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Oculus Rift and other VR headsets


woah
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Development Kit 2s are shipping in. Here's a review of the Oculus Rift DK2 by roadtovr and it's really positive. If only I had the money and time at this moment...

 

http://www.roadtovr....son-vr-headset/

 

From the review:

 

 

There’s no more washed out attempt at contrast, DK2 delivers deep, inky blacks. After firing up Elite: Dangerous for the first time, I just sat, looked up and stared into space, literally. The bright, sparkling stars against that perfect black emptiness was for a brief moment mesmerising to me. And it’s hard to overestimate just how much difference this makes to the experience. Having such awesome contrast adds huge definition to any scene and this has the added benefit of enhancing your ability to differentiate parallax for a boost in 3D effectiveness.

 

^ This is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thief with "true" black would be amazing.

 

 

latency is imperceptible to me at present

 

^ This I'm surprised about. Didn't think they'd nail this down so early.

 

 

In fact, when the technology is working well, you instantly forget about it – which is probably the best possible positive I could state here, motion blur is gone (caveat: see below artefact details), never to return – and it’s a revelation!

 

 

When the camera is setup correctly and the application you’re using hooks into the positional data, something magical happens. Instead of merely looking around, rooted to the spot, you can freely (within reason) move in and out of the virtual scene. Move your head closer to the camera and your virtual head will move into the virtual space. Duck, and you can look under objects. Dodge and lean around doors and lean out of windows to look up at the sky. Within limits, this is all now possible with the DK2 and it transforms the experience – making it immeasurably more human.

 

Wandering through the Oculus World demo, inspecting branches and peering under light fittings – you feel like you’re really exploring the virtual space. Mooching around your retro-futuristic apartment in Technolust and inspect your Atari 2600, lean over to inspect a suspicious barrel and discover a corpse peering back at you from within. Lean over the edge of the boat in Senza Peso and peer down into the depths of the water underneath. These are naturalistic actions that elicit natural consequences in the gameworld.

 

 

Of course it's not as if there aren't negatives, but it seems that Oculus already has fixes in the works for many of them (or has already fixed them internally).

Edited by woah
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  • 2 months later...

Got the oculus at work today. As I expected, I don't like it. It makes me dizzy und uncomfortable even after short time usage. But well, I am pretty prone to visually induced motion sickness.

 

Was this the DK1 or the DK2? I've heard the DK2 is a major improvement over the DK1--especially if the application utilizes VR well. Of course this is not to say that the motion sickness problem has been fixed with the DK2.

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It's the DK2. I tried it again today. I only had in on for less than 4 minutes and I still feel dizzy half an hour later.

 

Even if there's zero lag, there is still a major problem that cannot be overcome easily: While your visual system is fully immersed in the virtual world, still all your other sensory functions insist on being in the real world. This conflict induces dizzynes on subjects. The brain and body are confused and cannot make sense of all that sensory data. Some people appear to be able to unlink that data in the brain, so that they don't get dizzy, but this is still not natural. Getting dizzyness from this kind of stimulation is actually a sign of healthy sensory functions.

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  • 4 months later...

I wouldn't get too excited just yet. I tried the original thief games in the dk2 and while headtracking is an amazing experience, the oled display has some serious quirks for dark content, pixel noise and LCD transition style ghosting.

 

That's not saying that can't be worked out in future headsets, more pixels should get rid of pixel noise. However the ghosting was an issue with these displays when the ps vita hit the market and apparently hasn't been fixed (aside from top of the line oled tv's perhaps).

 

Hopefully they work all this out, but I won't be a day one buyer until I read some reviews.

 

Another promising tech is the celluon picopro. Info on the laser light engine within can be found here: http://www.microvision.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OPN_Article.pdf

It sounds a lot like a crt crammed into an iPhone sized space, but im not a display engineer and didn't understand all of the details in the whitepaper.

Edited by Mik James
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By "pixel noise" you probably mean the red, green and blue pixel borders, right? Those are induced by the cheap optics utilized in those headsets and it is an issue that can't be overcome while maintaining a low endproduct price.

