If I could do this, I wouldn't even care how ridiculous I looked.
VR environments that can do high-quality typography will require something like 10k pixels vertical resolution. It's going to be more than a decade until we have the screens and GPUs that can push those pixels.
(I have a Samsung Gear VR with the Galaxy Note 4 which is a 2560*1440 screen split for two eyes, so I have a pretty good idea of what Oculus VR looks like on a 1440px screen.)
It's a shame we weren't able to program on VGA monitors. :(
My guess would be Commodore 64 with an NTSC TV for display. That's pretty close to the text fidelity you can reproduce on a "virtual monitor" in a current-generation VR environment. (I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of resolution lost due to lens correction -- the rendered screen image is heavily distorted to account for the wide-angle lenses.)
Well, I suppose it would be sort of fun to have a virtual C64, as long as the virtual surroundings are well executed: a complete high school kid's bedroom from 1986.
Even today, most of my (C / Bash) programming is done in an 80x24 xterm, although I'll typically have documentation open in another window. However web and GUI app development requires enough room to see the resulting product.
Anyway, I think I've been going for about a month and a half with 80x27 text displays (full screen with tmux). I'm doing web development and my browser is similarly scaled (thank god we're building something with a scalable UI).
I have not missed the screen real estate at all. Of course, I'm old and I used to always work on 80x25, so the extra 2 lines are luxury ;-)
It's generally fine. Every now and then I feel like I want to see the broader context of the code, but it's rare. In general it forces me to write much cleaner, more readable code, and to structure things better so that concerns are truly isolated and I don't need to look at a lot of code to see how things work. Overall I think it's a positive experience.
The key metric for me is how much information I can access with input under a minimal threshold. From personal experience, a hotkey to swap virtual desktops (e.g. Alt+Up) still isn't the same as having multiple physical monitors to reference.
However, I'd expect VR head orientation changes to look at different monitors to be fairly similar perceptually to what I do now, since it's the same physical action.
The bigger problem for the seat-tray problem is, afaik, both Oculus and the Vive use externally located tracking devices. Would be curious whether a fuzzier, internal-sensor-only, limited "intent" tracking mode (e.g. flick head to switch monitor) would make people hurl or not.
Yes, it would. This has been studied pretty extensively, the head movements need to be very precisely matched by rendering. The absolute worst you can do is any kind of non-linear response -- acceleration + lag can make people who are very tolerant of VR nausea literally throw up.
And use it on any sort of system that can show the outside world (AR, or pass through camera in VR) and it goes away completely.
Gesture interfaces could work.
If you don't experience it, good for you, you are one of the lucky ones.
Oculus has been riding the smartphone screen density wave but I'm not sure that will continue much longer since for phone use going beyond 500ppi doesn't make much difference.
Maybe some kind of projected light field will be the next solution?
GPUs will keep getting faster and smaller. Have you seen NVIDIA X1?
already being done! http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Leap
Nvidia's light-field stuff seems to be more of a VR solution, but requires even higher pixel densities. https://research.nvidia.com/publication/near-eye-light-field...
Not so much on the "raw display hardware" side of things though. I could still see it being a decade+ out on that alone.
Cool stuff, but it needs extremely fast and low latency eye tracking to work effectively. It's not insurmountable, but a significant engineering problem.
Huh. What the fuck have I been doing for the last 6 months, then?
The time will come for textual VR environments though! I can't wait to have "newspaper resolution" for textures (hold up a virtual newspaper in a VR world and you can actually read the text like it were a printed page). But I suspect it's not going to happen before the mid-2020s at least.
There are a lot of people who are doing text wrong in VR. You don't render at 10pt and expect it to look right. You have to pay attention and not just take the default settings.
I've spent much time reading and writing text in VR and it hasn't been a problem. If building a real, live code editing environment were my goal, I could have it done in a week. But I have different goals.
Texture filtering on the Galaxy Note 4's embedded GPU is probably not a priority. On a 2560*1440 phone screen, who can even see those artifacts? So it could be that the hardware and drivers are taking quite a few shortcuts there, and those come to haunt on the Oculus.
The Gear VR has a fairly decent GPU. The move to mobile was more about discarding legacy fixed-function pipeline techniques and more directly optimizing for shaders. The main factor limiting texture-fill is GPU RAM. But most devices have more than enough RAM to be able to render text well.
