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 Project Holodeck Update: Razer Sponsorship, Oculus Rift Test 
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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I spoke over the weekend with some of the team from Project Holodeck -- an effort out of USC to create a full-body VR platform for virtual reality games. The team is announcing a sponsorship by Razer who will provide the Hydra peripherals they need to make their vision a reality. Palmer Luckey (aka PalmerTech, the man behind the Oculus Rift) is the team's lead hardware engineer. As such they'll be using the Rift as the HMD for Project Holodeck. The team recently tried the latest Rift prototype and gave some thoughts, here's the whole story:

http://www.roadtovr.com/2012/09/17/proj ... -test-1211


Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:47 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!
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That's great news!


Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:22 am
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One Eyed Hopeful
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Alright! We'll have a virtual arcade yet!


Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:26 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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The adrenaline after reading that article! :shock:

Quote:
“I’ve been using [Luckey's] HMDs for a few years now so I thought I would be jaded, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the latest Rift prototype is even better than the last one I tried in April.
I found myself staring at a pile of virtual rocks [in the game Rage] for about half an hour!”

If this is the reaction of somebody after trying many HMDs before, I might let go of the final reservations I had.
I wonder how much of that had to do with the accurate positional tracking.


Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:18 am
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Yeah, that's the way to go!!!
If Razer and Sixsense provide a custom designed hydra controller to be integrated and sold with the consumer rift (maybe even providing a drift-free 6DOF head tracking in place or in addition to the actual gyro/accelerometer system) in a complete and affordable VR system, it would be a blast in the game market and would probably inspire a ton of unexpected applications!
And if only Sony or MS catched the opportunity before the next gen launches...


Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:37 am
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and who shares with me the insanely high excitement for that video about the Nintendo Revolution back in 2005
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX2smM87r14
followed only few weeks later by the big disappointment of the launch of that Wii "TV remote control"?
:mrgreen:

Now I think that was just not the right moment, there weren't high density small LCD displays to produce an immersive and affordable HMD (the iPhone/smartphone era was yet to come), the precision was lacking (as we know from the Wii experience), the CPU and GPU raw power was lacking (not to mention 3D stereo...), so it could have been a disaster just like the virtual boy.

But now we have addressed all of these problems, the world is ready for the real VR revolution :woot


Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:11 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!
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crespo80 wrote:
And if only Sony or MS catched the opportunity before the next gen launches...

There was a leaked MS document that mentioned they were working on some kind of HMD for their next Xbox a while ago. SmartGlass was also mentioned in that document so that gives it some kind of credibility...

Sony will show a new HMD at TGS...

All signs point to yes.

Viva la VRevolution™ !

BELIEVE! :D


Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:36 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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If you guys wouldn't mind dropping an upvote on the link at Reddit, it would really help out the Project Holodeck folks and of course the VR movement in general : P

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comm ... deck_team/


Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:18 pm
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benz145 wrote:
If you guys wouldn't mind dropping an upvote on the link at Reddit, it would really help out the Project Holodeck folks and of course the VR movement in general : P

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comm ... deck_team/

I did. You might wanna submit it to the Oculus reddit though:

http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus


Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:46 pm
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Kickass! Congrats to the team!

I can't wait to have tech like the Holodeck at home, but I'm equally happy to think about the rebirth of video game arcade/ cinema culture with all kinds of game-specific hardware.

I'm continually impressed by all the basement hardware hackers out there.

I should start door-knocking to ask people if they can spare a minute of their time to hear about the glories of VR. :D


Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:39 pm
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That's cool. Now to work on pulling apart the hydra and getting the base to fit in/on the HMD and we could be getting close to a consumer product. I've been playing some bioshock since I got my hydra and think it is definitely the kind of control that we need for VR until they have a reasonably priced, pinpoint accurate and low latency version of kinect. I also think that these guys have come to the same conclusion about how to configure it (base on the head) as I did - it just makes sense.
Keep up the fantastic work... I really look forward to seeing where this goes!


Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:11 pm
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Put your tie on, or don't wear a tie. Wear the uniform or don't put it on.
I don't understand your hair.
Just sayin' ;)

This is all little bit nepotistic; but it is an exciting project! - you shouldn't wrap it up like this - it detracts!

