For VR to be the best it can be, for it to be life-changing, there are a few key ingredients that need to be mixed just right. If done correctly, a developer can deliver what his colloquially termed, presence. That is, the ability to take you somewhere other than where you are and trick your mind into believing it.
These ingredients include, but may not be limited to, high framerate, high screen refresh rate, high resolution, high pixel fill density, low persistence, and field of view (FOV). This article will focus on FOV.
What is the Field of View (FOV)?
Field of view, or the extent of the observable environment at any given time, is one of the more important aspects of virtual reality. The more full the field of view, the more present the user is likely to feel in the experience. There are two types of FOV that work together to form a human vision.
Monocular FOV describes the field of view for one of our eyes. For a healthy eye, the horizontal monocular FOV is between 170°-175° and consists of the angle from the pupil towards the nose, the nasal FOV which is usually 60°-65° and is smaller for people with more prominent noses, and the view from our pupil toward the side of our head, the temporal FOV, which is more extensive, usually 100°-110°.
An interesting fact is that we have a different field of views for different colours.
Binocular FOV is the combination of the two monocular fields of view in most humans. When combined they provide humans with a viewable area of 200°-220°. Where the two monocular fields of view overlap, there is the stereoscopic binocular field of view, about 114°, where we can perceive things in 3D.
While a wider field of view is necessary for immersion and presence this stereoscopic binocular field of view is where most of the action happens every day and also in virtual reality headsets.
How Depth Perception Works
Our brains have three pretty ingenious ways of understanding depth in the world around us. If we know the size of an object, we can get a good idea of how far away it is based on how large it appears to us. For example, a car that you are standing beside will seem more significant than a car that is across the parking lot. Also, things that are farther in the distance move across our retina slower than things that are close by.
If you watch out your car window, the trees in the distance look almost stationary, but the road signs are going to fast that if you blink you miss them. And finally, our eyes are placed about 64mm apart, sending different images to our brain which combines them into a single, 3D image. The higher the disparity between the to images, the higher the effect, so objects that are closer appear to have a lot of depth and objects that are far away can look flat.
Field of View Considerations for Virtual Reality Headset Manufacturers
When it comes to VR FOV, the limiting factor is the lenses, not the pupils. To get a better field of view, you either move closer to the glasses or increase the size of the lenses.
Companies like Oculus and HTC want to make the lightest and smallest headsets possible for ergonomic reasons. Here are some of the considerations VR headset manufacturer have to think about.
You can use thin lenses that are light in your VR headset, but this will increase the distance you need to have from the glasses to the VR headset display and thereby the size of the headset (A).
You can use thicker lenses (with a shorter focal length for a stronger magnification) and move the display closer, but those thicker lenses add new engineering challenges to keep geometric distortion and chromatic aberration under control. Due to the stronger magnification, a higher resolution display is needed as well to avoid or reduce the screen door effect (in which you see individual pixels) (B).
Another option if you want to keep the headset at a fixed size is to add more distance between the VR headset lenses and the user’s eyes (C). This reduces the FOV and is not desirable as well so what we see right now is mostly smaller headsets with thicker lenses that are relatively close to the user’s eyes (D).
A different way of increasing the FOV is using bigger lenses with a larger diameter, but this comes with its own set of challenges. Larger lenses need to be thicker in the middle which makes them more cumbersome. This problem can be overcome by using Fresnel lenses but the second problem that remains regardless of what kind of glass is used is that larger lenses introduce more optical aberrations.
When you build a virtual reality headset, you need to consider all these factors to maximise the FOV without making the headset too big or bulky and maintaining the best visual experience for the user.
Current solutions for FOV used by Oculus, HTC and Pimax.
Oculus, primarily believed to be the leader in the VR headset game, used standard magnifying lenses on their development kits, which allowed for a roughly 90-degree FOV, with large amounts of image distortion building up as you moved your eye farther from the centre.
They have invested a lot of time and money into custom hybrid Fresnel lenses. They have also added in a mechanical interpupillary distance (IPD) adjuster who will allow for everyone to get the brightest image possible, regardless of the distance between their eyes.
Fresnel lenses are ridged and produce light ray artefacts where the light from the screen reflects off of the ridges and creates a sort of halo on the image. In the early kit, there was an artefact known as Mura, which made the picture seem to be overlaid with an ultra-thin black linen material.