VR is a realism multiplier. Traditional 3D graphics techniques are realism fakers. You shouldn't apply many traditional graphics techniques, because they have perspective-dependent artifacts that are subtle to impossible to notice in mono still images but glaring in stereo motion. So I think it's folly to apply too much effort on things like displacement shaders or stereo textures. These sort of things both A) cost a lot of time, and B) look terrible in an unrestricted stereo view. There's even new research to suggest one's general hormonal balance can have a huge impact in whether or not these miscues are going to cause simulator sickness in a user. You could literally be alienating half of your potential users along gender lines.
In the face of that, I think it makes more sense to stick to simpler techniques that respect the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm. We've been able to write some 3D games that run at 150fps for over a decade now. But there is no 150hz display to pair it with. V-sync is probably the most important issue, followed closely by running at native resolution (so for a given GPU, a lower resolution screen might actually be better, because it will be easier to hit the full refresh rate at the native resolution) and clean, consistent antialiasing. It wouldn't be a problem if both eyes were rendered identically, but having the dual eyes highlights any visual artifacts that appear. Match those three issues and the realism of the content doesn't matter, it could be flat-color, Phong-shaded cubes and you'll have a great VR experience. Miss any of them and even high-end games like Elite: Dangerous that are gorgeous on 2D will look like complete garbage.
VR has completely inverted the priorities of graphics programmers. Because of this, I think the primary VR innovation is going to come from indie developers, because most established companies can't switch their focus away from their 2D-display oriented consumer base. The Call of Duty series has sold over 175 million units. Assume nearly $40 a pop, that makes over $7 billion. You're not going to see VR getting anywhere near that for a few years still, and companies like Activision and EA aren't going to chase after such small potatoes in anyway other than just PR.
Right now, the resolution is clearly not high enough for a straightforward implementation. I've got some ideas I'd like to play with around green-on-black text rendered directly in the post-lens-warp buffer, but I haven't had time to try it out yet.
> Removed support for application-based distortion rendering. Removed functions include ovrHmd_CreateDistortionMesh, ovrHmd_GetRenderScaleAndOffset, and so on. If you feel that you require application-based distortion rendering, please contact Oculus Developer Relations.
I'm not quite sure how to translate that into pixel density properly given the resolution is spread between your eyes, but I'd guess at least as good as a 1080p screen that fills a 90* angle of view?
The user experience would be quite different, as you could simply rotate+tilt the viewport to see sections of a larger virtual monitor screen. So it wouldn't necessarily be as restricting as low resolution on a fixed screen.
The vrdesktop demo is impressive and gives you an idea of what is likely possible. I think if you want it enough you will put up with it
Please don't be that guy.. :-)
>>A succubus is a female demon or supernatural entity in folklore (traced back to medieval legend) that appears in dreams and takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men
I believe that it was as much social as technical issues that held back Glass. Like it or not, we can surely expect social push-back on a VR device which will make its users appear to onlookers as almost masturbatory.
I got a DK2 and have barely touched it because my Macbook Pro 13" just wasn't adequate enough.
This talk was a slightly long but very informative discussion of the various challenges in reducing latency and dealing w/ PC rendering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoqV112Pwrs
15.1x8x1cm x86-64 computer with a built in 3000mAh battery
The only remotely challenging part might be symbols on the number row (that's for me at least). And for those, there's actually NO reason you couldn't have a virtual keyboard you can look down at.
Can the same be said for all potential users?
I haven't tried it yet since I have no HMD but I read some good stuff about it. Don't know if it will run more than one monitor though but that feature seems obvious to me.
Like others have mentioned the big problem is the resolution at this moment. You have basically about the same res as a 1080p screen strapped to your face, so the res that you see will actually be lower than 1080p. Reading stuff will be more difficult as you can imagine.
Update: as other people have mentioned, the resolution is also not quite there yet with the Oculus to have a convincing virtual desktop.
In practice, anything that's placed 10ft+ away doesn't cause much stress for me although that's probably somewhat personal.
I think within 2-3yrs displays that solve the focal plane issue will be commonplace so this will be a bit of a moot point.
Here's an arc resolution chart I made: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pOx0Jcy6tpMGLxmPYX8n...
At first glance I was thinking of the hell that it would be to run a current IDE on a 640x480 14" monitor. But at 1280x960 on a 28" monitor, it may work pretty well.
seems to meets at least some of your requirements.
What if you had FullHD resolution pixels, much less Retina pixels anywhere you looked?
Maybe you're not imagining hard enough? The possibilities, to me, are rather mind-bogglingly awesome.
