A lot of people are quick to dismiss VR and present AR as the future, but I think a more constructive way to think about it is that VR is AR without the walls punched out (yet). Realistically, we all spend the majority of our lives in a couple rooms (an office and a bedroom), so by moving to AR the largest benefit is going to be comfort. So many potential new interactions are ripe for exploring today, even in VR (not to mention the Vive has a front-facing camera anyway, although the latency can be a bit nauseating).
On the other hand, I can't take more than 30 minutes of holopoint - it's physically intense and leaves you a sweaty wreck.
As to motion controllers "perhaps being more intuitive" - I'm guessing he hasn't used them. They're not "more intuitive" they're your damned hands, joining your head in another world. I mean, I suppose hands are useful in interacting with the world.
I strapped my 90 year old granddad in, and he was immediately having a blast flipping burgers in job simulator - and this is a guy who fumbles with his iPad.
So - motion controllers are not "perhaps more intuitive", unless you count your hands as "perhaps more intuitive" to pick things up with than your mouth.
Other "game changer" stuff - altspace vr is the nearest thing to Stephenson's metaverse I can conceive of - it's not like sitting at home chatting on irc watching a stream of something with others - it's like meeting people and going somewhere.
It's all well and good going "I'll wait five generations", but a) you're missing out on pre-september vr and b) if nobody buys devices there won't be five generations.
I think this is what's being undervalued about VR -- the increased proportion of people for whom it "works" vs a 2D monitor.
My opinion has gradually shifted towards the reason some people don't read books, or comics, or watch TV, or play current games having to do with different susceptibility / willpower to suspend disbelief / engage immersion.
Someone who doesn't enjoy a fictional book the way I do isn't reading a different book; I think they just aren't seeing the book with the same realness that makes it exciting to me. Aka the "we're just looking at a rectangle with some colors on it" response to computers.
I feel like VR is the first step in awhile that can really lower the bar in terms of "must be this susceptible to suspending disbelief to ride" (post-graphics fidelity, which probably had its biggest objective jump with the first 3d cards).
Having used the controllers and leap motion, the controllers I prefer, as grasping nothing is less immersive than grasping a controller - in my view, anyway.
Now, gloves with feedback, those will be interesting - but are a way off.
I was recently thinking about 3d printing trackable objects to get around the whole topic, and allow leap motion/manus/whatever to be that much more real.
I'm a hobbyist artist - using the Vive for a first time I could sculpt a 3d figure, life sized, in front of me in just minutes. (Professinal 3D designers are probably faster than that on their 3D system of choice but I'm just an accidental hobbyist).
I would guess the better one can generate shapes from memory the more amazing the experience is.
This will be huge with designers.
You realise you are speaking for your self, not "we all". Believe it or not some people go outside.
But both have few games, most of which are merely proof of concepts more than games, and have their own troubles (lucky's tale is great but it forces you to look down all the time, again it hurts). Also both are unfit for non gaming. They work on the assumption that your eyes will focus only on the centre of the screen, so the edges will be blury. That's simply not what we do when we work, only when we are shooting zombies.
And like the author, I now only use them to demo them to friends.
So far, of the 20+ people to whom I've shown it, one has taken it off voluntarily, and all had variations of, "Holy shit, this is really amazing."
To get usage though, it needs to get past that stage where you are putting it on to see how cool it is. It needs to get to where you don't care so much about the headset, you just want the content.
I prefer game of thrones on a shitty laptop to storage wars on a hd
This is possibly because the interpupillary distance wasn't correctly calibrated for your eyes, which means you didn't get the correct scale and depth of things (hard to notice explicitly except that your brain doesn't like it).
It's the least acrimonious tech choice I've ever seen.
There has been a lot of grumbling about the choices Palmer & Facebook have made about the Rift, but people have not been attacking each other like they used to with android/iOS or other famous tech disagreement centers.
AR makes more sense to me, because even though you have it on, you aren't blocked out from your surroundings so it feels less awkward. But that too is lacking in apps. I'm hoping that since Hololens is Windows 10 based that the apps will roll in. I think a tilt brush like app would be killer.
I also have this idea that a less fragile AR headset could make for an awesome laser tag HUD, even simulating explosions from your shots. One day.
Luckily I have huge traps from lifting, haha.
