Category Archives: Consumer Unit

Oculus Connect 2 Highlights

Some notes on this developer focused conference (watch the whole thing here if you have the time:  -> 1.5hrs):

  • What Michael Abrash is thinking right now – well worth watching for anybody making content.  I love his visionary talks.  This starts around 1 hour 3 minutes into the overall keynotes video.  “These are the good old days…”.  These are exciting times, but the massive challenges to get things perfect is highlighted (taste, sound, vestibular, vision and haptics).  Summary of recent findings and research approach.

  • Here’s an interesting slide on how far vision would need to go in order to be near perfect.

  • The Oculus Studio’s VR short Henry” is released on Oculus share for you to try at home if you have a DK2!   Also – they’ve released the project so you can see how it was built!  And so you can rebuild it yourself in Unreal Engine 4 – this is really cool since Unreal Engine 4 is free to use unless you are making money from it!  Great study material for anybody building content…

  • On the cheaper/mobile end of the market, Samsung have redesigned Gear VR to fit every 2015 Samsung phone – a vote of confidence then.  This is not the unit that those who want to experience the best will go for, but this is arguably the most important market for many software developers as the number of users who are potential customers for software is much greater…
Samsung Gear VR

New Samsung Gear VR

  • Samsung’s device is going to be $99 – that’s cheap compared to prices we have seen so far.  Don’t forget that this device has more features than if you just stuck your phone in a holder with lenses and a strap…

  • Will be ready for 2015 Black Friday… (November)…

  • Mobile software development kit (SDK) for mobile is going to version 1.0

  • Oculus Arcade: Sega, Warner Brothers Midway and Bandai Namco.  This was shown.

  • The increasing availability of traditional media (rent films etc).  E.g. Netflix made available now… Hulu etc coming soon – the big boys.

  • Tighter integration with Facebook and Twitch video sharing/viewing

  • To run the Rift (the flagship unit) will require powerful PCs.  Oculus is pushing the standardization of hardware specifications to make it easier for consumers to buy, sellers to sell/market and developers to predict likely behaviour of their software.  Recommended spec: NVIDIA-GTX 970/AMD 290 or Greater, Intel i5-4590 + and 8GB+ RAM.  “Oculus Ready” badging.  Initial partners Dell/Alienware/Asus.  Targetting < $1000 price point.

  • Rift SDK 1.0 release date – if developers build with this then their games with be ready for Rift release day…

  • Minecraft Windows 10 will support Oculus – quite a turnaround.  It’s past history now, but it was common knowledge that Notch (original creator of Minecraft – now sold to Microsoft) was not a fan of Facebook.  Noted that we have also seen many Hololens demos.

  • Touch controllers will include a 2nd sensor to increase the area the system will be able to track.

Consumer Oculus Rift, Position Tracking and Stuff

And it was just a matter of time…

And for those of you who wish to challenge yourself from a motion sickness point of view… you can be like the Wildling from Game of Thrones (possessing crows?  This’ll teach ya!):

VirtuaView, well worth a mention (do support them :)):

For the betting man, the noises from E3 suggests that the following are priorities for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.  It would be interesting to see what gets through:

a) Higher resolution (prototype shown was 1080p – dev kit is 720p)

b) Limited position tracking.

c) Next gen console support

d) Tighter physical design

Some highlights from various YouTube vids:

  • Unreal Engine 4 integration – 28 seconds
  • They are using the best screen that is currently available.  Constraint is tech and not financial at the moment (am sure that means reasonable financial constraints…) – 42 seconds
  • Even better than 1080p for retail version since better will be available on the market – 50 seconds
  • RedditGames
  • Resolution is currently the biggest complaint – 40 seconds.  (Awesome device as it is, but 100% agree that resolution is the thing which will transform the experience (I think :P)
  • Will choose a screen that will reduce or get rid of “screen door” effect (lines between pixels) – 55 seconds (Yes!)
  • Positional tracking! – Yes! 1 min 10 seconds

There are lots more interviews – I feel tired just looking at them all!


Lastly, Tony Bowren posted up a little guide to use the Razer Hydra to get position tracking working on the Tuscany Demo.  He has a compiled version as well if you just want to download and try it out.  I just had a go and it’s really interesting…. being able to lean in to look at details was very intuitive.

(Note that if you are just going to grab the binary then it will complain about 2 missing sixense DLLs – just grab these from your TF2 or Half Life 2 folders – do a search for the missing DLLs.  It will then need the assets for the Tuscany Demo.  I just copied over the Assets, MacOS and Release folders and it all worked fine.)

Interestingly, my partner didn’t feel as much motion sickness when she tried again with the position tracking…