Category Archives: Oculus

Samsung Gear VR Headset: Virtual Reality Made Real

Tablets, as we know them, are devices merely used for checking e-mail, social networking and playing apps. However, further developments are being made where mobile virtual reality is now turning into an actual reality. While most tech companies are active in enhancing their line of smartwatches, Samsung, one of the largest electronics company in the world, has ventured into another major new category: virtual reality headsets. 

Announced last September, the popular tech company recently released their first ‘’next generation’’ wearable named Gear Virtual Reality headset, or Gear VR. It was a collaborative project between Samsung and Facebook’s Oculus VR specialists. The aforementioned Gear VR has an array of games and is mounted with VR movie viewing software. 

Moreover, the VR headset doesn’t depend on computers or a gaming console to function. Instead, users slip a Galaxy Note 4 tablet into the $200 headset. According to Samsung, “Powered by Oculus technology, the Samsung Gear VR delivers a completely new way to experience and consume mobile content.”

Certainly, they are believed to be more concerned with building awareness in virtual-reality technology, and hope that early adopters will follow along. 

What to Expect from Gear VR

The virtual reality headset’s hardware is said to be provided by Samsung, while its software is made by Oculus. It basically is designed with an optical lens with a 96-degree field of view. Having said that, wearing the device also offers a complete 360-degree generated three-dimensional image.

Furthermore, the headset is designed with multiple sensors including accelerator, geomagnetic and gyrometer. It even has adjustable features that can be manipulated by users who are either nearsighted or farsighted. This “Innovator Edition” is built with movie viewing software wherein watching a film using the Gear VR makes users feel like they’re at an actual cinema.

As aforementioned, the Gear VR exclusively relies on Galaxy Note 4 as it represents the baseline equipment required for the virtual reality to work.  What works best with the VR headset are such tablets with superior specifications specifically its screen density and processing power. But for now, it only activates with the Galaxy Note 4.

The Korean consumer electronics giant has also partnered with a number of game developers to build up content for the gadget. Having said so, Gear VR users may enjoy some games for the system which includes the much anticipated Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Aside from that, users may also experience iMAX, Cirque du Solei and enjoy DreamWorks VR.

Further enhancements are also expected including its implementation of a service called Milk VR that is intended for apps and offers various channels for music, sports, and action. Until then, Gear VR users may download several apps via the Oculus store. 

The Battle for Virtual Reality is on

Virtual reality is an area that has garnered excitement all throughout the world in the past few decades. Even though mainstream consumers don’t show enough indication of interest, several tech companies embarked on this particular project. In July, Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion while Sony is constantly pushing into VR with its Project Morpheus headset that is designed to be an extension to its PlayStation 4 video game console.

Given this yet another milestone for the tech industry, some developers believe that virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming after mobile. In fact, there are already mobile companies working on Android devices for virtual reality. Furthermore, game developers actually are already targeting wearables as an appealing platform for games.

The Gear VR headset is currently out for sale in the US market and will be sold to other countries early next year.

Guest Writer:
KyleAlbert2
Kyle Albert
@KyleAlbert9
Wise Tomorrow Blog

Photo: Maurizio Pesce
Flickr

7 x Games and Experiences

Got the Cylon eye moving in UDK now as well and will try to post up a video to record the steps required to import from Blender to UDK.

However, first of all, 7 more Oculus games and experiences!  Please like/share!   Enjoy!

1.  Space Corridor https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=476

2.  Walking Man http://www.unellodesign.com/oculus-rift-demos/

3.  Eden River http://www.unellodesign.com/oculus-rift-demos/

4.  Oculus Maximus https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=3943

5.  Reddit https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4771

6.  Sightline http://sightlinegame.com/

7.  Probably Archery https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=4768

Update from Oculus :)

Straight from their update (recommend checking out the YouTube video.  Lots of cool tips :)).  Social aspect/multiplayer is something that does not seem to have been discussed in that many places that I have seen yet – discussed briefly at the end of the vid:

Meet Tom Forsyth and Steve LaValle, Science Blog, Nate’s Talk at GDC, and Unity Trial Extensions

To build a next-generation platform for virtual reality gaming, we need the best and brightest people in a variety of fields. Over the last few months, the team has grown rapidly (over 20 engineers in house now!), and a lot of incredible talent has joined the Oculus family.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to two of our newest heavy-hitters: Tom Forsyth and Steve LaValle!

