Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2014 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: OpenVR, oculus rift, DIY
Owning an Oculus Rift is enough to make your gamer friends turn green with envy but what if it was an open sauce Rift you built yourself? The specs for this build specifies
two one 5.6″ 1280×800 LCDs which will give you resolution on par with the Facebook owned version and the casing is 3D printed which offers you a chance to personalize your own model. The steps for setting up the hardware are available by following the link from Hack a Day as well as a link to the source code on GitHub. The price is right and you not only get a working VR headset you get the credit for building it as well!
"The Oculus Rift is a really cool piece of kit, but with its future held in the grasp of Facebook, who knows what it’ll become now. So why not just build your own? When the Oculus first came out [Ahmet] was instantly intrigued — he began researching virtual reality and the experience offered by the Oculus — but curiosity alone wasn’t enough for the $300 price tag."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How to Rescue a Non-booting GRUB 2 on Linux @ Linux.com
- Firefox 31 beta brings Firefox OS apps to Android @ The Inquirer
- AMD announces new business and personnel alignments @ DigiTimes
- Intel prepared for emerging industries, says company president Renee Jame @ DigiTimes
- Kids hack Canadian ATM during LUNCH HOUR @ The Register
- Intel prods PC market's corpse, corpse shouts 'I'M NOT DEAD!' @ The Register
- Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2014 - 02:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Survios, oculus rift, razer hydra
With E3 2014 in full swing there are a lot of demos and trailers whetting our appetite and if the past is any proof, setting us up for disappointment as release dates move and features get dropped. You can immediately scroll down to the long list below but first you really should take a look at Survios, once called Holodeck and then Prime, which uses an Oculus Rift, Razer Hydra, and PlayStation Move to immerse you in a zombie survival game; literally in first person. The movie showing off the gameplay that Slashdot has linked to doesn't quite do justice to what the game will be like while wearing a Rift but the display behind does intimate just how much fun this style of gaming will be once it begins to mature.
"Ben Lang from Road to VR goes hands on and heads in with virtual reality technology company Survios' newest version of untethered VR system 'Prime 3'. He moves around the virtual space, holding and reloading weapons as you would in real life. 'At one point while playing, I was wielding the shotgun with two hands, with the table of weapons was on my right side. Several zombies were approaching and I needed a bit more fire power. I dropped the shotgun, reached over with my right hand to grab the tommy gun off the table, then virtually tossed it from my right hand to my left hand (because I'm a lefty), then pulled my pistol out of the holster with my right hand and continued to shoot both weapons.'"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Civilization V Officially Available On Linux For SteamOS @ Slashdot
- Humble Bundle: PC and Android 10 Review @ OCC
- Soulier Than Thou: Dragon Age – Inquisition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Next-Gen Tetronimoes: Ubisoft Announce Tetris Ultimate @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Store Wars: GOG Launching Its Own Steam-Like Service @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- InSomnia Has Old-School RPG Style, Modern Graphics @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Witcher 3 Gets Release Date, Bonkers New Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Doom E3 trailer teases upcoming reveal at QuakeCon 2014 @ HEXUS
- Ubisoft abandoned women assassins in co-op because of the additional work @ Polygon
- A Little More Faith: Mirror’s Edge 2 E3 Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Grapplewatch 2014: Far Cry 4 Gameplay Swings Away @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Beyond Seven Minutes Of Civ: Beyond Earth @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2014 - 02:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, Kickstarter, john carmack, facebook
You've heard by now that Facebook has purchased Oculus and you likely have an opinion on the matter. There are quite a few issues this sale raises for the technologically inclined. For the Kickstarter backers, the question of the propriety of Vulture Capitalists benefiting monetarily from a project which began in part because of their donation made on Kickstarter; which still did net them a device. For those hoping that Oculus was going to be a project designed and lead by Palmer Luckey and involving John Carmack with little oversight or pressure from a company that wants an immediate return on their investment. For some the simple involvment of Facebook is enough to sour the entire deal regardless of any other factors.
KitGuru offers some possible benefits that could come of this deal; Facebook cannot afford to slow development as competitors such as castAR will soon arrive, nor can they really push Carmack around without risking his involvement. Before you start screaming take a moment to think about everything this deal involves and then express your opinion ... after all you don't get reality that is much more virtual than Facebook.