While the light ray artefacts remain, HTC implemented what it called Mura correction, a way to improve the clarity of the HMD displays. Valve executive Chet Faliszek was unwilling to talk about exactly how Mura correction worked in a conversation with Tom’s Hardware, other than to say that it involved every aspect of the display system, nor would he address whether the technology had any impact on system latency.
In late 2017 Pimax unveiled a new headset with a sizeable 200-degree FOV. It is yet to be seen how these will work in practice as changes are still yet to be made before the 2018 release however comments from early prototypes suggest there may be significant issues as Pimax are not using lenses with correctable geometric distortion. This means that corrections may need to be made especially for this headset by each software developer. This being said, as of December 2018 Pimax have already pushed back the expected ship date for their backers citing design changes that still need to be made.
We hope this gets you a better idea of what challenges manufacturers face when designing the lenses and ergonomics of their virtual reality headsets. If you liked this article subscribe to our newsletter for more.
You can now choose from a wide array of hardware for virtual reality, and it spans far beyond VR goggles and headsets. But if your users are going to be able to leverage these new VR gadgets and equipment, you’ll need to ensure your app is fully compatible. So let’s take a look at some of the most cooling new virtual reality equipment on the market. Notably, many of these technologies can also be used to enjoy augmented reality apps.
Virtual reality cinema pods are one-person units that envelop the user to deliver an immersive, full body experience. These VR cinema pods are suitable for virtual reality apps that allow the user to remain seated. They can include a range of different features, such as:
A seat that tilts moves and vibrates. A surround sound system that provides realistic audio. Ascent generator to deliver a more realistic sensory experience. Fans to generate wind and replicate other conditions, such as the rush of air you might feel as someone walks past you. A panoramic visual field that allows for immersion in a digital environment.
Virtual reality cinemas are great for games and other experiences where the user can remain seated. But for scenarios where the individual must be upright and able to perform arm and leg movements, a VR platform may be more suitable.
Virtual Reality Platforms
Virtual reality platforms have gained tremendous popularity in arcades, although there are many additional applications for this technology, including use in law enforcement and the military. These platforms are used in conjunction with a VR headset/goggles and sometimes, entire virtual reality suits.
The platform is typically about six to eight feet in diameter, surrounded by railings that can be used to mount fans, scent generators, position sensors and controllers. The floor may be configured to include a treadmill and a mechanism that tilts, vibrates and moves to represent variations in terrain or surface type. VR platforms are ideal for applications that require lots of arm and leg movement, whereas cinema pods are better suited to apps that allow the user to remain seated.
Virtual Reality Suits
Virtual reality suits are rapidly gaining popularity amongst gamers, as they’re relatively affordable—with a price point between $500 and $1,000 for many models—and enhance the virtual experience. But these VR suits are also becoming more popular with groups such as the military, law enforcement and athletes who use the lawsuits as a training tool. There’s also the potential for use in industries such as real estate, as you could theoretically “visit” and tour a piece of real estate without ever leaving home.
VR suits are typically comprised of a vest, arm pads, leg pads and in-hand wands or controllers of some form. They are often used in conjunction with VR goggles/headsets and a camera that observes the user’s movements, although some high-tech models may include gyroscopes and other mechanisms that allow the suit to monitor the user’s body position. It’s even possible to use a virtual reality suit in conjunction with a platform for an even more realistic experience.
These suits not only keep track of your movements and body position, but they also provide the user with sensory feedback in response to demonstrations and actions. This visual feedback can include vibration, pressure and even temperature changes.
Modern hardware for virtual reality apps can deliver an incredibly realistic experience, but it’s essential to ensure that your mobile app is developed in a way that allows you to leverage this technology effectively. This means you’ll need to perform comprehensive beta testing to verify compatibility and smooth user experience. Some developers may even opt to build slightly different versions of a particular app to accommodate specific forms of technology.
Once you’ve explored the options regarding hardware for virtual reality mobile apps, you’ll need to find a developer who is well-equipped to build this type of application. At SevenTablets, we specialise in such sophisticated and cutting-edge technology. We also develop mobile apps using a range of other emerging technologies, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
SevenTablets is based in Dallas, with additional office locations in Austin and Houston. Our client base spans far and wide, though, as we work with companies and individuals across the United States. If you’re ready to begin the process of developing a VR mobile app, contact SevenTablets today.
