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210 Degrees of Heads-Up Display: Hands-On With the InfinitEye 80

Posted by timothy
from the better-than-a-sharp-poke-in-the-eye dept.
First time accepted submitter muterobert writes "InfinitEye is a prototype head mounted display that uses dual 1280×800 displays to create a massive 210 degree field of view. I traveled to Toulouse, France to be the first journalist in the world to go hands-on with the unit. These are my thoughts on the trip, the team, and the HMD itself. 'Natural and Panoramic Virtual Reality' is the best phrase I can come up with that summarises the InfinitEye's capabilities. If using the Oculus Rift is like opening the sunroof on a virtual world, the InfinitEye takes the roof clean off — at least if you base your opinion solely on horizontal FOV. But the new HMD also offers 1280×800 per eye in comparison the current Oculus Rift Dev Kit's 640×800 (and only slightly fewer pixels per eye than the Oculus Rift HD prototype)."
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210 Degrees of Heads-Up Display: Hands-On With the InfinitEye

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  • 210 or 120? :>

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "210 or 120? :>"

      It's 240 but they use 30 degrees to filter out the nose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by worf_mo (193770)

        It's 240 but they use 30 degrees to filter out the nose.

        They better up that by a couple degrees if they want my business. Apparently my aunt's only comment at my birth was "poor boy with such a huge ugly nose". To my satisfaction the rest of my body has adapted over the years and grown to 6' 6" while my aunt stayed somewhere south of 4' 10", cute nose or not.

      • The Occulus has a ~100% overlap factor, meaning that the same arc of FOV is presented to both eyes. Put another way, the left and right sides of both eye views are the same.

        This device has less than 100% overlap. I'm guessing it's around 60% from looking at the monitor images. When the overlap decreases too much, it gives you the impression of having a very large nose that blocks each eye from seeing part of the other eye view. This can be annoying.

        The overlap factor for real people varies, of course, d

        • by icebike (68054)

          This device has less than 100% overlap. I'm guessing it's around 60% from looking at the monitor images. When the overlap decreases too much, it gives you the impression of having a very large nose that blocks each eye from seeing part of the other eye view. This can be annoying.

          100% overlap is not my any means normal for the human vision system. 60% to 70% is normal for most people.
          Abandoning lens based optics seems count-intuitive. Using lenses that more closely copy the human eye would seem the wise choice.

      • by pigiron (104729)

        How will we see all the snakes???

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @10:04AM (#45269353) Journal

    This might be a new record or maybe not. The headline currently states "120 Degrees..." when it should say "210 Degrees..." Summary and article both state 210 degrees.

    • This might be a new record or maybe not. The headline currently states "120 Degrees..." when it should say "210 Degrees..." Summary and article both state 210 degrees.

      How long before 360 degrees is crammed into it? Now that would be cool, but I don't know if it has already been tried yet.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      The submission had it right in the title. Timmeh fucked it up when trying to edit the title.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Summary and article both state 210 degrees.

      210 degrees is far more than the human field of view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_eye#Field_of_view [wikipedia.org]

      • by DaTrueDave (992134) * on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @10:27AM (#45269607)

        From your citation: "horizontal field of view is as high as 270"

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        210 degrees is far more than the human field of view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_eye#Field_of_view [wikipedia.org]

        You didn't even need to cite it - 210 degrees is greater than 180 degrees (or be able to outstretch your hands and see both hands whilst looking forward). 210 degrees means you can look straight ahead and see a little behind you (15 degrees each way) which given human eyes are pointed forwards, means even directly left and right vision is already almost impossible, nevermind vision to the reverse.

        • Your eyes can move in their sockets.

          With eyeball rotation of about 90(deg) (head rotation excluded, peripheral vision included), horizontal field of view is as high as 270(deg).

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            Yes, we all instinctively rotate out eyeballs 45 degrees when we see things in the corner of our eyes.

            Oh, wait... We don't. We're not chameleons, we turn our heads.