In the meantime, you can use the laptop sock  :)
A whole lot of things are going to easy and cheap.
> The partnership with Microsoft will also see the Rift work “natively” with Windows 10, plus play Xbox One games in the headset.
People were all up in arms when facebook entered yet there was never an overlapping issue that would mean the Rift would be gimped or held hostage or anything. People who were suggesting FB login to use the Rift were quite frankly talking out of their behinds.
But this deal now with MS is awful. There was no need for Oculus to do that. None.
It clearly wasn't a money thing. It wasn't for the controller as they clearly work on their own one. What on earth was riding these people to go with MS when it is clear that they are fully focused on their console and tablets.
This does not paint a good picture to what the rift might be reduced to just to make it fit onto all of MS stuff. Pretty much like they are currently in the process of "consolification" of the desktop OS.
Luckily there are other alternatives which don't try to force any exclusive requirements on their users.
Ah, that explains why they call the Xbox controller "one of the best in the world" and shipping it with it, instead of just letting people decide for themselves or making it at least optional. This might actually stop me from getting one, I'm not sure how much a controller is normally but it will increase the price and I have a USB dualshock 2 controller right here which I prefer over the Xbox one.
My take: this a bandaid, so they can get the headset out in Q1, ahead of the proper controllers in Q2. Not what they wanted to do, but Vive forced their hand on timing.
For example, a spaceship piloting game that allows the players head to rotate and look out the windows could very easily be controlled with a traditional gamepad.
Even just a few years ago most people were thinking that game genre popularity would just map into VR - i.e. Witchers and CoDs would be king. What's becoming more and more apparent is that VR is such a different medium that we need a whole new set game genres and mechanics.
For instance: locomotion with the left controller stick, head movement with the right (which the current controllers are brilliantly adapted for) is such a core controller "idiom" right now, but when applied to VR it's just horrible - a recipe for nausea and disorientation.
If you look at the kinds of experiences that are being developed around Valve's controllers, they're all huge departures from the games we currently play, and the reason is that Valve, as game designers, realized from an early point just how far back to the drawing board we need to go. VR is just too different, with different objectives (immersion), possible modes of interaction, and human weaknesses to address.
I for one am looking forward to GTA 5 which I'm convinced they added a first person mode to future proof against VR.
It also great increases the chances of hitting something while you're waving you arms around...
Fair point, but instead of a custom controller you could use any old controller you have lying around. Bundling it just increases the price.
I guess this also explains the earlier announcement dropping OSX and Linux support.
Valve on the other hand seems to fully embrace OSX/Linux (with both Steam and the Vive) and have done plenty to improve gaming on those platforms.
I think I know which HMD I'll be purchasing.
I am sure the Vive will be great, but let's face it the vast majority of titles on Steam are Windows only. Valve may like the idea of Linux gaming, but they push a lot of Windows games...
I think developers should not bother developing for Rift then. There are alternatives which are cross platform and not beholden to MS walled gardens.
Stronger competition will make them change this stupid attitude.
Come on man, give credit where credit is due.
Rift is likely to be purely gaming/social. HoloLens seems to be far more productivity/goal driven.
 - http://www.gamesradar.com/video-designing-xbox-one-controlle...
The potential is there, it's just up to developers to actually use it. Keep in mind that the PS4 didn't even have a single truly good exclusive game until Bloodborne came out recently. It's taking this new generation of consoles a long time to really kick off.
Nintendo never made anything that would connect to PCs.
I used to own a pair of Joe Grado HP-1 HP-1000 supra-aural headphones and they were excellent and did a great job with binaural recordings. Since selling those, I moved on to the Denon D7000 circum-aural headphones. Far more comfortable. Bar none the best audio experience I have had was with AKG K-1000s hooked up to 75-watt tubes monoblocks. However, that wouldn't have worked for VR presence because of the latency from the tubes. With solid state speaker amps to keep the audio in sync, the presence would probably be unreal, assuming the K-1000s do well with binaural recordings, but that is something I'm uncertain of.
I know tech. has some way to go before it gets there, but that is the missing piece that would make this the next level of computing (and probably one that would cause Half Life 3 to finally show up).
Xbox one controller"
I closed out of the stream at that point.
Turn around and sell the Xbox controller on ebay if you feel the need, nothing says the two are wedded or the controller is required to use Oculus.
Oculus keeps spreading tons of hype and making very disappointing announcements.
A bundled xbox one controller is nothing to get excited over. Their supposed new input is, but they had virtually nothing to show for that.
