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 PR2, a DIY, low cost, high FOV stereoscopic HMD 
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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New thread started! viewtopic.php?f=120&t=14262


Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:34 pm
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Great work Palmer, I don't know if you remember me but I was talking to you last year about modding MRG HMDs. Anyway I've been a busy boy building the ultimate triple screen motion simulator for racing. You can see its progression here.

http://insidesimracing.tv/forums/viewto ... 97547d11d8

It's got triple 720p 3D pocket projectors, d-Box motion platform, and trackIR. My screens cover about 120 degrees of my view. I've since ordered some new screens to increase vertical fov.

My interest in your HMD is high. I'd love to have it for playing console games on 360 and PS3 with kinect and move.

In the end I want to use six projectors with two triple head to go digital. I'm thinking that when using multiple panels in your HMD you could utilize the triple head to go. Great work and please put me on the review list and list of potential purchasers.

Thanks


Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:46 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Yes, I remember you. :D That triple screen setup looks amazing! Any chance you could copy-paste start a new thread about it here? I want to ask some questions and discuss your setup more, but it would probably end up monopolizing this thread. :)

I am looking into the TripleHead2go, but want to avoid it. Extra expense for one, and it would make it impossible to use wireless video transmitters. Not a problem for sim people, I know, but I am one of those wacky guys who wants to walk around in virtual environments with my own two feet. :ugeek:

BIG NEWS! Someone has posted on how to have a correct aspect ratio side by side image in IZ3D, without the squashing that normally goes on: http://crosseyegaming.blogspot.com/2012 ... ew-3d.html

They also started a thread here: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=14313&p=69574#p69574

Very, very exciting! Can't wait to try, but on first impression it seems to be exactly what I need for my HMD. Hopefully I can do it on the Nvidia GTX260M that is in my laptop, otherwise I will have to wait till I hook up my desktop computer again. If anyone else wants to see if it works in the meanwhile... ;)


Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:53 pm
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I was looking at this myself a few weeks ago, the driver says my time limit has expired. Odd, as I have never used it on this machine!

Anyway, I found a post on the iz3d forum saying that they had attempted to implement this, but it caused problems with a lot of games.

I went to find it for you, and seems it has been recently updated by the same guy.

http://forum.iz3d.com/viewtopic.php?p=3 ... 2cd5c8bd9f

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:57 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Thanks for finding that post, good to know.

Luckily, I know that most Valve games can be set to wacky resolutions just fine. Really popular games like Skyrim and BF3 have a lot of resolution/FOV modding tools released for them, so that is another place to look.

As long as I can get it working in a few good games I like, I will be very happy. The most important at this point is ARMA2, since that seems like it would be the best base for a full head/weapon tracked VR experience.


Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:19 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Is that d-box setup good mayaman? How much immersion does it add?

Your whole setup looks awesome. These triple 3D monitor setups are making me really jealous ;-(


Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:17 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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I bought the D-Box on a whim and wasn't expecting anything really. After using it and tuning it to each game it's easily the best video game or entertainment thing I've ever bought. My triple screens are super immersive, when I added the Dbox, it went off the scale. After a minute on the rig and into the game you actually feel like your moving. Your brain does the rest. :)

What people seem to not realize is how smooth and how convincing the movement is. Also how violent and powerful it is. There are times during Dirt 3 that the Dbox almost, and I'm not kidding, tips my rig over, it's loving awesome.

Another fact people don't know about Dbox is that it's not only movement, it has several powerful transducers. Think of this thing as a Buttkicker on steroids. It replicates the road surface, engine hum, bumps, pebbles, rub strips all at the same time. It's really an amazing device.

I know they're expensive and that's to bad, because more people should be able to enjoy these things. Hopefully in the next couple years the price will come down more as they become more successful.

I'm planing also to use this rig with Palmers HMD. :D

Thanks


Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:55 pm
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Hi PalmerTech, that looks really amazing! I really think that FOV is the key for believable VR compared to high resolution. I was just wondering what parts are really contributing to the weight? Is it the lens or the screen?

Thanks, and keep up the good work.


Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:35 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Wow, D-Box sounds GREAT. How much was it?

It doesn't seem to move quite as much as i'd like in a flight sim setup, but really its the fact that it moves at all that is the most important for immersion... you don't really need great amounts of roll etc.


Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:14 pm
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Yeah I almost didn't buy it because Internet know it alls kept bagging on it. Let's just say they have no idea what they're talking about, it's fantastic. Paid 1,500 but I got lucky. The unit I bought usually goes for 2800 used, and even at that price it's worth it. Best thing for immersion I've ever bought. The rate of travel is deceiving, and not alot of people know it also does transducer effects better than anything I've ever tried. This coupled with Palmers HMD would be outrageous.


Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:43 pm
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PalmerTech wrote:

1.5) This prototype only has VGA, it was good for a test since the board was so small. Have you seen the 7 in 1 control board, the one with HDMI input? You can actually cut it down a lot if you short out a few pads that make it ignore the missing analog section of the board. Here is a picture of the 7 in 1 board vs a cut down version (Still works perfectly):
I cut it down enough where I COULD fit it into the HMD... But I actually have a different plan. The control board will go in the wireless receiver/battery pack, and I have made a custom LVDS extension cable. This helps cut down on weight dramatically!



Hi Palmer, long time :)

Any chance you could post more details on cutting down the 7in1 ?

Ta

Zach

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Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:08 am
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Hi All,

Haha ... :lol:

Zach beat me to the post... I was also wondering if PalmerTech could post more details about cutting down that 7-in-1 board?

I would be highly appreciated.

Mine's on the way.. ^_^

--Mike


Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:08 am
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@ Chricky: Most of the weight is concentrated in the optics and display control board, the LCD itself is very light. Luckily, the control board and optics can be put very close to the head to minimize how heavy it feels.

@Mayaman: Thanks for the input on the Dbox, I will keep my eye out for one. I have also seen people saying it is not that great, but your opinion is more valuable than those other crazy sim racing people. ;)

@Zacherynuk: I have actually encountered some problems cutting it down as far as I did, I found out that the HDMI input is scaled, only the DVI input is mapped pixel-for-pixel. I don't have access to my boards right now, but if you post a good picture of the top of the board, I can map out the lines of where you can easily cut, and where you can cut a bit more extreme.

@mbogucki: Same thing, if you or anyone else posts pics, would be glad to post trimming info.


Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:50 pm
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PalmerTech wrote:
@ Chricky: Most of the weight is concentrated in the optics and display control board, the LCD itself is very light. Luckily, the control board and optics can be put very close to the head to minimize how heavy it feels.

@Mayaman: Thanks for the input on the Dbox, I will keep my eye out for one. I have also seen people saying it is not that great, but your opinion is more valuable than those other crazy sim racing people. ;)

@Zacherynuk: I have actually encountered some problems cutting it down as far as I did, I found out that the HDMI input is scaled, only the DVI input is mapped pixel-for-pixel. I don't have access to my boards right now, but if you post a good picture of the top of the board, I can map out the lines of where you can easily cut, and where you can cut a bit more extreme.

@mbogucki: Same thing, if you or anyone else posts pics, would be glad to post trimming info.


Here we go, excuse camera phone quality: Image

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:44 am
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PalmerTech wrote:
As far as HMD kits, ask in one of the PR threads and I will give a detailed answer, don't want to derail this thread. :D


ok, I'm asking. Care to offer a guesstimate on if and when there might be a PRx kit/unit available for limited purchase? Also, would you consider it a viable alternative to a consumer HMD for gaming and VR? If not, what are the most important missing features?


Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:46 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Hey All,

Yay.. My LCD/Board arrived the other day. Can't wait to start "cutting" ^_^

Just curious does anyone have a recommendation as to what voltage can be put into this unit? Weill a standard 12VDC wall-wart work?

Thanks.


Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:57 am
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brantlew wrote:
PalmerTech wrote:
As far as HMD kits, ask in one of the PR threads and I will give a detailed answer, don't want to derail this thread. :D


ok, I'm asking. Care to offer a guesstimate on if and when there might be a PRx kit/unit available for limited purchase? Also, would you consider it a viable alternative to a consumer HMD for gaming and VR? If not, what are the most important missing features?



Hey, never heard anything from this post so just retouching.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:28 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Sorry for the long wait on replying, I have been at the IEEE VR 2012 conference. Great place, great ideas, great people, not so great for getting time away. :( Will try to find time to reply tomorrow, expect a massive infodump at the end of the week.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:47 pm
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heya PalmerTech,

IEEE VR 2012 sounds pretty awesome. I've had the pleasure of attending various Siggraph conferences, in the past, but I'm sure something more "VR" specific sounds even better.

Needless to say, take you time with the info dump. ^_^

Cheers.

--Mike


Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:52 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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:oops: Has this thread died? :(


Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:12 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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brantlew wrote:
Care to offer a guesstimate on if and when there might be a PRx kit/unit available for limited purchase?