            • Yes, we all instinctively rotate out eyeballs 45 degrees when we see things in the corner of our eyes.

              Oh, wait... We don't.

              Oh wait, we do, so we can get a look at the possible snake as fast as possible. And then we move our heads as well. And if our heads are immobile or we're feeling lazy and not especially threatened, we might not even do that.

              I'd say 30 degrees would be a quite normal range of everyday eyeball rotation.

        • I can stick my arms out, and without moving my head (but moving my eyes) see both hands. My hands are further back than my eyes, that implies greater than 180 to me. 210 may do it though.

        • by Junta (36770)

          Of course, the eye is not in a fixed location relative to the display. I can see more than 180 degrees without moving my head through solely moving my eyes.

    • This might be a new record or maybe not. The headline currently states "120 Degrees..." when it should say "210 Degrees..." Summary and article both state 210 degrees.

      And, lest we not forget "Heads-Up Display"? Really, it's a Head-Mounted Display (HMD), a Head-Up Display (HUD) is something completely different. [wikipedia.org] I think timothy should lose his geek card for this last ungeekly act.

      [shakes head and wonders what happened to the real /.]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From the video the latency seems acceptably low.

    The border edges don't need to be very high res, since our eyes are only high res at a small area, and you don't normally use only your eyes to look all the way to the left/right, you'd normally also move your head a bit towards the area you want to look at.

  • First you allow a submission with a summary that completely contradicts the article; then you put the wrong specs in the headline when it's clear from both the summary and the article itself what the correct specs should be? Get yourself a cup of coffee, come back and try again.
  • Everyone wants these for VR, but I want something I can code with. Anytime, anyplace. Maybe even laying in bed with a feeding tube snaked down my nose. :-) How close are these to being a replacement for a reasonable monitor? (Absolute minimum would be 24x80 text that's usable without headaches/etc for several hours at a stretch.)
    • Um, Oculus rift is very codeable. The only purchasable version comes as part of a dev kit that includes a C++ SDK, and a specialized version of Unity, both of which support the rift.

      (You can also use source or unreal)

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      If the oculus rift is any indication, not even close yet.

      I've found text that isn't directly in the center of my field of view very hard or impossible to read.

      That said, the rift is a fun toy, and maybe the consumer version will be better in this regard.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      We've had technology to replace monitors for well over 20 years now. I tried one on at a trade show back in 2000. It was like the old "Private Eye" [ecloud.org] monitor from the early 1990s, which was red-on-black CGA only, but this one was 1024x768 full-color SVGA IIRC. You wear the device on your head like glasses, and it has a small arm that extends in front of your eye. While wearing it, a virtual screen appears to hover in front of you.

      What ever happened to these devices, I have no idea. They'd be great for wo

    • Well if these devices are meant to be visually similar to big screen TVs. Reading text on a 1080p big screen (in the style of source code) is blurry and eye straining. Ergo, these HMD will likewise be less than stellar for the task.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @10:15AM (#45269459) Homepage
    I'm much more interested in having a single display that is ultra wide, with the possibility of it being curved. For work, it's not bad to have a bunch of monitors as they will most likely contain separate windows anyway. But for gaming, having a single, continuous monitor with no borders in the middle works a lot better. Currently, you either have to have 3 monitors, so the middle of the screen isn't obstructed, or have 1 monitor. Having a single monitor that's as wide as 2 monitors would probably be wide enough for a lot of tasks. Also, even for work, It would be nice to have an ultra wide monitor, because there would be more usable space. There's kind of a dead zone in the middle because you don't want windows sitting between 2 monitors. If you have 2 monitors, it's hard to display 3 things side by side (Firefox , IE, and Chrome for instance).
  • Yes it is so big, you would type 120 when you mean 210.
  • These people are just jumping on the wave being created by Oculus Rift.