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Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:29 pm
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Guys, I've got the chance to buy a Hydra at a reasonably good price (100$), a new one without portal 2 is worth about a 130$.
I am seriously considering it, would you recommend it for couch gaming, seeing as I am not getting a oculus devkit and will be waiting for the consumer model?


Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:13 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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artox wrote:
Guys, I've got the chance to buy a Hydra at a reasonably good price (100$), a new one without portal 2 is worth about a 130$.
I am seriously considering it, would you recommend it for couch gaming, seeing as I am not getting a oculus devkit and will be waiting for the consumer model?


If you want it, buy it. If you don't want it, don't buy it.
It's great tech with lots of reviews and demos on YouTube, so why should a forum decide for you?


Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:28 am
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From what I remember, only Valve fully supports the hydra ATM (with disconnected aiming/head movements), so if you absolutely love their games you can give it a try, but if you want to use it as a mouse/keyboard alternative for all your games, you may be disappointed and maybe better wait another year at least...


Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:52 am
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The Hydra is on Amazon's US site with Portal 2 for $105.


Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:11 am
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@kalabalik
I think you misunderstood the meaning of the word recommend. I have gone through all reviews and yt videos, I know what the tech is about, but:
a.) 99% of the reviews are not by s-3d gamers
b.) i can't test it myself, and watching videos or reading are not the same as actually playing, hence I decided to ask here.

@crespo80
thanks for the response, I just wanted someone to tell me that the hw has future, seeing as there are alternatives, but I do really want to try it. Valve games are not really what interest me, but I do want a working solution, which is better than playing a fps on the wii, which seemed more like a chore than actual fun.

@Krenzo
I don't live in the US, so shipping will make the purchase more costly not to mention having to ship it back in case of warranty issues, thanks for the info, though, I know that the device itself goes for around a $100 in the US, but in Europe it is about $130 without portal and about $190 bundled.

I do have one more thing to ask though -
can you place the station on your side, or behind you, or use it standing, it being on the floor as long as it is positioned correctly? I realize that it probably is a non-issue (having seen the holodeck promo video), but I just want to be a 100% sure.


Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:16 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Good work! Having sponsorship from Razer will definitely help :)

I'm also working on a similar setup, but I haven't worked out all of the details quite yet. I'm trying to go for mobility; a the moment the idea is to strip the Hillcrest sensor from the Oculus and replace it with one of the hydra sensors, strap the Hillcrest to the Hydra base station and carry it with you in a backtop-like system. By using the Hillcrest as a motion sensor for the base station you could compensate for the users' movements, and that way you could probably get a completely untethered system. As a bonus you'd also have the second Hydra receiver left as a spatial pointing device.

Hopefully the system is stable and fast enough to keep everything synced properly and complete the immersive simulation, and hopefully the base station doesn't interfere with the Hillcrest sensor, but perhaps you guys are in a better position to try this stuff out.

I'll probably wait for the Oculus to arrive before I'm doing some serious experiments with the Hydra, but I'll let you guys know as soon as I have something noteworthy ;)


Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:06 am
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If I understood it correctly, current drawbacks of using only the Razer Hydra are:


Source: John Carmack on the Razer Hydra for head tracking

Possible solution: Integrate/fuse the sensor data with the gyros and acceleration.
(Project Holodeck seems to address all this by integrating multiple existing tracking systems and adding the Hydra base station to the HMD)

And he has a good point: front-camera(s) would also be a very interesting solution (example)
I wouldn't be surprised if that's the reason why we've been seeing the modded HMZ-T2 (Prototype-SR) floating around the internet. I'm curious about the reports coming from the Tokyo Game Show after tomorrow.

grandmaster789 wrote:
at the moment the idea is to strip the Hillcrest sensor from the Oculus and replace it with one of the hydra sensors, strap the Hillcrest to the Hydra base station and carry it with you in a backtop-like system. By using the Hillcrest as a motion sensor for the base station you could compensate for the users' movements, and that way you could probably get a completely untethered system. As a bonus you'd also have the second Hydra receiver left as a spatial pointing device.

[....], but I'll let you guys know as soon as I have something noteworthy ;)
It does sound like you need some rather complicated mathematics to integrate this data.
What would you do to compensate for the drift of the base station?
Still.... I'm interested in hearing your results.


Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:39 am
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If this team transforms into an official provider of an optional accessory kit for the Oculus Rift and a few big names with Rift support also integrate support for this kit, that would be the bomb. "Carmack's Doom 4 and Valve's H-L 3 fully support Oculus Rift and it's official VR kit" is all I need for Santa to whisper in my ear for me to keep sitting on his lap...

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Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:39 pm
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donkaradiablo wrote:
Valve's H-L 3

Image


Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:53 pm
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mahler wrote:
.... the modded HMZ-T2 (Prototype-SR) floating around the internet. ...


Why does my link go to /GodOFSpandex?

This is the correct URL
http://www.roadtovr.com/2012/09/12/sony ... video-1188

edit: And again it doesn't work :?
edit2: Must be filtered by a spambot

Well I guess most of you had already seen it.

Here is the press release:
http://translate.google.com/translate?s ... 20911.html

And YouTube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77oCTRIUCk8


Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:02 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful
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benz145 wrote:
I spoke over the weekend with some of the team from Project Holodeck -- an effort out of USC to create a full-body VR platform for virtual reality games. The team is announcing a sponsorship by Razer who will provide the Hydra peripherals they need to make their vision a reality. Palmer Luckey (aka PalmerTech, the man behind the Oculus Rift) is the team's lead hardware engineer. As such they'll be using the Rift as the HMD for Project Holodeck. The team recently tried the latest Rift prototype and gave some thoughts, here's the whole story:

http://www.roadtovr.com/2012/09/17/proj ... -test-1211


Apologies for posting on this so late - I just now saw this thread :roll: Thanks again for this amazing article Ben! It really means a lot. I just wanted to get back to everyone here in this thread real quick, as this is some excellent feedback.

mahler wrote:
The adrenaline after reading that article! :shock:

Quote:
“I’ve been using [Luckey's] HMDs for a few years now so I thought I would be jaded, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the latest Rift prototype is even better than the last one I tried in April.
I found myself staring at a pile of virtual rocks [in the game Rage] for about half an hour!”

If this is the reaction of somebody after trying many HMDs before, I might let go of the final reservations I had.
I wonder how much of that had to do with the accurate positional tracking.


Thanks! The Rift is really an awesome experience. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have, to the best of my ability.

crespo80 wrote:
If Razer and Sixsense provide a custom designed hydra controller to be integrated and sold with the consumer rift (maybe even providing a drift-free 6DOF head tracking in place or in addition to the actual gyro/accelerometer system) in a complete and affordable VR system, it would be a blast in the game market and would probably inspire a ton of unexpected applications!


I completely agree! What we are doing is very much along these lines, with a few exceptions - and we're in conversation with Oculus and Razer right now, and hopefuly Sixense soon as well! Crossing our fingers :D

zacherynuk wrote:
I don't understand your hair.
Just sayin' ;) This is all little bit nepotistic; but it is an exciting project! - you shouldn't wrap it up like this - it detracts!


My hair could kill you with it's bare hands. Just kidding :lol: but seriously. Thanks for the feedback zacherynuk - can you go further what you mean by nepotism?

grandmaster789 wrote:
Good work! Having sponsorship from Razer will definitely help :)
....
I'll probably wait for the Oculus to arrive before I'm doing some serious experiments with the Hydra, but I'll let you guys know as soon as I have something noteworthy ;)


Thanks, grandmaster! The Razer sponsorship is a HUGE help, so we don't have to bootstrap so much anymore. Otherwise a lot of the hardware would still be out-of-pocket. We would love to see more what your working on once you make some progress! Putting a video on youtube and sharing is usually the most practical.

mahler wrote:
If I understood it correctly, current drawbacks of using only the Razer Hydra are:


Source: John Carmack on the Razer Hydra for head tracking

Possible solution: Integrate/fuse the sensor data with the gyros and acceleration.
(Project Holodeck seems to address all this by integrating multiple existing tracking systems and adding the Hydra base station to the HMD)


Yep! That's why for our current prototype we are not using the Razer Hydra for absolute positional tracking of the head, but rather for local positional tracking of the hands. Magnetic tracking works much better for short range local positions. Optical systems like PS Move seem to be the best solution for long range position tracking, with the only downside being that it requires the use of external stationary hardware.

donkaradiablo wrote:
If this team transforms into an official provider of an optional accessory kit for the Oculus Rift and a few big names with Rift support also integrate support for this kit, that would be the bomb. "Carmack's Doom 4 and Valve's H-L 3 fully support Oculus Rift and it's official VR kit" is all I need for Santa to whisper in my ear for me to keep sitting on his lap...