I plan on having a kit available by June at the latest, just for the people on this forum. Cost would be between $300 and $500, depending on if I include things like a head mount.

Mbogucki, here is a picture. You can cut along the red lines if you want to keep VGA, and also the yellow lines if you do not need it. You can actually trim more than this, but you risk killing the board, and there is no point trimming it a few extra millimeters, IMO.

Image


Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:06 pm
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PalmerTech wrote:
brantlew wrote:
Care to offer a guesstimate on if and when there might be a PRx kit/unit available for limited purchase?


I plan on having a kit available by June at the latest, just for the people on this forum. Cost would be between $300 and $500, depending on if I include things like a head mount.


Do you know what Resolution and FOV your kit might be...? Just when I thought my HMD choice was down to two (Sony, ST1080)...A Big FOV would put you over the top of the other two I think.

I LOVE the idea of a kit..Feels like when computers and other cool stuff would first get to the diehards/hobbyist in the form of a kit.


Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:02 pm
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Hi PalmerTech,

Very Cool. Thank you very much for the reply. Hopefully within the next few days I'll give it a shot... ^_^

I'm looking into seeing if I can get the actual driver chip, (initially as a sample)... to develop a smaller VGA only type board for this particular display.

Thanks again.

--Mike


Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:04 pm
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Depending on how the next few months go, I might be buying two, or I might be eating from bins.....

What will be in this $300-$500 kit?

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Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:44 pm
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bobv5 wrote:
Depending on how the next few months go, I might be buying two, or I might be eating from bins.....

What will be in this $300-$500 kit?


At the very least:

1) Cut lenses and assembled optical units, one for each eye

2) Display panel/s

3) VGA display control hardware

4) Easy to assemble display enclosure

5) Any required video/power cables

Depending on how things work out:

6) Adjustable head mount

7) Light blocker for eyes

8) Camera for seeing outside world/AR

9) Motion tracker

10) Integrated headphones

Anything I forgot, or input on what should be included? I think most people will want a head mount, for example, but no reason to include it if enough people plan on making their own stuff (Like has happened with the Sony).


Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:22 pm
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Great work Palmer.

Please keep us updated.


Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:20 pm
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Hey Palmer!

I have (silently) followed your progress on the PR (and your career, congrats on that!) and i'm more than impressed! You really got me psyched again for VR! :)
Theres barely anything left of my own build (just the shell), so i keep watching this forum as a possible customer of yours and wish you all the best!

Greetings,

Sin


Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:10 am
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Thanks for the info Palmer and looking forward to it. My 2 cents.

- Head mount: The reason everybody is modding the Sony is because those guys didn't design the unit for VR in the first place. I trust your design instincts with regards to a wearable, usable VR unit, and I think you would hit the mark much closer than Sony did for this audience. I think it would be a great idea to design in the head mount.

- Light blocker. I think everyone is going to want this since your unit is firmly in the "total immersion" category.

- Camera: It would be fun to play with, but I don't think it's a priority feature.

- Tracker: I'm 50/50 on the head tracker as it seems that there are multiple options and people might have their favorite solution for their specific needs.

- Headphones: I think the audio should not be a priority since everybody is going to have different solutions for that.


I do think that an important feature will be proper driver support for 2D so that basic desktop navigation can be accomplished and also non 3D-supported applications can be used. But since this is entirely a software issue, it's probably going to require some type of collaborative or 3rd-party effort to solve it.


Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:05 am
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brantlew wrote:
Thanks for the info Palmer and looking forward to it. My 2 cents.

- Head mount: The reason everybody is modding the Sony is because those guys didn't design the unit for VR in the first place. I trust your design instincts with regards to a wearable, usable VR unit, and I think you would hit the mark much closer than Sony did for this audience. I think it would be a great idea to design in the head mount.

- Light blocker. I think everyone is going to want this since your unit is firmly in the "total immersion" category.

- Camera: It would be fun to play with, but I don't think it's a priority feature.

- Tracker: I'm 50/50 on the head tracker as it seems that there are multiple options and people might have their favorite solution for their specific needs.

- Headphones: I think the audio should not be a priority since everybody is going to have different solutions for that.


I do think that an important feature will be proper driver support for 2D so that basic desktop navigation can be accomplished and also non 3D-supported applications can be used. But since this is entirely a software issue, it's probably going to require some type of collaborative or 3rd-party effort to solve it.


