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Ryzza5

Oculus Rift: VR making progress

When do you think VR will be available to consumers at a reasonable price?  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. When do you think VR will be available to consumers at a reasonable price?



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Doing you guys a favour by copying this from the WMD portal:

 

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Just got the oculus update(news), Enjoy.


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Developer Kit Updates and Shipping Details

 

When we launched our Kickstarter campaign in August, we hoped to sell a few hundred kits to game developers and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world. Instead, we were blown away by the overwhelming response from a community of almost 10,000 backers who raised nearly $2.5 million dollars to help us develop the Oculus Rift.

 

Designing, sourcing, and manufacturing thousands of developer kits is no small feat. Since our Kickstarter, we’ve been up against the wall, working around the clock to produce and distribute over 7,500 units in just 4 short, crazy months. We’ve had to modify our original design for mass-manufacturing and, at the same time, balance additional features with our tight schedule.

 

We wanted to have the developer kits to all our backers before the holidays; but more than that, we want to ship the best Oculus Rift developer kit possible. In order to accommodate the required changes, new features, and manufacturing duration, we had to shift our ship date.

 

We’re happy to be able to finally announce that the Oculus Rift developer kits will begin shipping in March 2013.

 

We want to thank everyone for their patience and support. Know that we’re pouring our hearts into this project.

 

We’d like to share a few details about why we’ve pushed the estimated delivery and what we’ve done behind the scenes to improve the Rift since our Kickstarter’s launch.

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Manufacturing 7,500 Developer Kits

 

The majority of the remaining work is now in the hands of our manufacturer, who’s currently making the injection mold tooling used to create the Rift's plastic shell (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Injection_molding if you’re interested in learning more).

 

We waited to make an official announcement until we had a firm schedule from our manufacturer. Here’s the latest timeline, as of Nov. 27:

 

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Larger version of chart available here.

 

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.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about why tooling a plastic product like the Rift can take up to 70 days, check out this 5 minute video from the Discovery Channel on how plastic injection molds are made: “How It’s Made: Injection Molds”.

 

Once the tooling has been finalized and the factory is full throttle with production, we’ll be able to produce over 500 developer kits each day. We’re looking forward to having that sort of volume rolling out to the developers everywhere.

 

We’ll be shipping out the developer kits in the same order as the Kickstarter pledges were received (first come, first served). Based on this current schedule, the goal is to ship the majority of the rewards by mid-March. We may not have all 7,500 kits in the first shipment, but we’ll continue shipping out kits as soon as they arrive. We’re estimating that we can have all the rewards sent out by mid-April. Any pre-orders taken post-Kickstarter (through www.oculusvr.com/preorder/) are expected to ship in late April 2013, after we’ve delivered all the Kickstarter rewards.

 

Once we’ve put your rewards in the mail, US residents should expect to receive them within 5-7 business days and international backers should receive theirs in 2-3 weeks, depending on the destination.

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Finding the Right Display

 

 

One of the toughest challenges was finding the right display for mass production. Many of you already know that the Oculus Rift prototypes we’ve been showing use a 5.6’’ LCD. While not perfect, it’s been sufficient for early research and development, including the work John Carmack did with DOOM 3: BFG Edition. Unfortunately, production of that display was recently discontinued, a fact we learned after trying to source (buy in bulk) enough to meet the incredible response from the developer community.

When we set out to find a new display, there were a number of key factors to consider for the best experience. The ideal screen would have a refresh rate of least 60hz, a resolution of 720p or better, a low response time, and a viewing area between 5.5’’ and 7’’ diagonally.

 

We tested every available (non-proprietary) display we could get our hands on. Surprisingly, there aren’t many available screens in a 5.5’’ – 7’’ form factor that meet our requirements.

 

Ultimately, we selected a modern, 1280x800 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’’.

 

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A New Sensor Designed for VR

 

 

The original Oculus Rift prototypes used an off-the-shelf sensor from one of the leading sensor vendors in the country. While the original sensor was high quality, we made the decision to develop our own 9DOF motion sensor that excels in VR-critical areas. These new sensors should be part of the developer kits shipping in March.