 

But what do you mean by "LCD transition style ghosting"? OLED is one of the fastest display technologies there is. It has switchtimes comparable to DLP-Projectors. So the original temporaly ghosting of LCD due to its slow crystal movement speed should not be an issue here at all. Check out these time response measurements I took a while back. They show light emission over time for a Samsung 120 Hz TV compared to a Sony OLED.

post-684-0-07700600-1426494418_thumb.jpgpost-684-0-31277500-1426494419_thumb.jpg

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Image retention (the techy term for ghosting) is an issue with a new lcd tech, my Dell xps 12 has the problem, not because of latency like stifu is talking about, and not 'burn in', but because of a chance of chemical impurities cropping up in the crystals bork the transitions. Could be that problem, because the tech is supposed to be good for very portable displays, hence being in the xps12.

  • Like 1

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I could be wrong, but I have not heard of any ghosting issues with the OLED screens used in VR headsets. As far as I know, OLED screens are significantly better than LCDs in almost every way (except when, e.g., they're in the presence of other bright lights, which is not an issue for VR). Personally, I cannot wait for the day when OLED desktop monitors are affordable--I miss seeing black in Thief games and smooth rotation in first person shooters. Yes, LCDs have improved, but it's always a breath of fresh air when I see a game running on a good CRT (before, of course, my eyes start hurting).

 

 

As for VR in general, I'm quite excited after seeing Valve's new devices at GDC. Aside from one impression that associated headaches (but not motion sickness) with the device--an isolated experience apparently, their headset itself is on par with Sony's and Oculus's latest (they all have their strengths and weaknesses, of course). However, I'm particularly interested in their Lighthouse tracking system. From developer impressions, it blows away the competition in terms of latency, fidelity, and tracking range. And the good thing is that it is completely open and free--any developer or hardware manufacturer can incorporate it without paying Valve:

 

 

 

"So we're gonna just give that away. What we want is for that to be like USB. It's not some special secret sauce. It's like everybody in the PC community will benefit if there's this useful technology out there. So if you want to build it into your mice, or build it into your monitors, or your TVs, anybody can do it."

 

 

 

"It's a tracking technology that allows you to track an arbitrary number of points, room-scale, at sub-millimeter accuracy 100 times a second."

 

In addition it is very extensible. Valve says there would be no problem with adding additional Lighthouse boxes for increased accuracy, reducing occlusion, and increasing the volume of space tracked by the system. Likewise, they say that in the future tracking soft-bodies should be possible and it can be used as an inexpensive but high quality motion capture system.

 

It would be great to see VR headset and input developers relieved of the problem of tracking and instead be able to focus on their headsets. However, I'm not sure how well Lighthouse would work for something like finger tracking where occlusion could be a unavoidable issue.

 

 

Also, on a related note, it seems that dual GPUs will finally pay off. Valve says that in VR games with DX11 stereoscopic extensions (which I assume Vulkan will have counterparts to), the framerate is nearly doubled.

Edited by woah
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So, anyone got it woking withTDM yet..?

Well, we do need some stereo 3d support for that first and as far as I know, nobody tried to do so, because it is already implemented in BFG. However, since we don't work on the basis of BFG, we are doomed until somebody steps up and does the dirty work.
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Image retention (the techy term for ghosting) is an issue with a new lcd tech, my Dell xps 12 has the problem, not because of latency like stifu is talking about, and not 'burn in', but because of a chance of chemical impurities cropping up in the crystals bork the transitions. Could be that problem, because the tech is supposed to be good for very portable displays, hence being in the xps12.

Ah thanks. I did not know of this, yet. But that still doesn't explain why Mik saw ghosting on the OLEDs of the occulus.
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I've never read enough up on OLED to even know what it is or how it works TBH. But anyway it's easy to do a quick google search on OLED and "image retention", and you get answers like this:

 

It is possible for OLED to suffer image retention, but it is understood this is not due to the OLED organic matter itself but instead due to voltage drift in the TV's circuitry which can result in a temporary 'staining' of the screen.