Haha thanks! We would love that! We are currently working on a number of custom hardware peripherals, and I'm really excited to see where all this can go. We have a huge announcement coming up next month that involves the business side of things - all I can say now is that it involves a REALLY big name in the Star Trek crowd ;)

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Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:14 pm
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Is it possible for Project Holodeck to test some of these kits?



Found in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=120&t=15564

I saw that the full sensor-kit on the Yost Engineering company website was around $4000 (excl. the collection of straps)

And as you might have been aware of these sensors.... with the technical details available, do you think they will be having higher or lower latency/drift performance compared to your current setup?


Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:39 am
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Some general comments on holodecks...

Firstly, the holodeck is supposed to be a VR CAVE, not HMDs. You are supposed to be able to see your own bodies, and your friends, and interact with them naturally inside the simulation. CAVEs can't quite do that perfectly yet, but they are closer than HMDs to a holodeck, I think. If anything claims to be a holodeck, I think it should be a 6-wall CAVE.

Also, the holodeck includes other senses such as smell. Have you looked at integrating smell yet? There are hardware devices for that out there.

And have you got voice commands? That's an essential part of the holodeck.


Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:19 pm
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2EyeGuy wrote:
...
Firstly, the holodeck is supposed to be a VR CAVE, not HMDs. You are supposed to be able to see your own bodies, and your friends, and interact with them naturally inside the simulation. CAVEs can't quite do that perfectly yet, but they are closer than HMDs to a holodeck, I think. If anything claims to be a holodeck, I think it should be a 6-wall CAVE.
...

I guess that 'holodeck' is probably a contraction of 'Holographic Deck', so you may be literally correct. I don't have any problem with people using it to describe any full immersive experience though. And if you have full skeletal tracking, then there is no reason you can't render your legs/arms/body, and even enhance it. I think the experience with HMD could be better then cave as you don't have the limitation of the size of the room, placement of projectors (and shadows), and it is stereoscopic with NO GHOSTING!


Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:52 pm
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2EyeGuy wrote:
Firstly, the holodeck is supposed to be a VR CAVE, not HMDs. You are supposed to be able to see your own bodies, and your friends, and interact with them naturally inside the simulation. CAVEs can't quite do that perfectly yet, but they are closer than HMDs to a holodeck, I think. If anything claims to be a holodeck, I think it should be a 6-wall CAVE.


Even if you got some sort of CAVE going that supported using polarizers so different users saw different images, you'd still be foiled by CAVE's one fundamental flaw for multi-user scenarios: occlusion.

Say, in virtual space, your buddy stands "behind" an object 2 feet from you. He would still appear in front of that object because he is occluding the floor/wall space where that object really exists.


Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:05 pm
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CAVEs usually warp the projection so it only looks correct for a single view-point. So that is another knock against multi-user CAVEs.

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Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:22 pm
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Well a true star trek holodeck is more like a huge super high speed 3D printer that doesn't kill you when you stand inside it.

Caves have a lot more limitations than HMDs in general (though at the current state of technology they are easier to achieve at a high resolution and unlimited FOV, don't expect that to stay the case), particularly due to the fact that you cannot obscure the player's body. You can never be anyone other than yourself in a cave, or appear to hold an object in your hand unless its a real physical object. Making one big enough for walking around would also be ruinously expensive. Everything else a cave can do you can achieve with an HMD and a good motion capture solution.


Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:08 pm
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Owen wrote:
Well a true star trek holodeck is more like a huge super high speed 3D printer that doesn't kill you when you stand inside it.


Now there's an ambitious project!


Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:05 pm
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mahler wrote:
Owen wrote:
Well a true star trek holodeck is more like a huge super high speed 3D printer that doesn't kill you when you stand inside it.


Now there's an ambitious project!

HA HA HA! Now, to write the kickstarter proposal...


Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:37 pm
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Owen wrote:
Well a true star trek holodeck is more like a huge super high speed 3D printer that doesn't kill you when you stand inside it.


OK, That sounds cool.
But it does seem, every printer I have ever owned in my life time, is in fact, trying to kill me...:D


Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:13 pm
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