That's kinda the key. You forget you're wearing it. You forget what's real and what's not - I've watched friends fall on their faces trying to lean on stuff that doesn't exist. I read of a guy who headbutted his fridge because he forgot you can't clip irl.
That complete suspension of disbelief, even if relatively transient, is what tells this observer that the tech is ready. It's young, yes, but it works, today.
Vive has already been a hit with the early adopters. But HTC needs to concentrate on making the hardware better and cheaper if it wants to break into the mainstream commodity market.
The biggest problem is pitching VR as gaming++, because gaming on its own is not a killer app - especially at the current price point.
I won't be surprised if a killer app emerges from a different sector. But I also won't be surprised if no killer app appears, and VR is stuck in the gaming ghetto for another five years or so.
Finally I would look like the hackers from the movies
The steamy, foggy, bad-smelling experience contributes as much to the nausea, or at least it exacerbates it in my experience.
VR works fine for some casual game concepts and maybe racing games were you sit and just move your head while steer with the gamepad. But I never saw an action, action-adventure, roleplaying or strategy triple-A game in VR. I am still waiting until the first triple-A VR game comes out in one of these very popular game categories - until then, I have my doubts and it could end as abrupt as Kinect 2 or 3D TVs.
Something like this one:
But yes, an in-built fan (if it weren't too noisy) should help a lot.
Biggest advantage being that they're specifically designed to move air down through a set of goggles.
1. He has the wrong headset. VR needs roomspace or it's just not going to be worth it. Yes gametime on the extreme end will go down in VR. That's very welcome by many of us finely aged gamers who don't have much time anyway for 6 to 12 hour sessions anymore (or don't want to invest that kind of time). I'd rather put in 1 to 2 hours a day of insanely immersive gametime than 12 hours of Civilization (which I already put countless hours into during the early 90s anyway).
2. He did nail the second thing that needs to happen when he said the cords were a mess: the need for a self-contained VR system with no cords. Cell phone VR for the basic setup and a more powerful and immersive but also wirefree all-in-one VR outfit is where it'll be at in the longterm. Think Powergloves and the whole deal.
3. Main issue here is that this as an author who doesn't know what he needs. But what he needs is a killer app.
Once someone figures out what that is, it'll explode.
I'm not finely aged, as I'm only 25, but I feel the exact same way. One thing I loved about Quantum Break recently was the fascinating live-action video that breaks up each chapter of the single-player game. I'm a fan of immersive experiences, so the 2-3 hours a week I spend gaming have a bigger impact on me and are more enjoyable.
People aren't going to keep putting on their headset just to look at tech demos, they're going to keep coming back to experience the well designed, super fun, highly addictive title that they've been playing obsessively, just like on every other platform.
I also want an integrated tracking camera in my laptop. The less clutter of hardware the better. And a brightness control dial on the side would be nice too. Those little screens are very close to your eyes, having a dimmer would be great - for those applications that seem to think you want full screen whiteness flooding your retinas.
Because the hardware is so niche, the software makers don't have an audience to justify a big investment.
What's more, content - even if it becomes the Mario of the VR - is not as important as the platform itself for control.
Companies and investors realize this and so they focus on platforms. And so we have a bunch of companies vying for a turn at the platform while no one wants to make content.
What smartphones had and VR will never have is a feature like pinch to zoom: something that not only looks impressive but also happens to be routinely demonstrated in a social setting, without the explicit intention of showing off.
I got my Oculus Rift a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. Practically use it every day. Lucky's Tale was surprisingly good, and I can no longer Elite: Dangerous without the headset.
There's not enough software at the moment. I still want to see a good flight simulator and Altspace-like spaces with actual things to do with people.
I'm still standoff ish on VR till my setup can be replicated, but I think I'm an outlier in the target market.
In the vive, at 90fps and all the other bells and whistles - none, even dogfighting in elite, even stick-moving in minecraft.
That said, a gtx 670 would be marginal at best - a 970 is the official min spec, and the new generation of pascal cards are essentially built for vr.
I play ED in the vive, and have no issue with legibility, but I have supersampling and aa cranked - haven't bothered with green text, which was practically mandatory on the dk2.
Maybe I'm just being a troglodyte about VR. I can admit that much.
