boldly colored DVD case or something in our second hand for an even more dramatic effect.

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#42136887)

I generally can't distinguish a face, at that distance. I only know it's probably a face because of fill-in guesswork--I can tell it's a head, and I can tell by color that it's probably not the back of a head, but other than that, I can't say much about what I'm seeing.

Worse, the FOV of my glasses is so tiny that I have to move my head to get a clear image more than 2 or 3 degrees in any direction. Even with high diffraction index plastic, most of what should be the effective FOV of my lenses is actually out of focus for me. I'm not sure if I just have an incredibly shoddy pair of glasses or if the narrow frames forced the choice of a uselessly narrow lens, but either way, my high res FOV without moving my head is so small that the Rift will feel like a panorama (if it can be adjusted to deal with my vision).

In any case, this whole thread started because I said " The Rift, more than any other VR headset before it, is about cranking up the field of vision as far as your eyes can see." I didn't mean to imply they had actually succeeded in encompassing the entire human FOV. Just that high FOV was what the Rift is all about.

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42155375)

Yikes, sounds like your eyes *are* worse than mine. Just a thought, but have you considered experimenting with the FOV of glasses from someplace like EyeBuyDirect? For $7 you can get a pair of big goggly-eyed glasses with basic polycarbonate lenses. Higher diffraction ratings are available for progressively more money, but one of the major issues with HDI lenses is that the index isn't constant across the visible spectrum so they introduce substantial chromatic aberration for stronger prescriptions, especially as you move away from the center of the FOV, which sounds like it may be what you're having problems with. Effectively you're wearing one prescription for red light, and a completely different one for blue, with only somewhere around green getting the correct prescription, and since the vision-correcting distortion is most dramatic at the extremes, so is the blurring. Glass and polycarbonate have much more constant indices so don't have as much of an issue that issue. Of course if it's vanity or weight considerations that are governing your choice then you may be stuck, but a few extra data-points may reveal a more optimal sweet-spot - while high-index materials do tend to have higher abberation ratings as well, it's not a 1:1 correspondence so if that's your problem it could be worth investigating. If nothing else you never know when a pair of 5lb Elton John glasses with a wide FOV may come in handy....

As for the Rift, you said it. While still having much room for improvement it promises to stand head, shoulders, and waist above the competition, at least among the consumer-grade headsets. Finally a VR headset worth buying.

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#42129661)

And that's a real shame because, as NASA discovered many years back, with near 100% FOV coverage something really cool happens - your brain decides that your eyes are more reliable than your inner ear, and you start actually *feeling* the motion that you're seeing.

Well, part of my brain decides that. Unfortunately, when that part secedes and declares war on the parts that are still trusting my inner ear, it's my digestive system that suffers the most collateral damage. I found this out the hard way after 20 minutes or so in a CAVE [wikipedia.org] -- persistent motion sickness for the rest of the afternoon.

Between the time that VR is widely adopted in the working world, and the time that we develop good vestibular transducers to sync up balance with visual inputs, I'm going to have one heck of an occupational disability.

Re:Not even close. Sadly. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42131069)

Bummer. Are you sure it was the full-immersion that was throwing you off though? Were you in control of the camera? I've never had problems with full immersion video, but have had some really hideous motion sickness while just watching friends play first-person games on a 22" screen. When under direct control (without all the smooth camera work of a professional cameraman) the camera makes lots of unsettling little moves. When you're at the controls your brain is expecting them so they get filtered out, but with someone else at the controls (or if you're not reflexively familiar with them) it can be a problem.

Re:3D Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128027)

Rapid motion that's completely disconnected from your head motion while covering your entire field of vision is a sure-fire recipe for puking.

So is a 100ft Goatse.

Retina display? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123393)

Why wouldn't they just use a retina display like Apple does? Seems appropriate here, I don't want to see those pixels!

640x400 per eye. (1)

mgemmons (972332) | about a year ago | (#42123987)

The Oculus is 640x400 per eye for a total of 1280x800. Not 1280x800 per eye. I've no idea why the total resolution is always mentioned since it's a completely useless metric. I think they've solved a lot of hard problems with this device -- in particular head tracking lag -- but it still has some baking to do before it's ready for your average gamer to use as a monitor replacement. In particular the resolution needs to approach or surpass 720p. Can someone more familiar with HDMI comment on the viability of pushing 2 720p signals @ 60Hz over HDMI? I know it's an issue for 1080p, not sure about 720p.

Re:640x400 per eye. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42124349)

Huh? So 4 eyes? I'd think 1280x400 or 640x800 for each halve. Confused...

Re:640x400 per eye. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42125515)

I would believe that you are correct. 640x800, not 640x400 per eye.

Re:640x400 per eye. (1)

The Raven (30575) | about a year ago | (#42125015)

One notable point is that the primary FOV of the device has double or triple the resolution of the peripheral. In other words, the point you aim at is sharper than you would expect given just a resolution of 640x400. Resolution is still an issue to be improved on, for certain, but don't dismiss it based on this alone.

Re:640x400 per eye. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42128571)

I think they've solved a lot of hard problems with this device -- in particular head tracking lag -- but it still has some baking to do before it's ready for your average gamer to use as a monitor replacement. In particular the resolution needs to approach or surpass 720p.

Oculus agree with you. The version you see now is the developer version that they're making to encourage developers to support the device. (Most devs are gamers and are no doubt wetting themselves with excitement for this, and who's going to want to write in support if they can't test it (nightmare if it doesn't work when the consumer device ships)?

So Oculus are building a solid prototype and getting developer support early on, because developer support is vital to getting industry funding, then they'll use the support as justification for further funding and the negotiation of bulk contracts on better screens etc.

Sounds like good business practice to me....

Re:640x400 per eye. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42131251)

Because it's an HMD and this is how HMDs have been sold since, well, forever.

I have a 230k pixel HMD. That means it's 320x240 x 3 for each colour pixel.

The thing that's weird with this HMD is that the display isn't sub 1", but rather MUCH bigger. It will either prove the way to go, or it will be terrible. I really don't know! I do know that VHS resolution sucks terribly, though. Although, wearing an HMD still makes you look totally awesome. :P

Virtual reality will never materialize. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42125055)

It will remain forever virtual, by definition.

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