Because it caused you to abandon the livestream literally at the very beginning.
It feels like they've cut corners in an effort to beat Valve's VR platform to market.
Rift won't be here until Q1 2016 (and their input solution later still).
I was hoping for some real innovation that elevated it above Vive, but it just didn't seem to deliver. The new controllers look great, but they aren't going to be around until mid 2016, whereas I will probably have the Vive ones in my hands by the end of year.
I think possibly Oculus are more focused on being consumer friendly than Valve, but the inner techy in me is certainly more in love Vive and their ecosystem at the moment.
The entire cinema mode integration with Microsoft just seemed like a total misstep to me - why would I want to play a game in a virtual living room? It just looked cheesy, gimmicky and silly. The fact you have to stream it over a PC as well and can't just hook the headset straight into the Xbox seems like it's just way more hassle than it's possibly worth.
Maybe it would look something like a cone that's at its base wrapped around your wrist but at its height contains Leap sensors that can recognize the full 3-dimensional range of hand/finger movements.
But I think the intention with this device is to make something 'more' than just gestures. They wanted to make a device that can understand gestures, but also gives you more fine controls (buttons, analog sticks, grasping). It seems like they really want to get the basics right, and then expand on all sorts of forms of input in the future depending on the reaction and ideas of devs and gamers. In their way of thinking you could buy a leap motion right now, strap it to the headset and have complete finger tracking. The only downside is the probable fact that there will be more applications using Oculus' Touch device and some few novel unpolished apps using something like a leap motion.
Maybe there will be a device like you explained in the future.
Just use IR LEDs instead of colored.
If that doesn't work, you can reach out to me directly: email@example.com
Pushing it to Q4 2016 will give them time to develop some good apps for it, but it will also give competitors like Valve and Sony a year to build up an installed base. And "pay X hundred dollars for this novelty gizmo" is a much harder sell when the customers already paid X hundred dollars for a similar gizmo the year before.
It appeals to a very specific market at the moment. Most consumers will probably never experience VR on a PC at home.
The real seller to mass market will be a combination of integration with phone handsets (a la Gear VR) or console (Morpheus/PS4) devices. The mass market doesn't want a big, expensive black box chugging away in their living room.
BTW, these graphics cards are the first I've seen which spin down to a stop for normal computing, the fans only kick in for 3d applications, great stuff. PC gaming and graphics is more amazing than ever.
I bring this up to say that I believe people are underestimating how much interest actually exists in acquiring such a device.
Seriously doubt that there's a 1:1 ratio of backers and buyers of VR tech.
Edit: To rephrase my question, can anyone point me to a list of PCs manufactured by companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. that meet or exceed these requirements?
I don't think anyone can predict the future as there is currently so much optimisation going on across all the involved parties - Intel, Nvidia, Microsoft, Oculus, Valve, Epic, Unity, etc. They are all focussed on getting the best performance and experience out there.
This is a great summary of what Nvidia are currently doing:
Buying a prebuild is a bad idea. Apart from being overpriced, they often have strange custom motherboards and cases which make upgrades complicated.
There's always those places where you select the parts and they assemble the machine for you, but I can't recommend them. I bought a machine from Cyberpower UK a few years ago and had nothing but problems with it.
Just grab the parts from Amazon and assemble them. It isn't difficult, you're simply buying it in 7 parts and plugging them together. That way you'll know it's been done correctly, all the parts are standard, and you didn't pay over the odds.
Anyway, your question was for a hard price. I would budget $900 USD for all the parts (including 4690K CPU and GTX970 graphics crad). For a really high end setup for Rift (980Ti), the next step up would be about $1200.
a) Want something that physically looks good enough to have in their living room - modern prebuilds are sleek and small while making a small-form-factor custom is super-hard
b) Have more money than time. Who has time to track parts compatibility and figure out the upgrade path for your device, only to drop half of the cost of a new unit on your upgrade? There's a reason Apple has been so successful while ignoring upgradeability: the hardware market has never made upgrading easy-enough to be in-reach of the majority of users. While physically installing the parts is simple, compatibility is always frustrating.
I bought my computer five years ago. After two years, the only things original were the hard drive, the RAM, and the case. After four years, only the case was original (and even that's trashed now as pieces and parts have broken).
Mini-ITX is easy enough. Micro-ATX is easy as pie. There are very nice cases for both. If you know of a sub-mITX OEM build that has 4690K+980Ti level performance, I'd like to see it.