The new Oculus sensor supports a refresh rate of up to 1000hz, which is several times faster than the previous sensor. In addition to the accelerometer and gyroscope, it also includes a magnetometer, which opens new doors in terms of sensor data and head-tracking. The data coming from the new sensor will be accessible using the Oculus SDK in easy to manipulate formats (quaternion, matrix, Euler angles). The raw sensor data is also available for those that want to do the math themselves.

 

Building a new motion sensor is a major undertaking. There are plenty of challenges we’re working on, particularly sensor calibration and multi-platform driver development, but we’re confident the new sensor will be worth the engineering effort in the long run and we’re happy with the results thus far.

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Latest Working Prototypes from Factory

 

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cable_png.pngThis is a fully functional prototype of the Rift developer kit. The cable shown here is similar in width and weight to the actual 6ft custom cable used for the developer kits, which was designed specifically for the Rift.

 

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Here’s a snapshot of the latest control box model for the headset. This little guy combines the video, USB, and power lines into the single, custom cable running to the headset. This helps reduce weight and extra cabling from the Rift.

 

Please understand that the designs above are subject to change; though you can expect these to be very close to the final versions.

 

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3D Engine Integrations

 

The Unreal Engine 3 and Unity integrations are coming together well. The Unreal integration is in a completely playable/usable state including the Unreal Tournament 3 sample game, which is now a great Oculus-ready example for developers.

 

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The Unity integration is getting underway with the latest Oculus SDK. We’ll post another update in the near future with footage of Oculus VR inside Unity.

 

We’re working closely with Epic and Unity on integrating support for the Oculus Rift in the free versions of their engines and will keep the community posted on the progress.[/TD]

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Developer Center Coming Online Soon

 

We’re in the process of bringing the Oculus Developer Center online. The Developer Center will have the latest Oculus SDK, engine integrations, official forums, support system, and ways to send hardware/software feedback directly to the Oculus engineering team.

 

All developers will be invited to join the Developer Center and start discussing Rift development before the kits begin shipping.

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Developer Kits, Consumer Rifts, and Virtual Reality

 

We’re planning a handful of Kickstarter updates dedicated to more detailed information regarding the sensor, the screen, the display controller, and the headset itself. These should be posted over the next few weeks.

 

Plans for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift are already underway. Due to time constraints for the developer kit, we had to push several exciting features to the consumer version. We’ll continue to keep everyone posted on our progress as we move from research and development into confirmed features.

 

We’re also counting on you, the community, to help us shape the future of VR and the Oculus Rift. We hope you’re as excited as we are!

 

 

Thanks again,

 

Palmer and the Oculus team

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Update #14

 

Details on New Display for Developer Kits

 

Details on New Display for Developer Kits

Now that we have the developer kit specifications locked down and our manufacturing process underway, there’s a lot more information we can share with everyone. We are putting together a series of updates for our backers about the changes we've made to the design and we thought we'd start with the display.

 

The panel we were using in our prototype was a 5.6” LCD with a resolution of 1280x800. This screen is a great size for a VR headset and it has an impressive pixel density for the year it was produced. Nevertheless, it has flaws: it isn't particularly bright, the contrast ratio is low, and the color accuracy is abysmal. The two biggest issues, though, are its poor fill factor and high switching times.

 

Pixel Fill Factor

 

Fill factor is a combination of several things, but it boils down to this: there are displays that have very little space between the pixel elements and others that have a meaningful amount of black space between pixel elements. DLP projectors are an example of a display type that generally has a very high fill factor with negligible space between pixels; LCDs, on the other hand, often suffer from a low fill factor where a large portion of the panel is occupied by the black space around the pixel elements. On very large screens, this makes it seem as if the image has a fine black grid overlaid on it, often referred to as the “screen door effect”.

WMD Forum

 

 

On our original 5.6” panel, the screen door effect was easy to see under magnification of the Rift's optics. You don’t notice it as much when you’re playing, but it’s still an unfortunate artifact. Luckily, the new 7” display has a much higher fill factor! This means that the screen door effect is significantly reduced, resulting in a better looking image.