Speaking of which, I have the mattel view-master headset that I use with an iphone 6. If you use the default mattel app, the device looks through the camera, and when it sees the disc that comes along it (this one: http://www8.pcmag.com/media/images/488976-mattel-view-master... ) -- it renders a rocket spinning on top of it. So even the cheap headsets allow a VR... but of course, the lag and stuff kind of bring it down and make it very headache-inducing.
Of course the best AR experience is one where reality is not see through a re-render picture of stuff captured from camera, but simple you seeing the stuff around you through a glass because nothing beats reality.
It's a single camera mounted in the centre. So it can't do stereoscopic 3d and although the resolution is OK, it's not great. Currently you can bring the camera up as a floating window attached to you controller that lets you look out into the real world. It's kind of like looking at the world on a tablet screen in your hand.
I believe they recently have provided access to the camera stream via the API, so we might see developers start integrating it into things, but it's never going to be like AR.
In VR headset terminology it has full field of view, zero latency head tracking, very high resolution, group experience, no fatigue, etc.
Obviously, everyone can't have one in their house but it's a great experience.
If it's like the ones have been or worked on, using 3D glasses (active or passive) with IR reflectors for tracking by multiple cameras, then it neither has full field of view nor zero latency and I can't see how it would have group rendering.
The field of view is limited by the glasses, if your eye goes outside the glasses you see both eyes together on the images projected on the screens and it looks fuzzy. Obviously you can turn your head 360 but that's the same in a headset.
In terms of head movement, in a VR headset you have full spherical coverage, not just 360 horizontally, which seems to be the case here?
For tracking if they use Vicon cameras or similar system, you also have the usual motion to photon latency: video camera latency + video camera frame interval + CV algorithms + rendering + sending to screens.
Actually none of the Cave systems I've seen use predictive tracking (like VR headsets do), where the head pose send to the renderer is not the sampled pose by the tracker but the predicted pose that your head will have by the time the image is displayed in the headset.
Group experience? How do they manage that, I'm curious. For accurate multi-person VR you need a different render for each person based on his specific head position and orientation. In a Cave that would mean rendering 4 images per each frame just to get it working for 2 people. So 360fps refresh rate screens for a 90fps experience for example, (which is what the Rift and Vive have).
Since being acquired by Facebook WhatsApp has doubled its active user base to over a billion users. If it was in the hands of Google right now it would be considered a very real threat to Facebook. I'd call preventing that one of the smartest expenditures Facebook has made.
1. You need an highres screen which must be pixel-free. Even if you throw Samsung's ppi front runners Note 5 or S7 into a Google cardboard you definitely see pixels; it's not crisp, it's not clear, it's just annoying and those monster phones have already 500-600ppi, more than any Oculus. So we need screens with 1000 ppi minimum because they sit so close in front of your eyes. We are used to crispy Retina noteboks and even higher res smartphone screens for years and shall now go back?
2. People are annoyed by Androids micro stuttering here and there, even the mainstream users and now we believe some milliseconds latency and stutter won't hurt VR? So here we need minimum 60 fps and even more since head movements can be quite quick and morever, even subtle movements which happen with your head all the time must be reflected with same sensivity. Didn't see this yet.
3. 1000ppi at 60fps? Ok, let's try to get hardware for this; you need hardware with the best avail GPUs, coolers, heatpipes, and fat cables to your lovely headset since batteries won't help. So we talk about a non-mobile product, something with cables keeping you at one position. And a price tag far away for the mainstream user.
Once this thing can be sold next to the Playstation for few hundred bucks at the quality mentioned in 1 and 2 + killer apps we are ready to go and we can talk again about mainstream adoption. To get there I assume that we need min. 10 years if not more.
And even then, if we are there and have 1+2+3 fulfilled I come up with my 4th point:
4. Great about games is that I sit on my sofa and can conquer the world without moving at all. All is done with my fingertips on my controller. Moving is exhausting--and thats the point of video games: to not run yourself and climb mountains like you do in Uncharted 4 for days--even moving my head can get exhausting after a while and anyway head movements are also much faster done with my controller's right analogue stick. So, what's the point? Why do I need an headset when a large screen and my proven Playstation controller can do the same? Better immersion?
