Oculus shows off their new headgear at GDC

Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2019 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: Oculus Rift S, Oculus, vr headset, gdc 2019

The brand new Oculus Rift S is being shown off at GDC and Ars Technica had a chance to play with it.  The new implementation is rather impressive, a single wire connects you to your PC and there are now no external cameras, instead they have been relocated to the headset itself.  From the description in the review it seems they have done so very successfully, with location tracking improving as opposed to degrading due to that change.  Your eyeballs also get an upgraded experience, with each eye having a 1280x1440 display, though as of yet Oculus have not changed to AMOLED screens.

Check it out here.

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"This is out-of-the-box room scale," Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell said as he gestured to the Oculus Rift S, the new PC-focused VR headset launching "this spring" for $399. This headset will effectively replace the standard Oculus Rift headset, which has had production all but halted to make way for the new model."

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Source: Ars Technica

Go Go Gadget Oculus Go, the cord cutters VR headset

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2018 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: oculus go, vr headset, wireless vr headset

The Oculus Go just went on sale for a mere $200 and Ars Technica snapped one up for review.  The most striking feature of the VR headset is the lack of wires, the headset communicates via 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 with GPS built in as well and the 2600 mAh battery will give you roughly 2 hours of continuous use before needing a charge.  The headset shuts off after 5 minutes if it cannot detect both a face and hand motion, old 80's muppets aren't enough to keep it on.

The technical specs are close to what you would expect, with a combined resolution of 2560×1440 5.5" and two refresh modes, a standard 60Hz and an overclocked 72Hz refresh rate.  There were more than a few corners cut to reduce the price, such as the ability to adjust the distance between the screens to match your pupils with a slider but nothing quite as bad as the additional requirements you need to use the headset; you must install, long into and run an app on a connected smartphone as well as provide your GPS location when using the Oculus Go.  Those last two requirements make this headset rather less attractive, but it is still worth checking out the review.

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Surprise! Oculus released a new virtual reality headset today. The Oculus Go standalone headset is now for sale at Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy starting at $199—yes, $199, with no other hardware required—following a retail-launch unveil at Facebook's annual F8 conference."

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Source: Ars Technica

The grand new HTC Vive Pro

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2018 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: htc, vive pro, vr headset

The new HTC Vive Pro offers better resolution, 1440×1600 per eye or 2880×1600 in total and a new physical design which incorporates headphones into the body and the connection to the PC is a single cable which leads into a junction box to split into the various required connectors.  Ars Technica tested the new VR headset with a GTX 1060 as well as a 1080Ti and found both able to handle the new Vive Pro and to show enhanced performance compared to the original model.  In the end they questioned the value you get for the price, as the price increased significantly more than the performance did.

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"HTC's Vive Pro, launching this week, comes with a name and a price tag ($799 for an upgrade from the original Vive, or $1,099 for new Vive owners) that suggests a revelatory jump in the VR experience, well beyond what already wowed us in early 2016."

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Source: Ars Technica

Pimax offers a $300 VR headset to compete with Rift and Vive

Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: pimax, vr headset, steam vr

 As Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN asks in the title, can the $300 Pimax VR headset be too good to be true?  It ships without headphones, or you can buy the $350 which includes audio of moderate quality or provide your own if they fit comfortably under the headset.  It also does not ship with any controllers, which means that Steam games which require anything other than a mouse and keyboard will simply not work; not an empty catalogue of games but definitely more limited than the two more expensive competitors.

The headset does offer better resolution, 1920x2160 per eye, which the reviewer noticed immediately as being clearer than the competition ... as long as you were looking directly at the text or object.  There were issues at the edges of your view however, as well as with quickly turning your head which is likely due to the 60fps refresh rate.  This is less than the 90fps the Vive or Rift can manage as well as creating concerns about reprojection and dropped frames.  There were a few other concerns mentioned in the review which you should familiarize yourself with, but the Pimax is very interesting, a light VR headset with great resolution and only two connecting cord for $300.

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"In the interim, here’s Chinese outfit Pimax, who are selling what they label as the first 4K VR headset for PC, which works with SteamVR. It’s also $350 (or $300 without headphones), compared to the Rift’s $599 and Vive’s $799"

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AMD Announces the Sulon Q: First Wireless VR Headset

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2016 - 01:51 PM |
Tagged: wireless vr headset, vr headset, VR, virtual reality, Sulon Q, FX-8800P, amd fx, amd

AMD is powering the world's first truly self-contained VR solution, the Sulon Q, a wireless headset with a powerful computer built in.

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AMD has partnered with Sulon Technologies, an startup based in Toronto, to produce this new headset, which seems to have the potential to disrupt the fledgling VR market. The idea is simple, and unique; unlike existing designs that require a VR-ready PC (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive) or the latest smartphone (GearVR) to work, the Sulon Q VR headset incorporates a full gaming PC inside the headset, allowing for the first actually wireless experience in this young technology's existence.

As Ars Technica notes in their post on the Sulon Q this morning:

"According to the announcement, that 'wear and play' untethered design makes the Sulon Q quite different from competition like the Oculus Rift or SteamVR-powered HTC Vive, which both need a relatively high-end PC to actually generate the images on the headset. With the Sulon Q, the Windows 10 PC hardware is built into the unit, including an expected four-core AMD FX-8800P processor with a Radeon R7 graphics card."

Who wouldn't want to wear an entire PC on their head? Thermal (and other health) concerns aside, just what sort of hardware is under the hood (so to speak)? According to the report published at VideoCardz this morning, it will offer a new AMD FX processor (the FX-8800P) and overall specs that look like they belong more to a gaming laptop than a VR headset.

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(Quoting directly from the report on VideoCardz via this Reddit post):

Experiences: VR, AR, and spatial computing Ergonomics Lightweight, comfortable, ergonomically designed all-in-one tether-free form factor

Processors: AMD FX-8800P processor at up to 35W with Radeon R7 Graphics leveraging AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture 4 compute cores and 8 GPU cores unlocked through Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Sulon Spatial Processing Unit (SPU)

Memory: 8 GB DDR3 Memory

Storage: 256 GB SSD

Display: 2560×1440 OLED display at 90 Hz 110-degree Field-of-View

Audio: 3D spatial audio powered by GenAudio’s AstoundSound® technology Built-in 3.5 mm audio jack Custom spatially-optimized Sulon Q earbuds Dual noise-cancelling embedded microphones.

Tracking: Sulon Spatial Processing Unit combining real-time machine vision technologies and mixed reality spatial computer for real-time environment mapping and tracking from the inside outward, dynamic virtualization for VR/AR fusion, and gesture recognition

Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SPU

Software: Microsoft Windows® 10 “Project Dragon” application for spatial computing AMD LiquidVR technologies for ensure smooth and responsive VR and AR experiences

Peripherals: Wireless keyboard and mouse provided in box Any other Windows 10-compatible controllers and joysticks

Connectivity: WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, Micro HDMI OUT

A video for the Sulon Q is also up on YouTube this morning:

The two biggest questions that always accompany any new hardware announcement - how much will it cost, and when is it available - have not been answered just yet. We'll await further information as GDC has just begun, but it seems very safe to say that 2016 will be focused very heavily on VR.

Source: VideoCardz