Tom Forsyth, Software Architect

If you follow Tom Forsyth on Twitter (@tom_forsyth), you already know of his world-class software engineering and architecture skills. Tom’s last two decades found him working at some of the industry’s most innovative companies including Valve, Intel, and RAD Game Tools. Tom just recently left Valve, where he was working on Team Fortress 2 in VR with Joe Ludwig and Michael Abrash.

A few words from the man himself:

“The Rift is a great bit of kit and combines a bunch of different technology together in a very clever package. It was amazing working with it on Team Fortress 2 and seeing the extra immersion people felt inside a game they already knew so well. I’m really looking forward to helping other developers work with this tech as we go towards a consumer version.”

Tom has his own blog (http://eelpi.gotdns.org/blog.wiki.html), where you can read up on some of his recent research. At Oculus, Tom will be focused on the SDK, along with a few top-secret VR R&D projects. Please join us in welcoming him to the team!

Steve LaValle, Robotics Scientist

Steve LaValle Ph.D, a world-renowned researcher in the areas of robotics, sensor fusion, planning, and control, joins us from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Steve has has been collaborating with the team on the Rift’s hardware and software since last September, but he just recently took a break from his research projects to join Oculus full-time as our principal scientist.

Steve’s leading research and development on some of the toughest VR challenges including sensor fusion, magnetic drift correction, and kinematic modeling.

Professor LaValle in action.

Even better — Steve has started a blog where he’ll share his thoughts on virtual reality, computer vision, robotics, and other Oculus research.

Steve’s first post is a deep-dive on the math behind the sensor fusion for the Oculus Tracker. Curious about how all that sensor data comes together to track the Rift’s orientation? Dig in and learn from the Professor. Here’s a short excerpt:

“One overriding theme throughout our development has been to keep the method simple so that it is easier to understand its behavior, to optimize its performance, and to make future enhancements. We could approach the problem using standard sledgehammers, such as the Kalman filter [4] or particle filters [1], but these require significant modeling assumptions and adjustment to reach their theoretical benefits. For example, the Kalman filter is the optimal estimator for linear systems with linear measurements and Gaussian noise, but their performance outside of that range is not guaranteed.”

If your interest is piqued, you can read the the rest of the post above athttp://www.oculusvr.com/blog/sensor-fusion-keeping-it-simple. You can let Steve know what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.

Steve will update the blog regularly with more about his research, so stay tuned!

If you want to be a part of this team building the next generation of VR, reach out to us! We’re still looking for the best and brightest in a variety of fields. You can always check out the Oculus Careers page for the latest details.

Nate’s Talk @ GDC 2013

The final chapter of Oculus at GDC 2013: Nate’s talk, “Running the VR Gauntlet”. In case you missed it, here is the video from his portion of the talk, where he dives into a few of the nuances of VR game design and development.

 

Oculus VR @ GDC2013: Nate Mitchell – Running the VR Gauntlet

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Unity Trial Extensions

Unity Pro trial extension codes are available now on the Oculus Order Manager for all orders marked ‘Processing’.

You can claim your trial extension by logging into the Oculus Order Manager, locating the Unity Pro trial extension section, and clicking the ‘Claim Code’ button. You can redeem the code within the Unity Pro editor by following the instructions here:http://unity3d.com/unity/activation

To all the Oculus developers with an expired Unity Pro trial: Sorry it took us so long to get these out to you. Go forth, and build the Unity VR content of the future!

Onward

We’re close now — All Rift development kits from Kickstarter are marked as ‘Processing’ or ‘Shipped’ in our system. The remaining units should ship soon.

As always, hit us up on TwitterFacebook, or the Oculus Forums with your latest questions, comments, feedback, and latest Oculus-ready content. We want to hear from you!

— Palmer and the Oculus team

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