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 $75 Optical Tracker live on Kickstarter now 
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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/te ... -vr-system

There's a separate reward tier for just the optical tracker. Delicious.

Incidentally, a clip on for the glasses turns them into an HMD with twice the resolution and double the frame rate of the current Rift DK with 6 dof tracking already integrated... For $15 cheaper than the original rift.

EDIT: It's on-board point tracking with 2500x1900 resolution.


Last edited by zalo on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:33 am
Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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$85 if you want it shipped in the US, $135 if you want it shipped outside the US. I never understand why some reward tiers don't include shipping. I understand that shipping costs aren't all the same, but the assumption that everyone has to pay something for shipping makes me think the minimum should be part of the tier price.


Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:51 pm
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Their tech and overall package is super slick. It appears to be the most thorough and full-featured AR system.

I must say that I'm quite curious about the tracking system - particularly when it's used for VR. The Kickstarter says it tracks IR points, but where do these come from?


Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:36 pm
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Looks interesting. I wish they talked more about technology or showed some more technical demos in the video.

Haven't backed it yet, but I might pull the trigger at some point.

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Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:43 pm
Cross Eyed!

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cybereality wrote:
Looks interesting. I wish they talked more about technology or showed some more technical demos in the video.

They have a little more info on the Wiki on their homepage. (http://technicalillusions.com/?incsub_wiki=tracking)

Basically it looks like a similar method like the Wiimote or TrackIR. Although with less latency than the Wii and possibly higher resolution than the TrackIR (and cheaper).

I think the project looks really cool but I'm not entirely sure I'll back it for a full kit. The RFID grid is almost cooler than the other stuff, I've wanted something like that for a long time. :-)

It looks like it would be really awesome if you have a group of friends who all get a kit. The idea of being multiple people interacting with the same space or board is really cool. (But I kind of doubt I'll get multiple people to pick up a pair... although I have managed to get 2 people to order Rifts only by demoing so I guess it's not impossible.)


Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:09 am
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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@ zalo:
Quote:
Incidentally, a clip on for the glasses turns them into an HMD with twice the resolution and double the frame rate of the current Rift DK with 6 dof tracking already integrated... For $15 cheaper than the original rift.


You don't mention that this is only when looking at special reflective surfaces. It doesn't really turn them into a HMD, it turns them into a head mounted projector, that happens to emulate a HMD quite well when looking at the surface.

It looks pretty cool really, I was thinking of backing it, as I could imagine you could have 'CastAR' type arcades where people just wear the goggles and wander around, looking at different reflective screens displaying different games. Like that chess game in star wars, or you could have a fighting game where the characters appeared to be holograms etc. However, the goggles cost might make that too expensive for a public arcade...?


Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:37 pm
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WiredEarp wrote:
@ zalo:
Quote:
Incidentally, a clip on for the glasses turns them into an HMD with twice the resolution and double the frame rate of the current Rift DK with 6 dof tracking already integrated... For $15 cheaper than the original rift.


You don't mention that this is only when looking at special reflective surfaces. It doesn't really turn them into a HMD, it turns them into a head mounted projector, that happens to emulate a HMD quite well when looking at the surface.



From what I can tell, you clip on a special attachment which does indeed turn it into an actual HMD without the need for any external reflective surfaces.


Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:10 pm
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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@ MSat: do you have any links about that?
Because, its not very obvious from the kickstarter, but a careful reading does imply that it requires the retroreflective surface. I wonder if many backers have realised this.

From the Kickstarters main page:

Quote:
castAR's projected augmented reality system is comprised of two main components: a pair of glasses and a surface


Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:03 pm
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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From the kickstarter page:

AR & VR Clip-On

This clip-on attaches to the front of the glasses to transform your experience into either true AR or true VR. True AR allows you to use our glasses without the retro-reflective surface, augmenting the real world. True VR is a fully synthesized environment; the computer generates all aspects of the visuals you see. The clip-on has been designed to be comfortable and lightweight, yet still provide the immersive atmosphere you want. With this component, you will have no need for any other head mounted display.

Image


Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:56 pm
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Not sure I gonna take a project serious as a contender for VR if searching for fov,degree,field,.. on their main page results in zilch


AR never really had much pull on me. but exciting project for those that are into it from the looks of it. And wish them success.

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Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:12 am
Cross Eyed!
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Does somebody has some information regarding FOV and RESOLUTION of the castAR system ?

best regards FR3D

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Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:47 am
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Resolution of common pico projectors might give you some insight http://www.projectorcentral.com/popular ... ectors.htm

I don't think I would buy one specifically for its VR capabilities, though. It's just a bonus, but if it's actually reasonably good then that makes for a very versatile device. They don't give enough technical details which is bothersome, but I don't get the impression that they're trying to pull a fast one on people. I won't be able to participate in the kickstarter campaign, but I do wish them luck. Hopefully we'll see CastAR on demo in stores across the world soon.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:17 am
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Quote:
True AR allows you to use our glasses without the retro-reflective surface, augmenting the real world.


Thanks MSat, I didn't notice that bit. I dont know how thats going to work without lenses etc, but hey, they seem to think they can do it, and if so it would definitely make their glasses more attractive for AR (and VR, but I dont see a mention of FOV).


Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:39 am
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I don't think this is a VR system the way we know it. The clip on just lets you view on 3D what's going on on the surface they are using. The IR tracking system is based on that surface too. I might be wrong, but this is what I've understood from reading the description.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:42 am
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Attreyu wrote:
I don't think this is a VR system the way we know it. The clip on just lets you view on 3D what's going on on the surface they are using. The IR tracking system is based on that surface too. I might be wrong, but this is what I've understood from reading the description.


From what I understand they have two clip on devices, and the glasses can operate in three different modes: with a surface, with an AR projection or with a VR projection.