"I know guys. I know. I’m mad too. I’m sad, disappointed, even betrayed, but these are all things I’m feeling and I bet you are too. We’re having an emotional reaction to two companies worth multiple billions of dollars doing a business deal and though I can’t help but wish it hadn’t happened, I know that if I look at it logically, it makes sense for everyone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia takes on Raspberry Pi with the Jetson TK1 mini supercomputer @ The Inquirer
- GNOME 3.12 Seeded by GNOME OS Projects @ Linux.com
- Meet Microsoft's latest Windows Server reseller – come on down, Google @ The Register
- SSD penetration rate bound to rise in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Rosewill RGS-108P POE Gigabit Network Switch @ Modders-Inc
- Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores @ The Register
Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | March 22, 2014 - 01:04 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: oculus rift, Oculus, gdc 14, GDC
Last month, we published a news piece stating that Oculus Rift production has been suspended as "certain components" were unavailable. At the time, the company said they are looking for alternate suppliers but do not know how long that will take. The speculation was that the company was simply readying a new version and did not want to cannibalize their sales.
This week, they announced a new version which is available for pre-order and expected to ship in July.
DK2, as it is called, integrates a pair of 960x1080 OLED displays (correction, March 22nd @ 3:15pm: It is technically a single 1080p display that is divided per eye) for higher resolution and lower persistence. Citing Valve's VR research, they claim that the low persistence will reduce motion blur as your eye blends neighboring frames together. In this design, it flickers the image for a short period before going black, and does this at a high enough rate keep your eye fed with light. The higher resolution also prevents the "screen door effect" complained about by the first release. Like their "Crystal Cove" prototype, it also uses an external camera to reduce latency in detecting your movement. All of these should combine to less motion sickness.
I would expect that VR has a long road ahead of it before it becomes a commercial product for the general population, though. There are many legitimate concerns about leaving your users trapped in a sensory deprivation apparatus when Kinect could not even go a couple of days without someone pretending to play volleyball and wrecking their TV with ceiling fan fragments. Still, this company seems to be doing it intelligently: keep afloat on developers and lead users as you work through your prototypes. It is cool, even if it will get significantly better, and people will support its research while getting the best at the time.
DK2 is available for pre-order for $350 and is expected to ship in July.
Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2014 - 08:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: oculus rift, Oculus
The current Oculus Rift development kit will being to sell out, region-by-region, as their current inventory depletes. This is because "certain components" which they require are no longer available nor will they be produced. They claim to be looking for alternate suppliers but do not know how long that will take. In case you are wondering, they will be floating a stash of units to fulfill replacement requests (RMAs).
As of five days ago, they currently have stock in the following regions:
- United States
- European Union
- South Korea
Of course, there is now speculation that Oculus is preparing to launch a new development kit revision. It is obvious that something new is in the works, especially since they presented a prototype at this year's CES, less than two months ago. The cynical way to take this is that they are looking to deplete their stock before releasing a new unit. The other direction is that they were intending to sell the first kit for a little while longer but one or two parts became difficult to acquire. Either way, unless finding a replacement source is easy enough and they do resume production of the original kit, we might be seeing a refresh at some point.
The question is then, "How long will that take?"
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, crystal cove, not fair
The Tech Report got a chance to play with the new Oculus Rift prototype called Crystal Cove, proving once again life is anything but fair. The 720p LCD has been replaced with a 1080p AMOLED display with significantly reduced pixel response times which should reduce the nausea and vertigo experienced by users of the previous prototype. That is not the only upgrade, they've created a low persistence mode which helps mitigate the ghosting present on previous models and implemented variable refresh rates though they declined to discuss the technology used to acheive that effect. Check out more in the full article but expect to end up jealous.
"The absolute highlight of last year's CES was getting a first look at an Oculus Rift prototype. Strapping on a Rift for the first time is a mind-blowing experience. It will change your view of what's possible in gaming in the next 5-10 years.
Naturally, then, when it came time to plan for CES 2014, I made sure to schedule some time with the folks at Oculus to see what they—and especially new Oculus CTO John Carmack—have been doing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft reanimates Windows XP's corpse @ The Inquirer
- Security holes in Word, the Windows kernel and Adobe Flash. Party like it's Patch Tuesday again @ The Register
- Oracle spoils your day with NEARLY 150 patches @ The Register
- Rarin' to buy an Ubuntu phone? Maybe not until 2015, Canonical man says @ The Register
- TSMC expects another record year @ DigiTimes
- Starbucks digital wallet app for iPhone has a major security flaw @ The Inquirer
- Sony Smartwatch 2 @ The Inquirer
- Tenda W1800R Wireless AC1750 Dual-Band Gigabit Router @ NikKTech
- Techies CAN sue Google, Apple, Intel et al accused of wage-strangling pact @ The Register
- U Mobile Announces New Surprises For The New Year!
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2014 - 03:35 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Oculus, oculus rift, CES, CES 2014
Ryan awaited his Oculus Rift eagerly right from the time he placed his Kickstarter donation. He was able to use the device for a few minutes at QuakeCon and last year's CES but he wanted to game for longer sessions to get feel for it. As it turned out, a few minutes in to an Unreal Tournament 3-based demo, he felt the onset of motion sickness.
