CES 2014: Oculus Rift Prototype... Because Seeing Dots is a Symptom of NOT Throwing Up?

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2014 - 03:35 AM |
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.

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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?

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Source: Ars Technica

January 9, 2014 | 08:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I expect them to sold it already.

January 9, 2014 | 09:48 AM - Posted by Prodeous

The experience Ryan experienced does vary from person to person. I have personally spend hours playing HL2, Portal 2, and various demos without such effect. Other friend that drop by, do experience discomfort that Ryan mentioned.

I hope to test more games, and I hope that the second dev kit will come out, and I'll sure be getting it, and the final product. And now that John Carmack is developing an engine to show off the possibilities of the Oculus Rift, I'm even more excited.

January 9, 2014 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You may not be able to notice the the light flickering on LCD/other types of display devices, dew to the refresh rate being high enough, but the photo-receptor cells in your eyes do, it's just that your brain can filter the flicker out if the refresh rate is high enough so that your brain's natural feedback/image stabilization ability can compensate.
This results in, with the use completely closed goggles/VR systems, the blocking of any truly flicker free(to the photo-receptor cells in your eyes) natural photons reaching the eyes. While using these types of unnatural display systems, people are forcing their brains natural feedback/image stabilization ability to work overtime, and in some people this increased brain activity, can result in sea sickness like symptoms, as different people have differing ablilities to compensate. They may, have to have/have had to, use a higher refresh rate on the display, or introduce some form of light output variance control circuitry into the LCD crystals/circuits. The head movement/scene update latency adds to this increased brain compensation over activity, and unless this can be closely matched to the natural world, some people will experience the adverse effects.

January 9, 2014 | 12:22 PM - Posted by Prodeous

It would be interesting if they simply added some hardware that would move and rotate the image in the buffer to adjust on how the user adjusts it's head. Then they could keep the image on screen longer.

Still, if their solution for keeping the image for reduced period solves the headaches some (like Ryan) are experiencing, then that is all for the better.

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