“...the effect of using the Oculus Rift as you play is mind-blowing." - G4TV
"...we found ourselves entirely absorbed; a gaming experience with a level of immersion genuinely unlike anything else we have ever encountered." - CVG
Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality (VR) headset designed specifically for video games that will change the way you think about gaming forever. With an incredibly full field of view, high-resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favourite game and explore new worlds like never before.
We're here raising money on Kickstarter to build development kits of the Rift so that we can get them into the hands of developers faster. Kickstarter has proven to be a fantastic platform for accelerating big and small ideas alike. We hope you share our excitement about virtual reality, the Rift, and the future of gaming.
The Rift takes 3D gaming to the next level. There are some VR headsets out there, but none that deliver a truly immersive gaming experience. Most products either lack the technical features required for believable immersion or sit at a very high price-point ($20,000+) reserved for the military or scientific community.
We set out to change all that with the Rift, which is designed to maximise immersion, comfort, and pure, uninhibited fun, at a price everyone can afford.
- "What I've got now, is, I honestly think the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen." John Carmack, id Software
- "Needless to say, I'm a believer... We're extremely excited here at Epic Games to get the Unreal Engine integrated with Oculus." Cliff Bleszinski, Design Director Epic Games
- "I think this will be the coolest way to experience games in the future. Simply that... that big." David Helgason, CEO Unity
- "I’m looking forward to getting a chance to program with it and see what we can do.” Michael Abrash, Valve
- "It looks incredibly exciting if anybody’s going to tackle this set of hard problems, we think that Palmer’s going to do it. So we’d strongly encourage you to support this Kickstarter.” Gabe Newell, President and Owner Valve
Join the development process and make your voice heard.
We have plenty of Rift prototypes internally - A few are even out in the wild, in the hands of developers like John Carmack. But we want to make the Rift available to all game developers, today so that they can be part of the development process. Kickstarter makes that possible. Your voice will be critical to making the Rift hardware and software as high as they can be.
The cutting edge of virtual reality hardware.
Even though the consumer version of the Rift is still a way down the road, the early developer kit’s hardware design is cutting edge, with technical specifications above and beyond another consumer headset available today.
Technical specs of the Dev Kit (subject to change) Head tracking: 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) ultra low latency Field of view: 110 degrees diagonal / 90 degrees horizontal Resolution: 1280x800 (640x800 per eye) Inputs: DVI/HDMI and USB Platforms: PC and mobile Weight: ~0.22 kilograms
And we’re confident we can make the consumer version even more impressive, all without increasing price or sacrificing an ounce of quality.
The SDK makes integration easy.
We’re already hard at work on a robust Oculus SDK that developers can use to integrate the Rift with their new and existing games. Our team has built great SDKs before, and we’re excited to do it again.
All of the Rift dev kits include access to the Oculus Developer Center, which provides the SDK, technical support, and serves as a community for Oculus developers.
The SDK will include clean well-documented code, samples, and tutorials to make integration with any 3D game or application as comfortable as possible. We’re also working on out-of-the-box engine integrations for Unreal Engine and Unity, so that anyone interested in working with the Rift, including indie developers, can get started right away!
The Rift is developed by a team of industry veterans passionate about changing the way people experience video games forever. We’ve tackled projects of similar scope: we’ve designed and manufactured consumer hardware; we’ve built well-adopted software development kits for the game industry, and now we’re excited to make a product that can so radically change the way people play their favourite video games.
Crouched down, crawling forward to peer through a window cut in a sheet of cardboard and into the living room of a friendly-looking monster. Minutes into a demo of a new prototype VR headset from Oculus, the benefits of not being tethered to a PC as I would be with the company’s flagship Rift were becoming apparent.
Oculus is experimenting with a cordless design because it is seen as necessary to make virtual reality appealing to the masses.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, which bought Oculus in 2014, unveiled the “Santa Cruz” prototype Thursday. Speaking at the annual Oculus Connect developer conference in San Jose, California, he said the “stand-alone” design would fit between expensive headsets like the Rift, which tether to a costly PC, and cheap ones like Samsung’s Gear VR, which are based around a phone, limiting their power.
The most notable feature of the Santa Cruz’s design is the way it uses four cameras to watch the world around you and track your position in space. In my short demo, I could walk around a staged living room to explore a colourful cardboard virtual world. The headset warned me when I got close to a wall.