Image Credit: Oculus via Ars Technica
The company was at this year's CES with a new prototype called "Crystal Cove". This version looks somewhat like a mocap suit on your face, with various white dots to be recognized by a camera. The thought seems to be that motion capture techniques are lower latency and maybe even more precise than the motion sensors alone. That, combined with the OLED screen's new policy of quickly presenting frames for only a couple of milliseconds, is supposed to make a world of difference in terms of blurriness and nausea.
There are still concerns with the Oculus as a shipping product, however. When your eyes are covered by screens you are subjecting yourself to sensory deprivation. It may be immersive but it does not replace the reality that your body exists within. The cat may be at your feet even if it is not in your virtual world. This will obviously be less of an issue when combined with the Omni treadmill (or similar device) because it keeps your body in a defined space.
Still, advances seem to happen even more quick than a yearly basis. What do you expect the state of Oculus will be at next year's CES?
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 02:33 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: wwdc, video, titan, podcast, oculus rift, nvidia, FX, apple, amd, a10-6800k, 5ghz
PC Perspective Podcast #255 - 06/13/2013
Join us this week as we discuss AMD's 5 GHz Processor, 1080p Oculus Rift, and more news from Computex!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 57:27
Week in Review:
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Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 08:24 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Oculus, oculus rift, VR, E3
I have been a big proponent of the Oculus Rift and its move into the world of consumer-ready VR (virtual reality) technology. I saw it for the first time at Quakecon 2012 where Palmer Luckey and John Carmack sat on stage and addressed the new direction. Since then we saw it at CES and finally got in our own developer kit last month for some extended hands-on.
While I have definitely been impressed with the Rift in nearly every way while using it, the first thing anyone says when putting on the headset for the first time is about the graphics - the resolution of the unit was just too low and it creates a "screen door" effect because of it. As I wrote in my first preview:
I will say that the low resolution is definitely a barrier for me. Each eye is only seeing a 640x800 resolution in this version of the kit and that close up you can definitely see each pixel. Even worse, this creates a screen door effect that is basically like looking through a window with a screen installed. It's not great but you could get used to it if you had to; I am just hoping the higher resolution version of this kit is closer.
At E3 2013 the team at Oculus was able to put together a very early prototype of an HD version of the screen. By using a new 1920x1080 display each eye is able to see 960x1080; roughly twice the pixel density of the initial developer kit.
I got to spend some time with the higher resolution model today and I have to say that the difference is striking - and instantly noticeable. Gone was the obvious screen door effect and I was able to focus purely on the content. The content itself was new as well - Oculus and Epic were showing the Unreal Engine 4 integration with a custom version of the Elemental demo. The colors were crisp, the effects were amazing and only in a couple of rare instances of solid white color did we notice the black lines that plagued the first version.
As of now Oculus doesn't have plans to offer an updated developer kit with the 1080p screen installed but you just never know. They are still looking at several different phone screens and haven't made any final decisions on which direction to go but they are definitely close.
When I inquired about improvements on head tracking latency and accuracy to aid in motion sickness concerns (like I seem to have) Oculus was hesitant to say there was any single fix. Instead, a combination of lower latency, better hardware and even better thought out content were key to reducing these effects in gamers.
Our first thoughts and impressions
Since first hearing about the Kickstarter project that raised nearly 2.5 million dollars from over 9,500 contributors, I have eagerly been awaiting the arrival of my Oculus Rift development kit. Not because I plan on quitting the hardware review business to start working on a new 3D, VR-ready gaming project but just because as a technology enthusiast I need to see the new, fun gadgets and what they might mean for the future of gaming.
I have read other user's accounts of their time with the Oculus Rift, including a great write up in a Q&A form Ben Kuchera over at Penny Arcade Report, but I needed my own hands-on time with the consumer-oriented VR (virtual reality) product. Having tried it for very short periods of time at both Quakecon 2012 and CES 2013 (less than 5 minutes) I wanted to see how it performed and more importantly, how my body reacted to it.
I don't consider myself a person that gets motion sick. Really, I don't. I fly all the time, sit in the back of busses, ride roller coasters, watch 3D movies and play fast-paced PC games on large screens. The only instances I tend to get any kind of unease with motion is on what I call "roundy-round" rides, the kind that simply go in circles over and over. Think about something like this, The Scrambler, or the Teacups at Disney World. How would I react to time with the Oculus Rift, this was my biggest fear...
For now I don't want to get into the politics of the Rift, how John Carmack was initially a huge proponent of the project then backed off on how close we might be the higher-quality consumer version of the device. We'll cover those aspects in a future story. For now I only had time for some first impressions.
Watch the video above for a walk through of the development kit as well as some of the demos, as best can be demonstrated in a 2D plane!