It was not designed be wearable in any kind of scenario :D

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I thought the welder style straps on the last prototype I tried worked pretty good, especially if the display/lens/housing has a lot of weight (more than 1 pound). If the unit is light, then I think a fabric strap, ski-goggle style, might be fine. Really, whatever works best, but it would be cool if it came included. I guess you can make it easy to mod or have a special bare-bones unit for modders.

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Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:58 pm
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Still holding onto my money for a PR2! Sony and others will be diddling in the realm of that sort of half-assed, Joe Blow learning curve, non committed flavor of VR for a few years yet. The thought of being fully immersed (or at least very close to it) in a Palmer unit is extremely exciting!

* Head Mount: YES PLEASE!
* Head Tracker: YES PLEASE!
* Headphones: Not a priority as most users will have options for that at home. Double so for those who rely on integrated mics and such.
* Light Blocker: ABSOLUTELY! When I put on a PR2, I don't want any part of normal reality interfering with my suspension of disbelief.
* AR Camera: Not really interested. Not that there aren't practical uses but I'm in this for completely synthetic realities.

Thanks for continuing to push this forward Palmer and do let me know if you need graphic/logo/branding help when you get closer to the mark :) Hell, I'd work for a straight across barter/exchange. I will of course have no issue paying full price either! This is the closest thing to actual VR most of us will have the privilege of experiencing unless research labs and corporations suddenly get a clue ;)

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120° FOV is amazing, but won't 800x600 look really blocky stretched out that much? Are you using microdisplays? Any news on a possible lens mod for the HMZ or ST1080? And what about that 270° FOV prototype you have or were planning?


Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:16 pm
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Thanks for the feedback and encouragement! I am hoping to keep it under 1lb, and use a ski-goggle style mount, but with an additional over-the-head strap. If it gets too heavy, then it would be either a ratchet style mount, or something along the lines of a VFX1 shell, but made out of flat pieces of laser cut acrylic that can be slotted together. My goal is to design the HMD as minimalistically as possible, no air space like the HMZ-T1 has. That way, if people want to make some other kind of mount, there should not be any need for dis-assembly.

Another idea I had was to have some recessed portions on the front and top of the case, and put 4 lightweight metal discs in them. Then, have 4 wires going through the inside of the case soldered to the back of the plates, and route those 4 wires to the USB connection for HMD power. That way, it would be easy to make a detachable camera module, or a detachable tracking module, or whatever you want to stick onto the head mount. Just use small magnets on the module, they can act as both electrical and physical connectors.


Synexious wrote:
120° FOV is amazing, but won't 800x600 look really blocky stretched out that much? Are you using microdisplays? Any news on a possible lens mod for the HMZ or ST1080? And what about that 270° FOV prototype you have or were planning?


It does not look as blocky as you would think, especially when I use a diffusion filter to blur the pixels a bit. I have actually been considering two versions, one with very high FOV, and the other with less FOV (Around 80 or 90 degrees) that makes the resolution look a little nicer, and does not cut off the edges of the display, either. Not as immersive, of course, but it might be a tradeoff some people want to make. My goal is to make the optical assembly easy to remove and replace, so perhaps both sets of lenses could be included so you can choose for yourself.

I am not using microdisplays, it is just too hard to get a large FOV/exit pupil out of them. I have some lenses that can get a higher FOV on the HMZ-T1, but they are not as high quality as the original optics. If and when I find a good way to improve it, I will post for sure.

As far as the 270 degree prototype, it works perfectly well. Problem is, it needs 4 offset views rendered for it to work properly! No driver support for that in any commercial games, so it is only useful as a research unit at the moment. I could just stretch out the edges of the image, but that makes movement in the periphery greatly exaggerated, and that makes people feel a bit odd. :( I have a few ideas, and whatever kit I make will be upgradable to whatever future optics I come up with.

This is all coming together, very excited!


Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:17 am
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Extreme FOV's are cool but... But are there currently any games supporting them? Most games have FOV 70, and some have variable FOV up to 90, I dont even think Quake had higher FOV settings than 120. Also there is the problem with huds, even with high FOV settings the HUD stays in the corner of the screen.

The sad part is I think it will take the Game industry several years to support high FOV, its a bit of a moment 22 problem. The display/HMD manufactures would produce high FOV HMD's because there is no game support and the game indusitry wont produce any games woth high FOV support because there are no high fov units around :/

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Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:06 am
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Yeah but you can run a 90 degree FOV on a 180+ plus screen... it will just be stretched.
Bugger the HUD's, just kill the immersion really. I've noticed most games nowadays have tried to get away from the HUD concept and torwards more 'realistic' type effects like seeing blood on your viewport and your character moving slower when wounded, instead of just a health percentage etc.

