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Kickstarted Oculus Rift VR Headset Shipping In March/April 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-look-it's-the-future dept.
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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Kickstarted Oculus Rift VR Headset Shipping In March/April

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  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:16PM (#42121609) Homepage Journal

    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?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:21PM (#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.

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

      • 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.

        • by am 2k (217885)

          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.

          • 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].

      • 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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by Kazymyr (190114)

      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.

  • by end15 (607595)

    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.

    • Doom 3 BFG !!! And it was released last year!!!

      I wonder how would TPS would feel like with this thing.

    • by Kazymyr (190114)

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

      • by nschubach (922175)

        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 inter

  • But at least the revolution will be televised!

    Can't wait until I get mine.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:41PM (#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?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hatta (162192)

        I'd rather get kicked in the nuts.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          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...

          =)

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Have you considered alternatives to glasses?

      • by Kazymyr (190114)

        I have, and they're not acceptable.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          News to me, I find not having peripheral vision unacceptable.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          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

      • by nschubach (922175)

        ...bionic eyes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jgtg32a (1173373)
      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?
      • by Rockoon (1252108)

        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.

        • 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

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            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.

        • by tringstad (168599)

          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 wit

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            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 render

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:44PM (#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)

    • by EdZ (755139)

      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.

    • by Namarrgon (105036)

      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.

  • 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.
    • by grumbel (592662)

      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.

      • 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)
        • 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

          • 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 wi
            • by Namarrgon (105036)

              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.

            • 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.

          • 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....

            • 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

              • 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"....
      • They use lenses and software to expand the field of view to more than 110 degrees diagonal.

  • by grumpyman (849537) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @04:06PM (#42122249)
    Kickstarter: Non-dilutive, non-repayable financing, beta customers, PO paid up-front....
  • 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
    • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by The Raven (30575)

      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.

    • 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 u

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