The Rift headset can also track your position, but it doesn’t afford such freedom. Not only does the PC cord tie you down, but the Rift requires a particular sensor to be placed on a desk or shelf in front of you. HTC’s Vive headset has a similar design. The low-cost Gear VR and Google’s forthcoming Daydream headset can’t track your head position at all, limiting you to turn your head in place.
Santa Cruz is a modified version of the Rift headset, with a compact lump of extra electronics on the back of its strap. Oculus won’t detail what exactly is inside, but one of the team members working on the device said the components are similar to those found in a smartphone.
Zuckerberg yesterday repeated his prediction that virtual reality would become a phenomenon on par with the smartphone, and spoke of one day seeing a billion people regularly using the technology.
Max Cohen, vice president of mobile for Oculus, told MIT Technology Review that the Santa Cruz design shows a possible path to that end. “We think the stand-alone is a sweet spot that gets you most of the way to one billion,” he said.
Intel and Qualcomm have recently shown off cord-free headsets of their own, although they appear to be less polished, and demos made available so far have been limited (see “High-End, Cordless VR Headsets Are Nearing Reality”). Cohen says it is likely the entire industry will converge on stand-alone, also known as an all-in-one, headset designs.
Cohen declined to say anything about when Santa Cruz might develop into a product. When Zuckerberg first introduced the prototype on stage, he signalled that it wouldn’t be soon. “It’s still early,” he said. “I don’t want to get your hopes up too much. We have a demo. We don’t have a product yet.”
You may have heard that 5G is going to change everything. That it’s going to enable the next ten years of wireless innovation and completely upend how we use our mobile devices. That everything from watches to VR headsets to cars and even hospital operating rooms will be powered by ultra-low-latency wireless networks with enough bandwidth to negate the need for wired connections.
5G is coming, but it’s less about phones than the sensors phones communicate with.
If you’ve been following along with the 5G hype narratives from companies like Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Verizon, T-Mobile and others that have considerable skin in the game, once the standard becomes ubiquitous, our lives will never be the same.
Much like the change from analogue to digital networks, or from 2G to 3G, which introduced high(er)-speed mobile data to smartphones, 5G is expected to initiate a sea change of new technological possibilities when it arrives next year.
According to Qualcomm, the company most effusively pushing this narrative, 5G will be nothing short of “a unifying connectivity fabric for our society,” a way for people to connect more intimately and for businesses to build dynamic experiences that will make them more productive and, ultimately, more profitable.
Blah, blah, blah — right? It’s OK; I get it. I feel it, too. Even though we’re a few months from companies like Verizon launching an actual 5G-powered home broadband service, and less than half a year from the first 5G-enabled mobile products, it’s still unclear how the hyperbole, the relentless grandstanding, will change our lives. Because our lives are already upended. We do everything on our phones, and when we don’t have super-fast LTE to facilitate those things, we fall back on the comforting ubiquity of Wi-Fi.
And, I mean, is 5G necessary when all we’re doing is scrollin’, scrollin’ through Instagram and sending a bajillion WhatsApp messages? Do we need super-fast networks to watch more YouTube, or unlimited bandwidth when we’re just playing a couple of rounds of Clash Royale?
The issue with 5G is that, aside from the odd frustrating experience with our carrier or our phone, it’s difficult to perceive the improvements in something that hasn’t amazed us yet and the potential of something that’s right now just a bunch of whitepapers and breathless marketing. Back in June, Qualcomm tried to get ahead of this narrative by putting together a document outlining the real-world changes we’re sure to see out of 5G. It highlights vast improvements to agriculture efficiency — more wheat! — and more efficient public transit — fewer delays!
It preaches that shopping will be more personal and that 5G will make augmented reality truly useful and even indispensable. And what about the average person? Faster networks with unlimited bandwidth at ultra-low costs, with the ability to capture, share, and instantly upload 4K video or even high-resolution virtual reality footage. Others, like Huawei, say the same sorts of things. More connections! Lower latency! Faster signals! More, more, more.
These things all sound super great, really, and I’m sure they will be. Even the technology behind the first 5G standard, called 5G NR, is fascinating. In addition to existing low- and medium-range signals, it takes advantage of ultra-fast microwave signals (called millimetre waves) that are incredibly difficult to route long distances, or through walls, or without significant interference in general. The radios sending the signals need to be lower to the ground than existing cellphone towers, and there need to be more of them.
The signals, finicky things that they are using a process called beamforming to lock onto your phone and bend around objects permanently. And when the messages do inevitably crash into things — buildings, cars, people — they have enough intelligence to use that interference to its advantage, breaking into pieces and reforming, Terminator-style, on the other side.
T-Mobile signed a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia to build out a massive 5G network in the U.S.
The amount of work that’s gone into creating the 5G standard is extraordinary. The things that it can and will do are, too. But right now it’s admittedly hard to see what all the fuss is about. The hype is enormous, and the expectations even more so, which makes it even more difficult for the stakeholders to follow through.
Most people want faster speeds with higher data limits at a lower price. Businesses want to make more money. City officials wish to fewer road accidents and lower maintenance costs. Governments want their networks to be reliable and secure.
One of 5G’s significant promises is real-time, high-quality room scale VR, and that could be transformative. For some people.
Right now, it’s hard to see how 5G will magically make everything better. That’s OK because right now it’s just an idea, a promise of progress. When it finally does lurch towards its inevitable pervasiveness, it’s less likely to wow us than encourage us to evaluate our relationships with the technology that we’ve come to take for granted. The phone is still the central thing in our lives, and that’s not likely to change, but 5G promises a radio in everything, which will lead to more connectivity, more fragmentation and, like it or not, more frustration.
Early adopters like me, who are keenly following every 5G milestone, do not represent the average person. LTE’s relatively seamless and transparent rollout — hey, my new phone is faster! — Was, like all mobile innovations, concurrent with the rising popularity of apps and tools that were made possible. But whereas streaming video, and lots of it, will be LTE’s legacy, it’s not apparent to me, despite an abundance of examples, how the average person will perceive 5G’s wealth.
Which is why it’s OK not to be hyped about 5G right now because mobile data in all its forms is no longer meant to be exciting. It just is, and with that mundanity comes a narrowing of scope.
The US and UK large electronics ban stop thousands of fliers from using their laptops or tablets every week. But the rules — which impact six Mideast countries for the UK and 10 for the US — don’t mean you can’t use augmented or virtual reality headsets to browse the web, play games or get work done.
A mixed reality developer demonstrated in May how the Microsoft HoloLens could serve as a desktop-like workaround on an affected US-bound Emirates flight from Dubai when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Ong told VRScout in an email he faced minimal difficulty bringing his HoloLens through security and had no issues with the flight staff.
“Security at the gate made me open the HoloLens case and asked what the device was. They also asked if I knew what kind of battery was in it, and if it was rechargeable,” Ong said. “I told them that the device was a pair of ‘smart glasses’ for visualising 3D objects. I put on the HoloLens, and as soon as they saw me wear it - they let me pass without any issues.”
He said the HoloLens “isn’t designed to be used as a laptop replacement” but remains superior to a mobile device for productivity.
“Trying to be productive on my phone is also a dreadful experience,” Ong said. “I was worried they’d make me check-in my HoloLens at the gate, but I needed to try. I was glad I did, as it allowed me to spend a few hours to catch up and reply to work e-mails and do some web-based research during the flight.”
But the Microsoft HoloLens’ current price point at $3,000 and status as a developer tool make the headset unwieldy for the average flier. Many passengers may find a better option with mobile VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View.
Samsung Internet lets you browse the internet and work inside powerful web-based apps like Gmail or social media. Australian airline Qantas has even started offering the Gear VR to its first class passengers.
The headset can also make for excellent offline entertainment. Matt Weinberger of Business Insider recommends the Gear VR for flights, writing:
“I learned that virtual reality has the potential to make flying a vastly more pleasant experience. … But the Samsung Gear VR is the only way to fly: It’s powered by a Samsung phone (in my case, it was a Galaxy S6) slotted into the headset. That means it’s self-contained.”
When asked for their policy on AR and VR headsets, a US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman told VRScout in an email they “don’t have specific guidance” for headsets ranging from the HoloLens to the Gear VR. VR and AR headsets are also not listed on the TSA’s sizeable electronic device ban fact sheet.
Acting TSA press secretary Lisa Farbstein told VRScout in a separate email the “TSA has no restrictions on the use of reality headsets in aircraft,” adding there was a brief period in the summer where large electronic devices like VR headsets were prohibited.
“At one point earlier this summer there were 10 points of last departure airports (mainly airports in the Middle East) that had a restriction on bringing any electronics larger than a cell phone onto a plane that was departing for the U.S,” Farbstein said. “Those restrictions have been lifted because the security measures for screening electronics at those airports was enhanced.”
This doesn’t mean new regulations affecting large electronics won’t come in the future — and there’s always a chance flight attendant might take issue with your VR headset. A VRScout staff member was able to make their Gear VR through security in Turkey but was still told by the airline not to use it on the plane.
Fortunately for many fliers, the US Department of Homeland Security announced in late June new enhanced screening requirements that will allow laptops and large electronics in the cabin. Emirates and Turkish Airlines have already met the rules to lift the ban, and other carriers are expected to follow suit to avoid frustrated first quickly and business class passengers.
On the other hand, the UK hasn’t announced similar regulations to lift their laptop ban for flights coming from six countries. A UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesman confirmed to VRScout in an email their country’s ban doesn’t apply to VR or AR headsets.
The $199 device, called the Oculus Go, is going on sale Tuesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plan to make the headset six months ago.
Oculus Go is different from other virtual reality devices that require smartphones or a cord tethered to a personal computer to cast people into artificial worlds or show three-dimensional videos.
The need for additional equipment is one of the reasons virtual reality, or VR, has had limited appeal so far.
Zuckerberg is counting on the Oculus Go to widen the audience for VR, as Facebook tries to deploy the technology to reshape the way people interact and experience life, much as its social network already has done.
Facebook is launching a dating feature. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to laughs at Facebook’s f8 developer conference Tuesday that the new tool is “not just for hookups” but to build “meaningful, long-term relationships.”
That is if you want. The feature will be opt-in, meaning you have to choose to use it. Zuckerberg also stressed that the feature was built with privacy and security in mind from the start. The company has been under fire recently for possibly not doing this with some of its functions over the years.
Zuckerberg also said the dating feature would not suggest users’ friends to date. This is already what other dating apps that rely on Facebook data do, such as Tinder.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his company’s annual developer conference acknowledging that 2018 has been an “intense year” just four months in.
Speaking in San Jose, California, at Facebook’s f8 gathering of tech folks, startups and others, Zuckerberg said to cheers that the company is re-opening app reviews, the process that gets new and updated apps on its services.
He also reiterated that Facebook is investing a lot in security and in strengthening its systems so they can’t be exploited to meddle with elections.
But unlike other recent public appearances, he did not start off with an apology for the company’s recent privacy scandal.
Mark Zuckerberg has a fresh opportunity to apologise for Facebook’s privacy scandal — and to sketch out Facebook’s future.
The Facebook CEO will kick off F8, the company’s annual conference for software developers. Zuckerberg will speak Tuesday in San Jose, California, to assembled software developers and other tech folks.
It’s usually a sympathetic audience. But they are likely to have some tough questions this year.
Zuckerberg might touch on Facebook’s year of privacy scandals, congressional testimony, Russia investigations and apologies.
He will also have an opportunity to talk about where things go from here. Facebook is forging ahead with new promises to protect user privacy even if it means restricting access to developers.
In truth, there are probably a lot of people who have no interest in these headsets — which is understandable with new technology. But if you are interested in being an early adopter, here's a quick guide of the basics, plus a little input from my experiences with these products.
Sony PlayStation VR (PS VR)
Sony's virtual reality headset was just announced this week and is launching in October.
Pros: It's comparatively cheap. The PS VR is $400, and it works with the Sony PlayStation 4 ($350), which may be sitting in your home now. Even if it's not, it's still far less expensive than the $1,000-or-so computer that you'd need to run some of the PS VR's high-end competitors. And with Sony behind the wheel, you can probably expect that there will be good things to play and watch coming soon, thanks to Sony's long-standing relationships with game developers and moviemakers.
Cons: It's coming out a little later than some of the other big headsets, meaning that you may grow impatient while waiting for your device to ship. It could also deliver a slightly lower-quality experience compared to its pricier competitors. In testing it last year, I found that Sony still had some kinks to work out when it came to motion sickness — something Sony itself has acknowledged.
Buy if: You have a PlayStation already or are looking to make a slightly smaller investment.
After a long wait, Oculus opened preorders for the Rift headset, the first of which is expected to arrive at the end of March. The Rift is due to hit store shelves in April.