Really however, I think modern VR will require dedicated games (at least at first) since most PC games are designed from the start for screen, keyboard, mouse. Such things as being able to turn your gun around in your hands, move it around anywhere, etc, add an immense amount of immersion. Maybe it will be someone from mtbs who will write the first killer game for VR that will spark the whole ball rolling!


Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:03 am
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WiredEarp wrote:
Yeah but you can run a 90 degree FOV on a 180+ plus screen... it will just be stretched.
Bugger the HUD's, just kill the immersion really. I've noticed most games nowadays have tried to get away from the HUD concept and torwards more 'realistic' type effects like seeing blood on your viewport and your character moving slower when wounded, instead of just a health percentage etc.

Really however, I think modern VR will require dedicated games (at least at first) since most PC games are designed from the start for screen, keyboard, mouse. Such things as being able to turn your gun around in your hands, move it around anywhere, etc, add an immense amount of immersion. Maybe it will be someone from mtbs who will write the first killer game for VR that will spark the whole ball rolling!


Well, it will look really weird with super fat characters which will kill the immersion :D But yeah, the hud can be killed, for example I play hardcore in BF3 because I like it how the crosshair and HUD is not present. Dead space had a cool solution were the 'hud' is part of the world (Holographic projection in front of the character)

edit: Also if you stretch a 90 fov image over a 180 fov display you will loose a big point of high fov, the situation awareness, 90 dregrees is small when you see the entire content on a normal screen, it will be even smaller since you will now only see a small portion of this in focus, rest will be seen through the peripheral vision.

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Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:32 am
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The 180 was just an example, 120 would be more realistic, which could be a viable stretch. It definitely wont look real, but may be workable, and you may still get some immersion due to the high FOV. The situational awareness bit will just make you more paranoid and turn your head more. I'd rather lose the ability to see the edges clearly, and gain greater FOV personally. Of course you won't win any online tournaments with that. There is however always the technical possibility of rendering the game in a lower resolution and displaying it centered in the higher res display with black borders, so you lose FOV but gain edge view if such is important to you.

With stuff like 3D Vision Surround / Eyefinity being popular, I expect more and more games to support higher FOV modes.


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Some games already have high fov hacks, for widescreen/multimonitor setups. If they will work with 3d drivers, free/glovepie, haptics drivers and whatever else I have no idea.

2) Display panel/s
PanelS? Got other ideas for the display?

5) Any required video/power cables
Always nice to have included, but power cables might not be any use for people in other countrys.

6) Adjustable head mount
If it is something usable, great, but if it is going to be too expensive to include something good it would be better left out altogether.

7) Light blocker for eyes
Definatly something I would want, but maybe not need to be included.

8) Camera for seeing outside world/AR
Not intrested in this. Others might be, make it optional?

10) Integrated headphones
I would probably rather use my own headphones, as I would want something that could give very good sound positioning with the right software, and that would likely drive the cost up too high.

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Petrif-Eyed
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:23 pm
Posts: 2167
Location: Irvine, CA
WiredEarp wrote:
Of course you won't win any online tournaments with that.


I can't imagine how VR players and "screen players" could ever compete against each other. It seems like the screen players just have a huge advantage in terms of control responsiveness and energy expenditure. And the more realistic you make the VR players control scheme the more disadvantageous it comes. How could you compete against someone that just gets to sit on their ass and flick their hands while you have to spin and jump around?


Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:31 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:23 pm
Posts: 2167
Location: Irvine, CA
PalmerTech wrote:
I have actually been considering two versions, one with very high FOV, and the other with less FOV (Around 80 or 90 degrees) that makes the resolution look a little nicer, and does not cut off the edges of the display, either. Not as immersive, of course, but it might be a tradeoff some people want to make


In your experience, where is the inflection point between "really large screen" and "being inside". Personally I am excited about the possibility of the immersive experience, so if the cutoff lies somewhere just above 90 then I might not want to make that compromise (resolution be damned). In other words: is there a major perceptual shift between 90 and 120 degrees or is it just an incremental change?


Edit: Also, just out of curiosity and so I don't have to dig through all the posts again - can you tell us what your ideal screen dimensions are for this type of rig and lenses. Or more to the point: if you could order an exact screen size, resolution, and interface to build this type of HMD with, what would those specs be?


Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:41 am
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