 

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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That's what I thought. OLED is close to perfect in so many ways. The most recent displays don't even come close to what this technology ist theoretically capable of. It's such a shame the display manufacturers still have to push LCD so much in order to amortize their production lanes. It really harms the development of OLED. On the plus side, new technologies like Quantum Dot LCD are therefore researched.

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Let me clarify.

 

By pixel noise I am referring to a shifting pixels effect visible in dark scenes.

A similar effect can be seen on plasma displays when viewed up close.

This is different from the corectable (for the most part) chromatic aberration created by the lenses.

I did not encounter any image retention that I was aware of (I have seen image retention when viewing plasma displays)

 

The ghosting is very similar to the type of transitional ghosting that can be seen on LCD panels (especially older and or vertical alignment panels).

This may only be apparent when switching from the pixel off state, it was difficult to gauge this in my testing with thief because I was unable to get a satisfactory black level without interspersed pixels shutting off completely.

This may point to an issue with the oled in the rift crushing very dark areas to black.

This ghosting issue is well documented on the oculus forums as "black smear".

Edited by Mik James
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Good news, looks like the black smear issue has been mostly fixed with the latest prototype.http://www.roadtovr.com/notes-on-crescent-bay-fresnel-lenses-fixed-black-smear-light-ray-artifact-and-more/

 

On a positive note, black smear, one of the DK2s biggest display issues, has nearly been eliminated. Black smearing is the result of the displays pixel switching time being slow when switching between true black and other colors. Im not sure if this is a hardware fix or possibly a software approach (which could be achieved by using a 99% dark grey instead of true black), but its a huge improvement, especially in dark scenes. I believe I still see a faint ghosting effect, but it isnt clear if this is related to black smear.
I can't tell if this is a general problem with OLEDs or just something with Oculus's hardware.
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  • 3 months later...

Virtual Reality 2016

 

HTC Vive (w/ Valve)

Samsung Gear VR (w/ Oculus)

Google Cardboard

Sony Project Morpheus

Microsoft HoloLens

 

June 29: Microsoft claims to have developed superior Oculus Rift lenses

July 1: Oculus CTO John Carmack is developing Scheme scripting language for VR

July 2: Nintendo master designer Miyamoto doesn’t know how Sony, Oculus will sell VR to consumers

July 4: Sphericam 2: 4K 60FPS 360-Degree Video Optimized for Oculus VR

OnePlus Sells Out of 'OnePlus Cardboard'

July 5: Want A Taste Of Virtual Reality? Step One: Find Some Cardboard

July 6: 8 key VR takeaways from a chat with Oculus' CEO (Oculus funding 2 dozen exclusive titles... DRM?)

July 7: Microsoft Offering $500,000 in Search for New HoloLens Apps (academics only)

GoPro is venturing into the realm of virtual reality, and they're taking surfers with them

July 8: Microsoft: ‘Oculus Rift Will Not Work Natively With Xbox One’

July 9: Google and Legendary release Cardboard VR experiences for Warcraft, Pacific Rim, and Crimson Peak

How virtual reality porn could bring about world peace

July 10: Mixed Reality Is Becoming Possible, Thanks to Oculus Rift and Leap Motion

Wall Street analysts say virtual reality can't go mainstream until these issues are fixed (“We expect commercial volume 8K smartphone LCD display to be available by around 2020,”)

Comic-Con: 'Walking Dead' Zombies to Appear In Virtual Reality

Comic-Con 2015 led us deeper down the virtual reality rabbit hole

July 11: VR Code Lab Announced for Gear VR & Google Cardboard

July 12: And Finally: Oculus Rift 2 already in the works and more (Rift 2 will include a camera for AR)

Edited by jaxa
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With the DK2 already out in the wild for a while, and Rift 2 in development, is the first Rift going to get a commercial release?

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With the DK2 already out in the wild for a while, and Rift 2 in development, is the first Rift going to get a commercial release?

 

1. Crescent Bay prototype is newer than DK2.

2, The "first consumer version" (name unknown) will be released in March or Q1 of 2016 (preorders begin in late 2015).

3. "Rift 2" in your sentence refers to the second consumer version.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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