>compatibility is always frustrating
Not really. A graphics card, for example, has two things to check to verify compatibility:
* Will it physically fit in my case? (Check the length)
* Is my PSU powerful enough and has the correct connectors?
That's it. Every graphics card has been PCI-E for a decade. If it fits and has power, any card will work in any motherboard.
CPUs are also not too obtuse. If you have an Intel 9-series motherboard, you can install any Haswell or Broadwell chip. This kind of stuff can easily be googled. It's no harder than getting the correct speakers for your home theatre.
I had to snicker here. Following the audiophiles is a sure-fire way to keep the PC gaming industry on the fringes.
You do want to pay attention to the mobo choice if the card itself requires PCI-E v3.0. There are still a lot of v2.0 mobos for sale. Most mobos have at least one 16x slot, which is the one you'll want to use. Things get a little more complicated with multi-GPU card builds.
Nope. PCI-E 3 capable cards work perfectly in PCI-E 2 motherboards. In fact, no graphics card currently on the market can significantly benefit from the boost offered by PCI-E 3. This includes Titan Xs in SLI: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7089/geforce-gtx-titan-twoway-...
>Things get a little more complicated with multi-GPU card builds.
Sure, but I would speculate that anyone going that route is an enthusiast who knows what they're getting into and is happy to do the research.
Ah, OK. When shopping for a GPU compute server, I was paying attention to PCI-E 3.0 vs. 2.0 on the server motherboards.
I had assumed that it was a similar situation with consumer graphics cards these days, given how long v3.0 has been out.
Specifically, he got two GTX 970s to run in SLI, but the motherboard didn't end up supporting SLI. Neither him, nor the PC shop that built the machine for him, picked up on that.
It didn't help that the motherboard was branded as a 'Pro Gamer' motherboard (Asus H97-Pro Gamer: https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards/H97PRO_GAMER/). How can something be 'pro gamer' without SLI support?!?!
Fails all around, but yeah you definitely need to be careful about the motherboard you pick.
Build quality was great, he did a really good job with the cabling, I got all the boxes/manuals/extra parts. Have no complaints.
I've done some upgrades to that machine myself over time (RAM, graphics card, PSU, a drive change). PC assembly has gotten incredibly easier than it was in the past. It's the little touches. I notice that tolerance on cases are a lot better these days (things tend to align much more easily than they used to). PCI-E slots are a lot easier to put cards into than the older ones. RAM sticks generally have heat-spreaders on them, so you don't have to worry as much about handling them as you used to. Drive cables are easier (cabling in general is easier as most things are keyed these days), thumbscrews are almost ubiquitous, as are easily removable drive bays.
The only thing I still get nervous about is CPUs and their heatsinks. I haven't fitted a CPU in a long time and a mate of mine did my heatsink replacement for me.
All that said, I'd still pay someone money to assemble my PC from scratch. Someone good that assembles PCs for a living is going to do it way better and way faster than I would. At least, I'd hope so :)
That's fine, nothing wrong with that. You are simply not the target market for an ultra-high-end PC gaming peripheral.
Companies like http://www.ibuypower.com/ let you start with a base system and configure it until it meets the requirements. The recommended configuration costs about $1300, a premium one would be $1600.
So yer looking at £750 for a PC.
Interestingly, Oculus has noted that the target spec. for the PC "will not change for the lifetime of the product." In other words, they seem to realize that this is expensive now, but that it's better to deliver a really high quality experience that gets cheaper over time than to launch with a sub-optimal experience that eventually fires on all cylinders.
People who play video games on them do.
>Most people have just laptops/MacBook.
Not people who play video games.
> I guess nobody would want to bring back those beasts in their living rooms again just to use Oculus Rift.
If they like to play PC games in their living room, they already have a PC there. If they don't, this won't change that.
>"They should have really considered full device experience where you get everything you need and hardware is exactly designed to give optimal Oculus experience."
So... sell the Oculus together with a gaming PC? What's the difference between that and getting your own separately?
>World has long moved on from knowing which graphic card you need for your PC.
Except for those people who play video games on their PC. Those people generally do know what video card they have.
>I really hope this has good enough performance on typical Lenovo/MBP at least.
It will not. A powerful desktop gaming computer is absolutely required for acceptable VR performance in any interesting game.
That is inevitably where it will go eventually, but for now Oculus VR is a high-end gaming peripheral.
That's how it was presented during crowd funding and that's how it will be for a while.
Basically it's just an external chassis to connect a desktop graphics card (plus USB peripherals) to a laptop.