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Displays Games Hardware Technology

John Carmack Is Building a Virtual Reality Headset 118

An anonymous reader writes "John Carmack, co-founder of id Software, is using his spare time to develop a modern virtual reality headset. After purchasing such a device last year, Carmack became frustrated with how slowly the technology has progressed over the past twenty years. So, he decided to push it forward himself. PCGamer reports that he's been showing off his prototype behind closed doors at E3 this year, and has an interview with him about the problems with VR and the technical challenges he needs to overcome. They even get a look at the prototype itself, which is currently held together with duct tape."
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John Carmack Is Building a Virtual Reality Headset

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  • John Carmack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amoeba1911 ( 978485 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:14PM (#40236677) Homepage

    He's an amazing programmer that has done more than his fare share of contributing to the world of computer graphics. In a world where everyone is fighting tooth and nail trying to enforce copyrights and patents, he simply released the full source codes to the programs he wrote. That is altruism at its best and for that he is on the very top of my list of awesome programmers.

  • Re:After RAGE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:27PM (#40236827)

    Please direct rants at the right people. Mr. Carmack is a programmer. He programs. He is not a producer, director, design lead, art lead, or really anyone who would be responsible for either the game being fun/not fun, or for business decisions regarding on-disc DLC.

    If the game were to crash, or to run poorly, or to have obvious code-related glitches, then by all means, blame Carmack. But from what I've heard, that's not what the problem is. The game runs fine, even has some quite remarkable technical features (he streams textures directly from disc into video memory via DMA), but it's just not fun or interesting to play. You don't blame the writers for bad special effects, you don't blame the level designers for terrible voiceacting, and you don't blame the engine programmer for the game not being fun to play.

    As an aside, I find it quite interesting that id's public face is essentially their lead programmer. Most companies, it's a game designer, or a writer, or in some cases an artist (or often some combination of the above - game developers wear many hats). I know of no other "public face" who is purely, or even principally, a programmer.

  • Re:After RAGE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <.rodrigogirao. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:44PM (#40237027) Homepage

    What were you expecting?

    An actual ending, not just a hook to the upcoming DLC.

  • According to an engineer who worked on the Sega VR project, [sega-16.com] there's a very serious problem with this sort of device:

    There is a danger with HMDs: the IPD (inter-pupilar distance) must be properly set. IO Glasses gets around this by having a really big aperture. Sega had a thumbwheel to adjust the IPD. Here is the danger: if the IPD for the LCDs are wider than the user IPD, you force the user’s eyes to look outward. This is the opposite of cross-eyed. This can really stress the weak muscles around the eyes, and can cause permanent damage in less than 30 minutes. What I heard was the Sega lawyers brought up the liability issue on the eye damage. That is the reason I heard the project was canceled. Take it with whatever block of salt you want.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel