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New Valve Prototype VR Headset Shows Up At VR Meetup In Boston 41

An anonymous reader writes "The last time we saw Valve's prototype VR headset, which they said was built to the spec that could be found in a consumer product by 2015, it was a using an 'inside-out' tracking approach where a camera mounted on the VR headset tracked markers placed all over the walls and ceiling of the demo room. This week, at a VR meetup in Boston, Valve had a new prototype to show, featuring an 'outside-in' tracking approaching where a single camera trackings IR-LEDs built into the case of the VR headset, much like the forthcoming Oculus Rift DK2. Valve's latest prototype is thought to be using two 1080p displays in portrait orientation, compared to a single 1080p display in the Oculus Rift DK2."
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New Valve Prototype VR Headset Shows Up At VR Meetup In Boston

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  • It is just a prototype for internal development. It isn't meant to be competition with the Rift. It is what they imagine the Rift and other VR headsets becoming.
    • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @01:54AM (#47152611)
      But portrait? It sort of makes sense, but the screens need to be really close to the eyes for it to work. The human eye has approximately 180 degrees field of view in the forward horizontal direction, while it only has 135 degrees field of view in the forward vertical direction. Of the 180 degrees horizontal, approx 120 degrees overlaps between the two eyes, leaving 50-60 degrees that only one eye can see (approx 25-30 degrees per eye) due to the nose being in the way.

      The problem with using two 1080p 16:9 displays in portrait mode is that it is the wrong ratios for covering the field of vision. We should be using two 1600x1200 resolution 4:3 screens in portrait mode. Each 3:4 screen creates a similar ratio of the human eye's field of view (9:13.5) (multiplying the 3:4 screen ratio up, you get 9:12, which is much closer than 9:16 for the 1080p widescreen panels).
  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @08:12PM (#47151025)

    I've always wondered why you couldn't mount cameras on the outside, and instead of using markers, it would track the room itself, like an optical mouse. Processing would add a fair bit of latency, but you're mostly using the information to correct for drift and error in the gyros, right?

    • How many gyros do you think $400 buys?

      • about 800, why?

      • well considering I just ordered myself a 3-axis gyro with 3 axis accelerometer (6DOF) module for a mere £2.88... quite a few especially as buying in bulk like they can would achieve even deeper discounts...
    • It seems like that would be a little too unpredictable. When someone complains that the unit is confused by the room they're in what do you tell them? Move? Send photos of your entire room so they can troubleshoot the problem? What if it is an intermittent problem? And I'm sure reports of it not working would scare off other potential customers. It may work 90% of the time, but that last 10% would be a pain in the ass.
    • I believe the gyros are used to take rates, and absolute position is taken from rigid-body tracking

  • DOA (Score:2, Insightful)

    All these headsets are dead on arrival. Just like the virtuaboy was. Why do these always fail?

    This is why: []

    One lonely dude sitting in the corner by himself. He can't interact with those around him... if his mom tells him to come to dinner he likely cant hear her and he definitely cant see her so he'll finally find out she's pissed when she slaps the headset off his head.

    VR will become a thing when they figure out how to put the display free form in the air in front of you...

    • You just need to attach two web cams and microphones to the VR helmet then (with appropriate software) you can see/hear the real world.

    • Re:DOA (Score:4, Informative)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @09:26PM (#47151539)

      The virtuaboy was DOA because it was a 5lb monochrome (red/black) monstrosity that had to sit on a table, with barely 3D wireframe games, no tracking, etc whose original creator never intended what was released to be the final product (besides, as seen, it was 2 decades too early for the tech out there.)

      Oculus Rift weighs less than a pound and can be worn on the head. It will be bought by 3D shooter enthusiasts would would otherwise buy multiple video cards/monitors just for gaming. I assume it will have a microphone.

      I really fail to see what the two have in common. If I were into 3D shooters, I would be saving up for such a system.

      This is like claiming in January 2007 the iPhone will bust because of the Apple Newton.

      • The virtuaboy was DOA because it was a 5lb monochrome (red/black) monstrosity that had to sit on a table, with barely 3D wireframe games, no tracking, etc

        I have one, and quite a few games for it. It's a great system, and the games are a lot of fun. It's easy to control, though figuring out how to hold the controller while looking into the headset is weird at first. It doesn't give anyone in my family headaches. The games aren't just wire frame. They were as good as any handheld out at the time. It's unfortunate that it wasn't done in color. But the red does give it its own very unique feel.

        But again, you play that thing and the worlds dead to you. Taking you

    • I think you are wrong because of the imersion it can provide, maybe a tiny glass isn't enought. Also, as estanted above, putting a cople of cams and doing some VR shit ins't bad too.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      It depends on the sales and skills of the coders.
      With 3d printing, expired 3D printing patents or will expire soon, 3d design visulization at home could get be a area of growth.
      3d artwork, dev workflows for games, games and video conferencing could all be growth areas with todays bandwidth, cpu and emerging artistic creativity.
      The other aspect is how will some/many/most users react during and after use?
      Thats hours a user will be trapped in your 3d walled garden due to the limits of other web 2.0 sites,
    • Yeah, it's fucking amazing how nVidia can sell gaming graphic cards to a bunch of nerds and still remain profitable. Oh wait!....

    • by mlk ( 18543 )

      > One lonely dude sitting in the corner by himself

      So just like me playing computers at home then.

      > He can't interact with those around him...

      (Other than the initial show and tell) you would not use this for lan parties (or alikes), you would all whip out your laptops for that use case (for me we stopped even doing that and instead whip out a board game for even MOAR socialness or a console game with split screen.

      The tech should match the activity. AR sets will not replace TVs/monitors they supplement

    • That's a good point, and one of the weird things about VR - either you want 100% immersion, or you actually want very little. The crazy irony is that for VR to be really cool, you need the headset to be able to 100% replicate what the world is like without wearing it. That is, it needs cameras on it so that you can see as if you didn't have the headset on, and likewise microphones and headphones to do the same for sound. Once you've got that working, then start over-laying the degrees of immersion that you

    • The last time they failed it was because they were absolutely atrocious. Read the contemporary reports; they never had the chance to reach the stage of causing the sorts of hypothetical social issues you envision. That's not to say that those won't turn out to be problems this time, but they weren't the problem last time. Not by a long shot.

  • that's it.
  • let me guess -- it has one generic all-purpose object type that does everything, and all classes must be submitted to the Apple Class Store, approved, and downloaded before being instantiated.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hehe...awesome post dude. I reckon it would totally kill in the right article.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner