- Comfort: It has to be comfortable for a lot of people to use the device for an extended time. Lets say 4 hours. Current Gen VR gets uncomfortable around 20-30 minutes. That isn't too big a bridge to cross.
- Resolution: Current Gen VR isn't suitable for looking at a lot of text for a long time due to the PPD (Pixels per degree). I've tried the Plimax 4K, and it felt very close, to the degree that I think that the Plimax 8K Pro (Which uses native 8K resolution unlike the standard 9k) could very well be there.
- Text input: This could be tricky because its not something being demanded by games at all. A very easy to imagine solution would be tracked fingers + a tracked physical keyboard. Current finger tracking is juusssst about good enough for this, but not quite. I think this is only really critical for VR coding and text processing, social and general UI use is going to lean on voice as much as possible because it fits into the VR paradigm much better.
I don't think so, how would you talk on the phone and input text? I don't think people are going to be comfortable giving up the privacy of a keyboard.
Also, why can't you just use a keyboard? what is the purpose of finger tracking?
Could be hyperbole for marketing purposes, but even if so, I think we'll get there soon enough. They explicitly said that replacing monitors is one of their [long term] goals for VR.
I wore a pair of Sony MDR-7506, the ubiquitous radio cans, for 8+ hours every day while operating and editing talk radio and didn’t even notice, despite the job calling for constantly necking them and then putting them back. And I have a large head. They’re ubiquitous in radio for a reason.
Oculus also had a "focal surface display" tech demo of a display system that can alter the optics to vary tje focal distance across an image, letting it approximate the scene you're looking at. This isn't in any consumer hardware (yet) .
It's like asking whether color movies will replace black and white.
Depth literally adds another dimension. It's literally 2d to 3d. In the same way you wouldn't want to go from movies back to still images, or color movies to black and white. Why would you want to look at a flat image in front of you when you could have a device that can replicate that flat image OR show you a 3d model.
Edit: I don't disagree that VR will be extended to a wide range of mainstream applications...just pointing out a problem with the analogy of color/B&W film.
From memory, I believe early film with sound did have this issue. Although as caused by direction problems as technical ones.
When I had a DK2, using the virtual desktop application was so much fun. The issue is that the resolution isn't quite there yet, but I think that issue will be solved sooner than you would think (at least for desktop use).
Multitude of reasons but the biggest one would be that you can still work with others line of sight in the real world with AR, whereas everyone needs to be in VR to.
Plenty will protest with the idea that the isolation of VR would be beneficial to focus, however 1. You can get most of the way there with AR as is, or just add an opaque cover to the AR glasses and 2. It's cognitively beneficial to see your real surroundings over the course of an entire work day (even if you claim your work day is 4 hours)
Not with the right tech.
If you had a few depth-sensing cameras plopped around - cameras which could image both the actual images and depth information, in theory you could use that info to build on-the-fly 3D models of your surroundings (including people) and merge them into the world being viewed in a person's HMD.
All the tech currently exists; cheap Kinects or Sony VR cameras could work for this, for instance - but there also exist better, if much more expensive, options as well.
AR has its purposes, but there isn't anything you can do with AR that you can't do with VR - where the inverse is demonstrably false (for instance, AR glasses which use see-thru technology cannot show "black" as a color; physics doesn't allow for it). While you can/could add a shield to turn AR goggles into a VR experience, unless those AR goggles have a huge field of view, you'll have a fairly underwhelming experience (I have yet to see any AR display device outside of lab conditions that can give as wide of FOV as current low-cost VR HMDs - this has always been the case since the 90s IO-Glasses and similar offerings).
Unfortunately, that's not really correct - at least not at any level of quality that is viable. MSFT showed off some examples of this a year or two ago but the subject of real time scanning was in a very engineered and restricted space.
It's also unneccessary, unless the goal was telepresence, why would you scan someone in who is in the same office?
If the argument is that we're all going to work from home because we can all be scanned in virtually and work inside VR, then I won't be able to convince you that the barriers to that aren't predominantly technological.
there isn't anything you can do with AR that you can't do with VR
It could have a look-behind mode that swaps around 180 degrees to the rear camera array while you're in reverse. Better spatial awareness than a backup camera on a screen.
I could definitely see homeless people turning to a virtual world to avoid their dreary lives much as they turn to alcohol and drugs now...
I think that is a long way away, though.
Moving the screen even closer to the eyes and having to focus ~4 inches in front of you at all times doesn't sound like a great idea, in the long run.
Google cardboard + my phone gives me issues too. So I would think that the weight of a smartphone is the absolute upper bound on the weight of a product you are expected to wear on your head as a part of your workflow.
IMO as a heavy user of VR whilst developing the critical problems for prolonged use are eye strain and heat. Neither seem to be about to be solved in the short term at least.
Other than that, I totally agree.
BigScreen really opened my eyes to how productive we will be in the future.
Has anyone announced any VR that uses the AR tech for positional tracking?
Windows Mixed Reality headsets use AR tech for positional tracking, but the MR headset tracking is made for a maximum of room-scale experiences (as opposed to hololens which can go multi-room).
Sounds like it's going to be slow compared to other methods.
A key to a good VR immersion experience is very low latency and high framerate.
(I know iPhone screens aren't high-DPI enough for VR, but I doubt a screen in a $200 product would be much better, and the processor/GPU would surely be inferior? I'd really like to get into VR at a decent price point, but I just can't see how this works.)
Still, it is surprising that the price would jump so far down from the price of a cellphone. I don't think it's a loss leader but I really doubt they have much of a profit margin. If that's the case this may be a bit of a gamble on VR being as massive as everyone (including myself) hopes it will be.
How is this different than the vive controller?
There need to be a place to dissipate that 200W+ of power current GTX cards are using, and this is not possible to fit it in kind of binoculars.
Thats marketing gimmick Oculus is doing: it does not require phone (as daydream does) but it does require graphics powerhouse to generate all the virtual reality (unless you don't want the world to be as in current AAA games which DO REQUIRE GTX kind of power).
Because this (not requiring PC to show VR) either means:
1) Oculus is standalone (not requiring nvidias/amd 200W+ 200USD powershouses) with comparable quality/features to what other (with PC) sets are doing currently
2) it is not standalone UNLESS you have much (and here I mean much!) worse quality
ad1: this would mean that Oculus did a great breakthrough (rendering price of nvidia stock overvalued tenfold - which we don't see) while also solving heat dissipation issue (look at your typical GTX card and cooling they require and POWER they require).
ad2: currently, AAA games do require powerhouse in graphics department, and they still have a lot space to improve (from visual perspective). For VR you need 90fps lowlatency dual(sic!) rendered graphics - this brings you either subpar quality (A LOT OF SUBPAR) - hence I concluded this "no pc required) marketing gimmick of Oculus. Yep, it may work, but not at the level (not even close) to other solutions.
I don’t trust they’ll support it, develop it, focus on it, iterate on it, etc
and that’s without getting into trusting their ecosystem and privacy issues.
I trust google less than I trust almost any other large tech company.
Facebook hasn't burned their trust in their support of their new products like Google has. In fact, if anything, they have a better track record for that (granted, via acquisition, but still).
I know many non-technical types that refuse to adopt Google's new products because they don't trust them to stick around. Outside of their core Google Docs suite they have a real perception problem.
The fiasco that was Google Glass hurt them too. Android support is... weak at best (and yes, that's not all Google's fault but they own the brand so they own the backlash).
They just aren't a company you can trust in their products.
i used to be deeply skeptical of the idea of these standalone vr units, but it's good to see oculus exploring it.
But as you said. Not everybody has a 1000$ phone.
I guess this will be similar.
However, this isn't really what Oculus is doing here. This isn't a "cheaper version of Oculus Rift". This is an expensive version of Gear VR/any Android Daydream headset.
It has some extra sensors and whatnot, but other than that, it should play the same content. So how are most people going to understand the difference between a $60-$100 Daydream headset and a $200 Oculus Go?
At least the $600 headsets actually offer you a different kind of experience (realistic 3D games, etc), even though their price means they'll be relegated to an early adopter market for a few more years.
In the bubble that is HN, they make little sense, but I assume these companies must have done some kind of market research that indicates that these products actually drive demand in a consumer group that has basically zero overlap with ours.
A lot more people than buy the full-fat systems like Vive and Rift, that's who. Which would explain why Oculus is now focusing on that market segment rather than leaving it to OEMs like Samsung.
(1) all AAA games (working on the GTX 9xx or 1xxx) are still subpar to the reality, and they're disspating hundreds of wattage. It's not possible to put it into binoculars.
Now, yes, I know that at the speed of light (or more properly the speed of electrical signals) having a PC 3m away is only about 10ns, which is not going to be noticeable.
But there will need to be translation on each end to send a signal that far away, such as conversion to / from HDMI. If the embedded processor in the headset is directly connected to the LCD, that type of conversion eliminated. Ditto for cameras and other sensors needed for position tracking.
To reduce latency, developers are counting microseconds these days. Crazy.
If you do something 10,000 time every frame that takes 10ns it's still only 0.0001 seconds and no you don't need to make that trip 10,000 times sequentially.
The point of Oculus Go and Santa Cruz is to be untethered, and, if possible, cheaper than the Rift.
While it is undoubtedly a worthy goal, as anyone who tried a VR headset can tell you, it also means that you are letting go of the hundreds of watts computing power that a compatible PC represents. And without that power, it will be much more difficult to get the required latency, framerate and resolution.
The Oculus Go is actually a little better than the rift : 2560x1440 vs 2160x1200, same FOV and supposedly better optics, so in term of not seeing the pixels, that should be better. The tradeoff is probably less details, maybe with upscaling.
They should first achieve something that hooks people in ways not done before even if it requires a 1080ti in sli + cable. Lowering the specs and/or quality of the final image is the wrong way to do it.
In order from lowest to highest cost VR: GearVR, PSVR, Rift, Vive
In order from highest to lowest market share: GearVR, PSVR, Vive, Rift
Note that when Oculus lowered the Rift's price, sales dramatically increased. It is very clear that cost remains one of the primary barriers to VR adoption.
Oculus is approaching the market with a tiered strategy of low (Go), medium (Santa Cruz), and high (Rift) models at price points that maintain an addressable market large enough to create a viable software ecosystem.
Based on their sales figures and market research, they believe high price and insufficient content are the top two barriers to VR adoption. This is why they fund 3rd parties to develop quality content (since the market isn't large enough to recoup the development investment), and why they released Go.
An HMD requiring $1400 in graphics hardware alone (2x1080ti) might make a good prototype - a "concept car" or "super car" if you will - but not a good commercial product. Few would buy it, and it would be very hard to leverage its power to the fullest.
[Disclaimer: work at Microsoft but not in retail. I've used the Vive but not the store demo station.]
Personally, I'm not very interested in a VR headset being anything more than a display. This makes me feel like it is a Smart TV, which is not something I want. We'll see how I feel in the future.
This is nothing more than say Samsung Gear VR but without a removable mobile phone
That said being able to use this anywhere as a personal display device as well as not being limited by the pretty heavy umbilical cord setup is the way to go.
If you are going to put wireless hardware in the headset it’s not like a mobile media player and a light application platform will detract from its value.
As an early VR adopter I can say that both my headsets ended up on the shelf after a few weeks.
It’s just too exhausting to play traditional games and with non-VR exclusive titles it’s actually a bit disadvantage in competitive play.
Mouse look and keybind reverse look beat a VR headset in sims and the UI for any titles but EVE Valkyrie is still better on a flat display.
Humans are not owls we can’t turn our necks at lighting speed and there is a reason why even 200M dollar jets have mirrors and now 360 camera coverage.
Games like Elite aren’t designed like an F35 they are designed around mouse look and being able to switching between 3rd and 1st person views quickly.
Until some one will design a VR game with 21st century smart helmet augmented reality style interface in the game it won’t work well and even then mouse look would still likely be faster.
However the killer app for me was actually the home cinema app as well as some of the creative sandboxes.
These don’t need my 1080ti setup and I don’t really want to be tethered to my tower.
We've already all but killed social interaction with smart phone addiction.
I can't think how many times I've seen a group of friends at a Starbucks not talking to each other and all looking at their devices.
But, at least, their actual faces are not covered by a huge mask with no way to look into each others eyes.
This picture makes me wonder about where this is all headed. For example, will there be a day when a group of friends are sitting around a table in Starbucks without the possibility of eye contact?
Edit: I'm not against VR I am just musing about what this ultimately means for all of us.
As for the eye contact thing, I dunno, but I envision these things as being more solitary devices, more like playing a game at home alone on your console. I always thought that was the market that would keep the industry alive.
(Rolleyes). Yeah, uh-huh. We can all agree phones sometimes intrude in ways we wouldn't like but if you think they've "killed all social interaction" you need to find some new friends.
VR is certainly a different matter but humans fundamentally crave social interaction. VR won't change that. AI, eventually, on the other hand...
That said this doesn't seem to support tracked controllers and it's not clear if it would ever support tracked controllers. It's VR, but VR without tracked controllers is almost a different category.
Still when you look at what it replaces (GearVR) it's a huge step forward. You no longer need to tie up an expensive phone that's going to overheat and have no battery left. You get lenses and a display designed for VR and positional tracking where previously there was only rotation.
It's also interesting that they are messaging nothing about a next generation headset you can tether to a powerful computer or console. That's where my interest lies. I would be fine with even just a refresh of the Rift with a better display and lenses. I'm not even looking for a bump in resolution.
This is an important and under-appreciated point. Presence is a combination of many factors, and "hand presence," as Oculus is calling it, is a huge one. I still remember the first time I tried a Vive: I was already familiar with VR from the DK2, but interacting in 3D space gave the whole experience a wholly unfamiliar, almost dream-like sensation.
At this price point, tracked controller support seems unlikely, but perhaps a future Bluetooth lighthouse could enable it. Honestly, I think that should be a priority: if it comes down to more detailed graphics versus tracked controllers, I'll take the controllers every time.
So really it's just more mobile VR which I don't think much of.
This announcement seems to be saying it's 1) untethered and 2) $200 price point. Those will probably increase the current market size but I just haven't seen anyone (anecdotally) clamoring for VR. Curious if anyone has a view on other bottlenecks.
I'd guess the biggest hurdles are physical discomfort with long term use, and that there isn't yet very compelling VR software.
I don't think its games. At least, it's not obvious how to turn existing kinds of games into VR experiences, and make them mind blowing. In my experience, VR games are not currently very good games, and are relatively lacklustre as tourist experiences.
So what? I wish I knew. But I just don't think there is a compelling reason for most people, even most passionate gamers, at the moment. Which, as a fan, pains me to say.
VR technology is incredibly impressive, but a lot of problems that VR fans insist are easily solvable keep resisting nearly all efforts at overcoming them. Locomotion continues to be a huge problem that severely limits VR games. The third-person style of Lucky's Tale didn't catch on as it made too many folks feel just a little bit too wonky, if not completely motion sick. This means that on some level games like The Witcher 3 just can't be done in VR, and that's a tremendous hit to the medium.
I do think there's a future in VR gaming, but the current Vive and Rift will never be the vehicle of delivery. The price needs to go down and the convenience factor needs to go way up. I do think Oculus is going in the right direction with untethered headsets.
AR is more interesting, especially if it can get to contact lens size.
No. But that's not to say I don't think it will happen. And if / when it does happen, it will appear to have been inevitable (things tend to feel that way in hindsight)!
> do you think it could end up being like 3d is today
3D is a good analogy. Like 3D, unless there are some unique and only VR experiences, it will be a nerdy way of consuming content that is adequate (or even higher fidelity) on regular kit.
Lowering the price / making the form factor more convenient, can't hurt. But I'm not convinced that what the problem is at the moment.
When we talked to non-VR consumers (it's been a couple of years, but intuitively I can't imagine much has changed), the response was more "why would I want to put that thing on my head?", rather than "does it have to have a wire?" Price was a big turnoff, admittedly, but I fear a drop in price alone will simply mean it ends up in the 'barely used gaming peripheral' cupboard with your light gun, your dance mat and your steering wheel.
I would be very surprised if its success comes purely from being a peripheral used by gamers.
"I don't want to put something on my face"
A standalone cheap headset is a step in the right direction, however something like Santa Cruz with 6DOF is when I believe more mainstream adoption will start occurring. Right now the most widely available headset is still Google Cardboard.
Input is making progress, but I continue to think using your hands would be the best option rather than any controller.
To me, it feels like the hype around VR is starting to wane.
Right now, the hurdles are price, form factor, and motion sickness. I think last two problems are why broad adoption may never come.
I'm one of the people that can't wear them. The first ones I tried were in 1992 (the pterodactyl game) and after a couple of minutes, I was ready to barf.
I tried VR in the 90s as well and did get dizzy after 20 minutes or so. I have a Vive now and The experiences are completely different, worlds apart.
1) Audiovisual Isolation. With immersive VR you are unable to interact with the real world and often unable to see or here what is going on around you. It always feels creepy to me to put on my VIVE and not be aware that someone has walked into my room or has been knocking on my door.
2) Very poor multitasking. VR experiences demand uninterrupted focus. I'm often not 100% immersed in whatever I'm doing at any given time. I will share my focus with other activities and other external events. I don't like having my focus locked onto a single activity for long spans of time. If I'm gaming, I'll probably alt-tab once in a while to send a chat message. If I'm watching a movie, I'll likewise pause or shift my focus if something demands it. There are very limited blocks of time where I'm willing and able to give a VR experience uninterrupted focus.
3) Inability to physically interact with real world objects. If you don't need to do that, that's fine. But what if you want to take a sip of your drink? Eat a snack? Have a smoke? When you have 0 spatial awareness, that is very difficult to do. Even putting down your controllers and switching to a keyboard is hard to do when you cant see where it is. You could just remove the headset every time you want to do this, but that's very cumbersome. This headset doesn't even have a fliptop so that makes it even more cumbersome.
All in all I'm not sure how much utility fully immersive HMDs have outside of some unique interactive experiences that are short enough to mitigate some of the above problems. Remember that "dumb" HMD displays (like this: http://www.siliconmicrodisplay.com/uploads/9/0/4/6/9046759/_...) have been available since the 90s. They were also billed as the future of entertainment and TV/monitor killers, but adoption never picked up for the reasons above. People don't like giving up all their focus.
That's why mixed reality headsets are more promising to me. If you can insert virtual windows/objects into real world spaces, you can introduce immersion without necessarily sacrificing awareness. Let people jump in and out of virtual reality without having it be an all or nothing compromise.
I have real life for movies, concerts, and hanging out with friends, so that leaves games.
What’s the content offering like for VR these days? Are there any games that are more than a tech demo that lasts for a few hours? Something like a Skyrim or a Civ, that I will want to return to week after week?
I think motion sickness might be a problem for some people though.
EDIT: Oh it says it right there in the article! That was a redundant comment... Reason I cared about is that last time I tried VR, the audio came from stationary speakers and it was a very weird experience to have the direction of the audio not match what I saw :)
Also, I wish they were lighter on the word "magic"...
You definitely don't want a Rift without Touch.
The trouble with VR so far isn’t VR itself, because Vr is actually pretty cool, but the trouble is that it’s a giant pain to get into, both cost and set up and so on, it’s not currently reasonable to buy vr . This product seems like it could change that. Seems like a big deal to me.
Facebook is still there, though.
Despite my being an early backer of the original Rift KS (I have the DK1 and the FB branded CV1 - both unused), I over Oculus' offerings, ever since they dropped Linux support. It was one of the main reasons I supported the KS to begin with, but then when it got big, they just decided our market segment wasn't worth supporting.
I will never, ever understand why hardware companies have such problems with this - I have yet to hear a truly convincing argument why hardware API specs can't be released to the community in order to allow them to create drivers - instead, the community has to go thru an arduous round after round of reverse-engineering the protocols and API just to get (at best) 2nd-tier support of the device (usually with buggy and/or missing results). It's been a huge pain with graphics cards, and now its continuing with VR headsets.
Also - why isn't anybody supporting or mentioning OSVR? There's another player in the headset market nobody ever mentions - Razer - who seems to be the only one who does support OSVR, yet their product is given virtually no coverage anywhere.
I don't know why that is, either.
Personal experience: the video always looked grainy on my S7 Edge + GearVR headset. I'm kind of waiting for the next iteration of headsets of which I kind of think we're there with Samsung's Oddyssey or whatever (though really wanted LG to release that flip-visor headset they demoed as that'd be great for shifting between VR and real world without constantly taking off and putting on).