 

Pixel Switching Time

 

The second major flaw was the switching time, the amount of time required for a pixel to switch from one color to another. Our old panel begins switching colors very quickly, which was good, since it reduced the latency between movement and the image responding. However, it’s weakness was that it took a very long time to fully switch colors. This sometimes resulted in motion-blur effect as the frames switched, especially during quick movements of the head.

 

Our new 7” panel has a switching time that is about twice as fast! This makes a big difference in the perceived responsiveness of the system and helps alleviate the undesired motion-blur.

 

Other Benefits of the 7'' Display

 

There are several other minor enhancements: the contrast ratio is greatly improved, which can especially help with games like DOOM 3: BFG Edition where you have bright lights in dark environments; the color accuracy is better as well (though it can be hard to tell if you don’t have both panels side by side to compare); and the total light output of the new display is higher, resulting in more vibrant bright scenes.

 

We've also changed our drive electronics! The control box is attached to the headset with a thin and durable cable carrying video, USB, and power. The box contains a custom control board that we designed to minimize video latency. It has easily accessible buttons for contrast and brightness adjustment and it's much smaller than the control boxes we've been showing with our prototypes.

 

Being forced to switch panels was certainly a challenge, but in the end it should result in an improved Oculus Rift developer kit and a better VR experience overall.

Oculus at I/ITSEC This Week!

 

We're at I/ITSEC 2012 in Orlando, Florida this week (Dec. 3 - 6). If you're at the conference, come by our booth, #3034 on the show floor, and check out the latest Rift demos.You can also email [removed] if you're interested in a private meeting with our team.

 

More updates coming soon. Thanks everyone!

 

Best,

Palmer and the Oculus team

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Andy Tudor from SMS / pCARS gives his initial impressions of the device

 

 

Not much to say on it currently...

 

It's dead easy to set up... it acts like a second monitor basically.

 

It comes with a little control box that you plug into the DVI or HDMI of your computer. You trail a USB from that to your computer also, and plug it into the power. The headset then plugs into the control box and goes on your head ;)

 

Other than the SDK I didn't install a thing and it *just worked*.

 

As soon as you put it on it'll default to being an extended monitor. I swapped this in Windows to 'duplicate display' and boom I had my desktop inside my head.

 

First thing I ran was the SDK Tuscany demo. Hit F9 to make it fullscreen and YOU'RE IN THE MATRIX. I've used VR a number of times before and this is leaps and bounds ahead of them. You look and there's no lag, the virtual camera moves identically.

 

I then moved on to Team Fortress 2...

 

The default resolution is 1280x800 which is slightly more than 720p HD which theoretically people have been using for years. However, it's UP AGAINST YOUR RETINA so you can literally see every pixel. Resolution is going to improve for the retail kits apparently but it meant reading any kind of text in the game really difficult.

 

Next is the calibration - TF2 comes with native VR support (just launch with -vr as the command param) so has a calibration tool and a bunch of console commands to tweak things. After a bit of calibration this was working fine. I did the tutorial to test movement and it was fine and then went into a game which was INSANE. I have a swivel chair and I could help myself turning around to check behind me, looking left and right whilst walking forward - it's an absolute game changer since your spatial awareness is now so acute. You can literally look down and see your body, look under half-closed warehouse doors, jump forward whilst looking left and shotgun a dude, it's like being super-powered. Bad news is that it's a visual overload and since your inner ear balance is being kidded that you're not moving I actually got motion sick from it after about 10 minutes. I don't get motion sick from videogames ever except for Mirror's Edge because it didn't have a central crosshair to balance you. This is an FPS problem for many people though so I don't think the Oculus is going to help matters here. Gonna persevere with the calibration though since knowing your Inter-Pupillary Distance is key here (and your optometrist can tell you that).

 

I've downloaded the Vireio Perception driver to try and get Project CARS working which I think will be fantastic since racing games are perfect for 3D since the content is coming directly towards you, and our cockpit camera is perfect for some natural head movement. Notice I said 3D there and not 'the screen' since it doesn't feel like a screen at all - you don't see the edges ever and therefore there's an illusion created that you're IN the game world.

 

All-in-all I'm still hopeful that this takes off - with the right set of headphones and steering wheel/gamepad it could be incredibly immersive.

