An Update About VR

Credit to d412k5t412 for the amazing Vive photo.

Time to share what is happening in VR right now.

 

This is a video of a physical environment that has been edited (drawn over) with a digital tool (TiltBrush).

 

Obviously the possibilities for a digital layer on top of our reality that can only be seen by those with specific technology is a major accomplishment.

This is going to be huge.

Imagine the potential that this technology has with more specific development.

Digital maps could be holographic road signs that mark distance to your location.

Artistic vistas and murals in public places, without the need to dedicate space.

You can edit the world without having to damage or mess with the natural environment.

 

The push for smartphones to display augmented reality is a major indicator for specific technology that will be making a significant impact in our lives within the next few years.

 

I’m watching the development of this topic closely, and I’m sure that there will be some major announcements relating to virtual reality soon.

The support from companies hasn’t diminished entirely yet.

Next year will be the 2nd anniversary of this new phase in VR development.

Some big announcements are coming.

I’ll attempt to break them down into categories:

 

The 2nd Generation of VR Displays and Headsets

(2018 – 2019)

 

  • Higher resolution is an obvious upgrade. 1080p per eye seems like a minimum.
    • 2K (2048×1080) per eye is possible, but at a higher production cost.
    • The display may be advertised as a 4k display, but know that the display is just a split for each eye, so it operates with 2k dimensions.

 

  • 4K per eye is still not possible without ludicrously expensive rigs and gear.
    • Maybe by the next display upgrade. Give it a few years.
    • It may become a modular system with upgradable components.

 

  • Higher refresh rate. 90FPS is the goal for believable experiences.
    • Graphics cards that can better handle intense rendering challenges for headsets.
    • Text legibility is easier with higher resolution and no lagging frame rate. 

 

  • Microphone for chat is improved.
    • Possible translation application. Use Google/speech tool to play games with players in other countries. More connected players/users.

 

  • Foveated Rendering paired with eye tracking.
    • This allows the display to place less stress on graphics cards.
    • By not rendering the entire frame at ridiculously high resolution, foveated rendering allows the graphics card to render only what an individual is focusing directly at.
    • Combined with eye-tracking, the benefit of this type of rendering system is easily noticeable.
      Credit to Roadtovr.com for this image. I'm just trying to convey a point.

      Credit to Roadtovr for this image. I’m just trying to help explain a concept.

      • Extremely high resolution is placed on the specific thing that the user is looking at.
        • This allows users with less powerful machines to play games with fast framerates and believable graphics.

       

    • Price will be a major concern. A $500 headset bundle seems likely.

 

I’ll share more when more information develops.

Steam Dev Days is in October.

Valve will be sharing some news about their new VR projects.

I’m excited to see more from them.

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