Pros: Quality is the Rift's biggest claim to fame. The Facebook-owned company should get credit for reviving the idea of virtual reality in recent years, and it has excited users and game developers alike. It's also worked diligently to deliver a reliable, immersive experience — without making you queasy.
Cons: Good stuff rarely comes cheap. The Rift is $600 on its own, not counting the price of a good computer to run it — or the cost of its forthcoming Touch controllers, which will let you use your hands while in the digital world. In my experience with testing, the extra controllers add a lot and may be worth waiting for.
Buy if: You want a stellar experience over everything else. Oculus was the first huge name to come out of the VR space and has probably done the most to minimise motion sickness.
Samsung Gear VR
Powered by Oculus's technology and Samsung's smartphones, the Gear VR was first released in 2015 and is getting a renewed PR push with the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones.
Pros: This is your budget option if you're looking for one. The Samsung Gear VR has the distinction of having been on the market the longest and being the lower-entry device at just $100. It runs off a smartphone rather than an expensive console or computer.
Cons: You get what you pay for. This provides an excellent immersive video experience, as well as some fun arcade-type games, but not of the quality that you would get from a higher-end device. But there isn't a lot of depth here — TechCrunch called even the Gear VR version of Minecraft so it's worth keeping in mind that the accessibility has a trade-off.
Buy if: You're watching your budget and are happy with some smaller-scale experiences.
The product of a partnership between Taiwanese tech giant HTC and the video game company Valve, the HTC Vive is due to ship its first orders in April.
Pros: The Vive comes with the ability to read the position of your hands and body out of the box — as opposed to the Oculus — for a more immersive experience. You can also get phone calls and text messages while you're in the bubble, to keep you a little grounded. Plus, HTC has a camera on the outside of the headset that should make you a little safer in your actual reality. Valve's involvement also gives the Vive good prospects for lots of games in the future.
Cons: This is also expensive, particularly once you factor in the cost of a computer to run it. The HTC Vive will cost $800 in total — though you do have to remember that you're getting some extra accessories in the mix. You also have to make a bit of space for the Vive and its room sensors to thoroughly enjoy all the walking around that the Vive allows for.
Let us be fair, nobody in their right mind would go to a Walmart to drift around the aisles and spend your time. Granted, it's easy to become lost in the darkened halls of this supercenter, Walmart isn't just a place you move to shop or check out what's exciting and new. Shoppers are generally on a mission, appearing that one thing or several items they require so that they could enter and escape. The merchant admits that, plus so they're attempting to potentially fix that image through indeed an unusual and possibly exciting retail tech venture.
As reported by a range of patent filings using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, reported by Bloomberg, Walmart is seeking to create a"virtual showroom" and automated fulfilment system which could connect VR headset-wearing clients and sensor-packed eyeglasses having a virtual representation of a Walmart store. By blending the VR technology on this particular retail software, clients will be ready to strap onto a VR headset, roam the temptations with the virtual Walmart, and also even"catch" off items of their shelves. Upon checkout, the details are selected and sent out of an entirely automated supply centre.
The movement follows Walmart's acquisition earlier this year of virtual reality startup Spatial and, an organisation which produces software tools for VR founders to show their current content to more immersive VR experiences. The business was transferred into Walmart's Store No. 8 incubator app.
The merchant has been competitive in its technology push lately as it attempts to maintain pace with juggernauts from a distance like Amazon, that will be prepping a growth of its cashierless store theory, also Google, that will be on the point of launching its original flagship retail area.
And though the idea of diving headfirst into an environment of virtual shopping looks like a movement which ought to be celebrated and considered advanced for Walmart, I am left scratching my head and wondering: Why is this something which the ordinary consumer also wants? I am talking about, consider doing it. What would Walmart offer at a virtual reality-based store which will convince me should strap onto the VR headset merely to ramble the virtual aisles? Such a thing which I would wish to purchase in the Walmart (that, in all equity as a former Target employee, isn't anything ) I'd be pleased to create that buy either personally, on my mobile, or on the web.
As a customer technician enthusiast, '' I hope that I would at least offer that the VR buying experience an attempt once or two. But when the cool-factor wears away, exactly what are we left? VR technology that is going to lay on a shelf and collect dust.