I agree, moving your head around all the time to look at things does get really tiring after a while. I hope - and believe - that as game devs get more experience with VR, they'll design VR games differently to take into account its strengths and weaknesses. This is actually one of the reasons I think Oculus has a good chance at succeeding in the VR world - they've had the tech for quite a while and have had time to figure out how to make a good VR experience. The camera on a rail in Lucky's Tale is a good example of Oculus Studios thinking in new ways about how to design VR games. It's a new medium, and it's going to take some trial and error before we figure out how to use it correctly.
> telling them to spend $600+ on a headset right now would just be madness, given the relatively small scope of the software at present
I think the author should have expected that there's not much software out there, after all this is a totally new market, there's not going to be many games for it after all. I remember the day the PS3 came out there were very few games for it, and that was Sony's 3rd console. Give it some time.
Overall, I think VR has enormous potential. Give Virtual Desktop a try, or a deep VR game like Elite: Dangerous, or even something simple but polished like Lucky's Tale.
Is this really the day and age we live in where needing to mov e your head around is considered a con? You move your head around all the time while walking around, driving, etc and nobody complains about that
Nintendo did this nicely with the Wii controllers - you can flail your arms around wildly, but it also works when you flip your wrist a little bit
Great example (with a bit of augmented reality via green screen mixed in): https://youtu.be/LlFKjWGxZqk
I'm learning to fly in real life and it turns FSX into a realistic way of training for GA flying, rather than only instrument procedures - being able to look around out the windows makes all the difference.
(I'm asking because I have spent quite a bit of time doing headtracked virtual piloting, zero with a VR headset)
With the headtracker it more felt like just a convenient input method for head position, whereas with vr, well, it's like you're really in the plane. It doesn't feel like there's some translation between me moving my head and the camera on screen moving.
The loss of visual acuity is an issue, but since I fly only GA this is not so much of an issue - I'm mostly looking out of the windows and try not to focus on the instruments, just like in the real world.
If anyone you know owns a headset (DK2, CV1, Rift), I'd highly recommend borrowing it and trying the free version of FlyInside (15 minute demo limit) to get an idea: https://flyinside-fsx.com/Download
- No, i can´t see my hands or the steering wheel while playing, it´s done in video editing
- I´m using the Oculus Rift DK2 with runtime 0.6
- The block dot comes from unwarping the Rift video, I´m sorry for that, but i couldn´t get rid of it
- Greenscreen is to make my room invisible so i can edit real and virtual view together
- The poor resolution is because i record with 1080p but then have to crop the picture down the the view of one eye in 16:9 so i get less than 720p. This will get better as soon as i get the final verion of the Rift or the Vive
That said, I'd totally buy into VR if I could do that. For now I think I'll wait for a bit.
Another without that: https://youtu.be/7R5swCafrOs
1. Video quality is better than google cardboard, but not much. Yeah, I am surprised too.
2. Headset and Control don't fit very well, at least for me.
3. You need a large empty room. Otherwise I can see myself running into things.
Bottom line: no way I am going to buy this.
To make a video that leverages the GearVR pixel density for example, you need 6000x1500px. Per eye. Videos are usually a far cry from that. H.264 encoders won't even let you encode it.
The gameplay is innovative, exciting, and superior. Full room VR is the difference between need for speed on a PSP and a full arcade racing game with pedals, a wheel, and motors that jerk your body around as you drive.
The oculus may be better in a myriad of ways, but the Vive got the most important things correct. Everything else will clean up substantially in iteration two, which may be as soon as 24 months.
You can't just copy/paste any of the old stuff onto this new medium, it just doesn't work that way and you certainly cannot compare this to 3D tv/cinema...
..and I think the people that got hyped the most also completely underastimated the tectonic shift needed in order to make any of this really entertaining.
I think of the "visual" component of the VR problem as solved and am now looking forward to seeing how the "interactive" component of the problem will be solved. Because you need to perceive the world, check, but now you need to be able to interact with it: not solved yet.
But people got waaaay to excited seeing only the visual aspect solved...
With VR, it's a combination of frame rate and as the comment above mentions - too much movement. In No Limits 2 rollercoaster for example, you can walk around the park and get on the coaster, ride the coaster, then get off and walk around again - it's too much. The best VR I saw was sitting on virtual chair and things happening around you.. or the chair slowly moves through environment with deliberate and smooth velocity.