 

Another popular Rift video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpHWJMytx5I

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These have come quite aways from what I've been reading and there's now plenty of people out there with dev kits. Talk is these could be ready by the holiday season but 2014 seems like the safe bet at this stage. Some modders have been able to hack older games to work with this to varying levels of success (i.e. FSX, Minecraft, etc), and there are plenty of racing sim devs building support for it currently.

 

Have a quick search on YouTube and if you find something you like post it here.

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Updates on the Rift @ E3 2014

 

 

* DevKit 2 units in production for July delivery

* Order a DevKit 2 now for August delivery

* Facebook acquisition allows the use of 'best in class' components without increasing the retail price

* Oculus hiring staff to make their own IP (games) similar to Nintendo/Valve to make VR appealing to mass audiences.

* CB1 might not be that far away (2015?)

* Games need to be able to run at ~75FPS at 1440p for a recommended 'presence' experience.

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Preorders go live on Jan 6, which is the day that P.L. has the CES stage.

 

You get two free games. An Xbox One controller for PC. The OR hand controllers are delayed to the second half of 2016. Project CARS and other sims have Rift support, so if you have a steering wheel, this should be pretty good. Assuming your PC is fast enough.

 

Blog — Oculus Rift Pre-Orders to Open on January 6

 

 

Wait for nVidia's next graphics card lineup around May/June this year if you plan to upgrade.

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OH WOW! 700€?? That's WAY too much, shame as I was really excited about VR :( But I'd also need to upgrade my PC so there's that :lol:

 

Also don't understand the fact that it's so much more expensive in Europe because 600 USD should equal about 550€

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Most people complaining about price, I guess none of them went to bed expecting a Q1 release, then woke up with a release date in May.

 

For flight and racing sims I think it's going to be epic. Some say this is Gen 1 so better wait but I'm calling it Gen 3.

 

 

Oculus Rift ($649.00 ) + shipping = $781. About the price of an average iPhone/iPad high-end graphics card.

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In case you didn't hear of this youtube video already, it would be my pleasure to show you this video of Marcel Pfister in which he used a green screen with an Oculus Rift.

You must know am I a very big supporter of VR in racing/driving games. I think that this technology will revolutionise racing games as we know it today. I do own an OR DK2 unit and I can safely say that, at least in my opinion, there is no going back. Once you have experienced VR and looked around as Marcel does in this video, you are basically transported to whichever open world or circuit and get to sit in any number of (race) cars you have. The immersion level of VR is absolutely breathtaking and there is no comparison to triples or projection, mainly because of the fact that you are literally thrown in the game itself. There just isn’t anything else that compares to what is attacking your senses just by driving in VR.

 

Enjoy the video!

 

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So I found myself in a Samsung store in Melbourne today, where they had a Gear VR on demo next to their Galaxy S7's (get a free Gear VR with S7 purchase before June 30 btw)

 

The screen was a little blurry (not focussed right) and I think someone else may have left a little hair product in one spot of the screen.

 

My thoughts:

The screen was VERY dotty. Much more than I expected. I sure hope the Rift is MUCH better.

The demo consisted of various short scenes that suddenly switched. Despite standing I had no problem looking around as 'I' skied down a massive mountain, or surfed on a large wave. I even didn't have anywhere near the amounts of problems standing still for the rollercoaster scene compared to other clips, although it was the only scene where my heart sank a little and I had to brace my footing in advance - similar to if you stand in a moving train).

 

The movie theatre scene was pretty good, as was the one where I appeared to have a private concert with Bono.

 

While not perfectly adjusted, the front still seemed a little too heavy. I didn't find myself looking around that much in the moving scenes - basically just looking where 'I' was going, so the 360 aspect was a little lost on me, although practically flawless - no stitching issues.

 

I wouldn't recommend buying one though. Maybe wait for version 2. I had no problem adapting - it feels a little like poking your head through a hole in the wall where the scenery is completely different. Standing in the noisy store certainly didn't give me any chance to feel fully immersed however.

 

I'll be back with more feedback with the Rift whenever it arrives, expecting a better experience with the improved hardware and interactive content. I'm pretty sure VR is here to stay, much like 3D TVs.

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