Finally an update on the Oculus Rift Kickstarter. The head mounted display that’s been… er… turning heads… has been teasing us with an upcoming Kickstarter campaign. The original plan was for it to go live in the middle of June but some exciting developments have happened since then. The Kickstarter was delayed due to these developments, but it’s actually been thanks to good news rather than bad — one bit of which is a lower price.
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One of the reasons why I’m so exciting about the Oculus Rift is that John Carmack, founder and technical director of Id Software, is demoing the unit to people within the gaming industry and is building full support for it into Doom 3 BGF which is due out later this year. CVG / PC Gamer has a great 3 part interview from E3 2012 with Carmack who has clearly done his homework on HMDs and is hoping to push them into mainstream gaming!
Right now the Oculus Rift project is at the center of my attention. If you haven’t read up on it, see here. In short, I’m hoping that this is the first major step in bringing virtual reality to mainstream gaming. With that in mind, I wanted to point out the first glimpse of specs for the Oculus Rift as well as an official site made by Palmer Luckey (aka PalmerTech) who is responsible for the project.
Tags: 90 degree fov, 90 degrees, doom bgf, field of view, fov, gadgets, games, gaming, head mounted display, hmd, hmds, id, john carmack, oculus, oculus rift, palmer, palmer luckey, palmertech, palmertech oculus rift, technology, video game, video games, virtual reality, virtual reality gaming, vr
While Sony’s HMZ-T1 and Silicon Micro Display’s ST1080 have made a major splash in the world of head mounted displays by bringing high resolution and (relatively) low cost products to market, a key issue still remains — field of view. Field of View (FoV) describes how much of your vision is taken up by a display. Increasing the FoV means that more of your vision is taken up by the display and this often leads to a much greater sense of immersion. Most of the HMDs available on the market have FoVs of 30 or 45 degress. This isn’t much different than sitting in front of an HDTV that’s across the room. However, over at the MTBS3D forum, user PalmerTech is working on a project to crowd-fund a head mounted display with an impressive (and immersive) 90 degree field of view though Kickstarter.
The Verge recently took a prototype version of the ‘Oculus Rift’ (as PalmerTech is calling it) for a test drive thanks to John Carmack (of Id fame) who has taken great interest in the project. Mainstream immersive virtual reality gaming is coming, and this might be the first big step.
I spoke with Silicon Micro Display recently and they tell me that the scarcity of initial units has prevented them from getting the ST1080 out to major outlets for review just yet. That’s why we’ve thus far only seen user-impressions of SMD’s first head mounted display. We’ll see reviews from the big guys in the next few weeks most likely. Speaking of which, I’ve got another ST1080 user review to highlight.
Big news for the VR world fresh from of one of the biggest names in gaming. In a post to his Valve-hosted blog, employee Michael Abrash says that since joining Valve hes begun working on augmented reality / wearable computer research. Abrash says that he’s long been fascinated by the topic of virtual reality — ever since reading the novel Snow Crash in 1994.
Valve, who has developed critically acclaimed gaming franchises such as Half-Life and Portal (not to mention the hugely popular Steam digital game distribution service), is one of the biggest names in gaming. That they are publicly admitting to doing R&D for wearable computing / augmented reality is a very encouraging step forward down the road to virtual reality. Abrash, like myself, is confident that wearable computing is a natural an inevitable evolution of human-computer interaction:
Battlefield 3 is set to be one of the biggest games of the 2011 season thanks to its impressively life-like graphics and sound-design. I can tell you from experience, the Battlefield games have had some of the best sound design in the industry. Hooked up to the appropriate audio setup, you will feel like you’ve got your feet on the ground in the midst of an actual battle. Terrifying, and incredibly fun, but virtual reality it is not.
Remember when I told you the other day how awesome Battlefield 3 would be if it were hooked up with a VR rig? Well it looks like that wish is now reality.