There were several hypes and fads (like 3D TVs and movies) and VR glasses seems like another fad - especially as soon as more and more tried them and cannot imagine to use it for general purpose gaming - it's more relevant for niche topics. Autostereoscopy displays and AR might get a broader audience in future. But current prototype AR devices like HoloLens are a far cry what would be possible, and at the moment a lot of demos are faked to hype unfinished devices, as the reality is that AR is won't be ready for another 3 years (e.g. http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Microsoft-HoloLens-im... ). A problem of VR and AR-prototypes is motion sickness, that some people have (from my experience often people who have not 100% eye sight) - I never got motion sickness, but I saw some fellows vomitting on the lab floor (carpet).
Autostereoscopy displays like in the Nintendo 3DS handheld console have its appeal as there is no ugly glass needed and technically it's possible to support a group of people, instead of just one person. So in near future our smartphones and TVs may have such a 3D display. And given a 4k LCD panel one can still get a 1080p or 720p 3D resolution out of it, that's already enough and it will be cheap. And with back projection technology even projectors could be used for 3D autostereoscopy.
Basically, VR is here but the experience isn't sticky enough due to lack of great software. Sound familiar?
For this to go big, and eventually I think it will, you need the headset to be wireless, the goggles have to be lighter, and the video card necessary to power the thing needs to be an appliance. I'm guessing once the consoles can handle it we might see more traction.
I also would like to see the hand controllers something more along the lines of a set of light weight gloves or something that allows finger and gesture tracking. Basically, Minority Report. When I was playing hollow point and budget cuts on the vive I really wanted something like that.
I hate 3D TV (and movies) but was instantly amazed and wanted more of VR.
VR's biggest problem is tech needs to catch up - i.e. the race is towards doing retina-resolution VR, at which point it's game-over for monitor tech.
3D TV is about as good as it's ever going to get, with a lot of really obvious limitations.
Who even cares about that: https://i.imgur.com/TI5T7ah.png when they came to read a story such as this. Is this some useless bs marketing move or am I missing something.
I find Jeff Atwood's piece on VR to be the truest of them all. He nails it at every point.
Even before this article was published I was saying (I'm sure others were as well) that the reality that the Oculus lets people share is that of a black box strapped to their faces.
I guess the reality phase of the hype cycle has now hit.
We're a bit closer, but not nearly close enough, to total immersion. You can play a racing game or a flying game and get some pretty good immersion, maybe even trick your brain here or there. But VR is a fever dream until we understand how brain impulses work and can manipulate them directly to simulate experience.
Of course, by then, we'll probably be questioning the whole thing altogether.
I love flight and racing sims, so I expect to get a lot more use out of it.
oh geez, this means nothing.
Fascinating. I wonder what the web will look like in a decade.
On-topic: I was one of the original backers of Oculus, but missed the opportunity to get a free Rift. I guess it didn't matter much.
It seems like what happened to the Oculus is what happened to many platforms throughout history: No killer app on launch day = no uptake.
Back on topic, the Vive's room scale tracking really makes the difference IMO. The Rift seems more like just a fancy display device, whereas the Vive enables a whole new class of experiences.
Their "ad-light" version (that people can actually choose to pay for) displays more ads than most sites, and the entire site lags when scrolling (on a beast of a computer no less).
I'm never going to read a piece of Forbes content again. Let this be a lesson in how not to Internet.
This. This is the _worst_ reading experience I've ever had since I first connected to the internet back in 1995.
I had to stop reading the article because the ads we too intrusive. I closed the page in disgust.
It comes off (in tone) as a bit entitled when I see people complaining about how they aren't able to view free (free!) ad-supported content for free because they are using an adblocker. I use ad block. I recognize that I am a freeloader. I don't pretend I'm not. I know the usual rebuttal is something like "I'd pay for it if they offered" - but this is a non sequitur because it doesn't really change the fact that publications have no obligation to cater to our every content-gorging whim.
This one, with ads, was unreadable anyway so it's a moot point really.
As long as we're at this local maxima, with crap crowding out quality, news can never improve and will never be worth paying for.
1. Save to pocket and read it there.
2. Stop reading forbes.
I've decidedly to click out of any forbes article here on out.
At first I kind of thought of disabling stuff so I Could read Forbes but I've found so much crap lately that I don't bother anymore.