For me, the most neglecting aspect with this sort of VR retail venture boils down to an absence of awareness around who the version Walmart customer is: Mother. I presumed that the merchant missed the mark with all the jet-black app only a couple of weeks past, and so they appear to be putting themselves up to get a replica with VR buying. I have a hard time focusing on just how, if, or the working class mom--and sometimes maybe the millennial mom at the time --will be about to locate enough time for you to immerse themselves at a VR buying environment while also, they need to keep your eye on the children. VR is just actually a time commitment, and that I don't understand the way a regular Walmart customer gets got the opportunity to devote to VR buying.
And it is nothing like I would ever make my kid walk around a VR store with free reign to obtain product I can't watch. At the least at a retailer, should they throw a few toys at the cart, I've got the opportunity the others of this shopping day at remove it and then leave it onto a few clothing dining tables till they notice. In VR--Ignore it. They are looking at and paying my cash and that I wouldn't even understand it.
Additionally, there is the matter of access. Walmart must think that a lot of its clients have use of VR equipment--significance headsets and sensor-packed gloves-- to get this a rewarding enterprise. But, based on a number of the most recent statistics from the International Internet Indicator, only 4 per cent of the internet population possesses a VR headset. We've had our questions concerning the viability of this VR market. However, I did not believe the amounts were terrible. VR is exceptionally much stuck at the early adopter period without the actual symptoms of picking up the pace. Cost and utilise cases still grip is market straight back, which poses a big problem if Walmart is banking its future retail tech on VR.
It's okay to be somewhat enthused about the possibility of a Walmart VR showroom, but I would return getting over-hyped with this particular tech. As the merchant appears to be assaulting whitespace with the specific business, maybe there are reasons that whitespace was there to start with.
Apple is contemplating ways 360degree video articles for VR headsets might be made better, by finding a way of stitching together multi-directional graphics data from videos to produce the appear less vibration compared to present sewing programs and encoders could produce.
Released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday and filed initially on February 15, 2017, the patent application called"Processing of Equirectangular Object Data into pay to Distortion from Spherical Projections" is about fixing errors and dilemmas if blending videos.
The filing notes videos are manufactured in a way a topic or landscape can be obtained from multiple perspectives, like using numerous cameras pointing at precisely the identical spot or, even as a recent development, cameras creating round video which could show either side of a spectacle. For handheld video, or to get shots which change the camera location and perspective, the graphics can offer a great deal of extra data which can be incorporated into a spectacle.
"Many contemporary programming programs are not meant to process such omnidirectional or multi-directional image material," the filing conditions, implying the software are made within a premise that the image data is"level" or obtained by one viewpoint. This means that such software doesn't account entirely for distortions which may appear when calculating these kinds of videos, so could don't comprehend redundancies in image content and also subsequently become ineffective.
Directly speaking, the encoder divides a video into pixel blocks, as well as for each block, the encoder can compare it with other data it might have concerning the spectacle within a reference film. With a forecast search to the search block and also the benchmark data, the encoder may perform various activities to the pixel block, so as a way to make it appear appropriate for your viewer at the arrangement it using be utilised within.
As an instance, a spherical video can be created for seeing by somebody wearing a VR headset, made especially using this arrangement at heart. At the same time, precisely the same perspective of what an individual is visiting can be exhibited on another screen as-live, however with changes made it appears as though it's out of the standard"level" single-lens perspective, with no one of those distortions demanded this to look correct at around aspect.
It may also be utilised to create curved images from several views that were flat, with precisely the identical system able to produce adjustments to allow it to be usable at around video.
Apple records a significant amount of patent software weekly, but a number of these concepts earn their way to your firm's products or solutions. Even the USPTO filings are not a guarantee the idea is likely to create an appearance in a prospective consumer apparatus.
The idea from the filing might already possess a couple of very great software out there. To get a start, it might allow people are recording 360-degree cameras to correctly sew the movie together and make clips out of selected areas, converted so that they appear as though these were initially listed on "horizontal" cameras.
The 2nd reason is really for VR, both for creating curved videos, in addition to for audiences seeing what precisely the headset-clad user is visiting. Videos produced with 360-degree cameras are most likely to be considered a significant content origin for VR users later on, however also the ability to adjust distortions, artefacts out of the filming of such videos, could produce this content far more okay to see.
Apple was rumoured to be focusing alone VR headset for a while, together with related patent filings strengthening the accounts. Despite software-related AR and VR moves, the organisation has to signify directly it will probably be producing its particular headset.