    The current Oculus Rift is concentrating on latency, not resolution. Extra resolution is a given once all the other problems are finally sorted out. Delaying the high-res screens is a good move because it gives screen technology a bit of time to advance and keeps the dev kits dirt-cheap at the same time.

    So...don't put too much emphasis on big headlines about screen resolution. The final Oculus Rift may well be lag-free and 1080p per eye

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by muterobert (2927951)
      You'll find that the original InfinitEye prototype actually pre-dates the Rift. And it's not just the resolution, it's the Field of View that makes this HMD special, soemthign the Rift in it's current form has no plans to address - unlike resolution.
      • by Guspaz (556486)

        Of all the many serious problems with the Oculus Rift, field of view is not a pressing one... they're planning to address the most serious things as best they can by the consumer launch, but when faced with painfully low resolution (and the InfinitEye has the same perceived resolution as the Rift, since all the extra pixels are shoved into peripheral vision) or near incompatibility with myopia, FoV isn't as important.

  • CastAR has a higher resolution and it can switch between AR and VR as well as Projected AR. Get on the Kickstarter now!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system
    • CastAR has a lower resolution and a vastly inferior Field of View. It's also primarily an Augmented Reality solution.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        castAR is 1280x768 per eye with 90 degrees FOV in VR. It supports projected AR, AR, and VR.

        http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system

        • Yes and the InfinitEye is 1280x800 per eye and has a 210 degree FOV. I'm interviewing the CastAR team shortly and I'm a backer, trust me. :)
          • by Guspaz (556486)

            1280x768 per eye on a 90 degree FoV will appear to be enormously higher resolution than 1280x800 per eye on a 210 degree FoV. For a given fixed resolution, the wider a FoV you stretch it over, the less pixels are in the center of your vision that you focus on.

            Considering that the InfinitEye and the Rift dev prototype use roughly similar screens at about the same distance from the eye, they should appear to the user to be about the same effective resolution (painfully low): the InfinitEye will just extend fu

  • In fact, as they were showing, this display has a wider horizontal FOV than you can actually see, leading to wasted space. They also seem to be using last-gen 7" tablet displays (1280x720 or 1280x800), which are good, but something like the display from an iPhone 5S on each side would make it lighter, higher resolution, and somewhat more immersive. Though it also seems to me that this system could be driven by most higher-end video cards natively (albeit with an added software shader to create the fisheye-l
    • It would be easier to pick the iPhone since it's only one or two shapes that changes a lot less often than the hundreds of Android phones out there.

      On the other hand, is there any way to use an iPhone as a low-latency display?

      • by Anaerin (905998)
        There is the "iDisplay" app, and I believe there's a port of VNC too, but they're nowhere near low enough latency for this. And I'm not suggesting using android phones, just their displays (Which are generally speaking, standard sizes).
        • So, open up cellphones to get their LCD displays to build your own heads-up display? In this case I guess the earlier iPhones are also good candidates.

          • So, open up cellphones to get their LCD displays to build your own heads-up display?

            No, you don't do that, because it makes no bloody sense. You buy LCDs* from (a middleman who buys them from) the same factories phone makers buy them from. Whether you go through a middleman or talk to the factory depends on the volume you're buying and whether or not you have a presence in China.

            *note: don't say "Liquid Crystal Display displays" unless you work for your employer, the Department of Redundancy Bureau.

            • But using LCDs from older cellphones would be a good idea to reduce price, help promote the "hacking" spirit (i.e. hacking as in SparkFun and Adafruit, not as in black hats who target banks) and be more ecological by re-using older technology. BYOLCDP*.

              * Panels

  • The problem is that LCD panels have horrible color and brightness shift issues as you view them at an angle, and the eye here is so close that different parts of the screen are at dramatically different angles to the eye.

    It _may_ be possible to solve some of that in software. Or it could require the use of OLED displays.

  • Given the availability of the high density display technology in use in cell phones and such, I think it's absolutely shameful that the VR companies keep plugging crap like this instead of actual high quality displays. There is just flat out no excuse for it.

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