With a surface the projectors beam out to the surface and the light is reflected back to the viewer. With the AR and VR modes you put a small "screen" in front of your eye so the beam is reflected down and displayed right in front of you. In the AR case the "screen" is semi reflective so you can still see the world. And in the VR mode the backside of the screen is opaque so you can't see though it.

The tracking is separate and requires positioning in the real environment. Kind of as if you were to put a TrackIR on your head and several markers around you environment.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:15 am
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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hast wrote:
Attreyu wrote:
I don't think this is a VR system the way we know it. The clip on just lets you view on 3D what's going on on the surface they are using. The IR tracking system is based on that surface too. I might be wrong, but this is what I've understood from reading the description.


From what I understand they have two clip on devices, and the glasses can operate in three different modes: with a surface, with an AR projection or with a VR projection.

With a surface the projectors beam out to the surface and the light is reflected back to the viewer. With the AR and VR modes you put a small "screen" in front of your eye so the beam is reflected down and displayed right in front of you. In the AR case the "screen" is semi reflective so you can still see the world. And in the VR mode the backside of the screen is opaque so you can't see though it.

The tracking is separate and requires positioning in the real environment. Kind of as if you were to put a TrackIR on your head and several markers around you environment.


This was my understanding as well.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:04 pm
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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That is my understanding now as well. However, I haven't really seen it being used without the surface etc. Anyone got any video links etc to it being used in pure AR or VR mode?

Id be interested to know how they can do VR without having lenses on the glasses. Surely that clip on screen will be way to close to the eyes to work without lenses of some type?


Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:17 pm
3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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WiredEarp wrote:
Id be interested to know how they can do VR without having lenses on the glasses. Surely that clip on screen will be way to close to the eyes to work without lenses of some type?

I was thinking the same exact thing.

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Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:49 pm
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If the projectors are always in focus, then wouldn't the only necessary optics be something like a concave mirror that the projected image reflects off of?


Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:31 pm
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Well normally you can't focus on things 1 inch away from your eyes without lenses.

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Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:13 am
Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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cybereality wrote:
Well normally you can't focus on things 1 inch away from your eyes without lenses.



Perhaps you can consider some of those necessary lenses to be part of the projectors themselves. Here's an excerpt from http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/semester2/c28_lenses.html which I think might be relevant should the VR clip on for the castAR glasses use something reflective like a mirror:

Similarities between lenses and mirrors

The equations we used for mirrors all work for lenses.

A convex lens acts a lot like a concave mirror. Both converge parallel rays to a focal point, have positive focal lengths, and form images with similar characteristics.

A concave lens acts a lot like a convex mirror. Both diverge parallel rays away from a focal point, have negative focal lengths, and form only virtual, smaller images.


Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:23 am
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She explains the VR-mode in this video (14:30 min) :



"You clip this onto the glasses and then the projectors go into optics inside. It bounces around a couple of times and gets directed back to your eyes."

Hmm...I'm curious what kind of VR and VR-quality such a setup can generate. :?


Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:04 am
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Good stuff... Nice to see another startup company on the road to AR/VR.
The major feature that's holding me back from throwing cash at it is the fact it relies on the reflective material that must be placed on a surface. I'd go for something like this if it utilised point clouds to register real world proximity.
Regarding the wiring setup: does the headset plugin to a controller that's attached to you or to a base station? If it's a base station then two players would end up tangling around one another as you move about... Yes?

Put all of the restrictions aside... I still love the concept

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Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:35 pm
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It has an option to avoid using the surface mat, forcing the image directly back at yours eyes. The more I see of this thing, the more interested I am in it.


Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:45 pm
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I'm still intrigued by this CastAR VR clip-on. :geek: Jeri Ellsworth posted this on twitter :

VR clip on prototype. Wide FOV, large eye box, very low distortion and works with eye glasses #proud

https://twitter.com/jeriellsworth/status/393642914284187649/photo/1

Image


Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:17 pm
Certif-Eyed!

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Darn, I can't seem to make anything out in photoshop.

Maybe when she starts streaming tomorrow we can get her to put the camera in the glasses.


Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:43 pm
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Just kidding, stream starts in five minutes, I'll try to grab some pics, but it's best that you check it out yourself. She said she'll hold the set-up to the camera.

Here's the link again:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jeri-ellsworth


Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:57 pm
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I don't even know what I'm looking at in the picture.

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Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:25 pm
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So it looks like the tracker has a resolution of 2500x1900. They didn't put an image through the glasses clip-on prototypes.

Latency sounds good, heck, it all sounds good. They're still going at the link I'd posted before (and will be all night).


Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:53 pm
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They claim they can get a 90 degrees FOV with the VR clip on :shock: :

We've demonstrated the VR/AR clip ons prototypes out to ~90 degrees on the SD glasses. The design of the reflectors depend heavily on the new HD projector engines, so we're waiting new NA expanders and reflectors. We're proud of our low distortion optics(low warping on image edges) with huge eye box and eye relief(Works over glasses)


Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:47 pm
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Very impressive!

It would be nice if they implemented inwards looking optical tracking, so that you only have to place one external tracking camera instead of a bunch of optical markers. It would be a much better solution for VR usage, imo.


Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:09 pm
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What if they put a mirror on the camera, angling the image up toward a ceiling mounted tracking marker?

Yaw is covered, and tilt/roll are covered within about 90 degrees. Multiple markers could help this, but a small gyro for the in-between would be very effective here.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:07 am
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I think this is the best and most detailed explanation of how the VR clip-on works for the moment (starts at 29 minutes ) :

(multiple reflectors, numerical aperture expander,...)

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jeri-ellsworth#/recorded/40182428


Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:04 am
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@Moriarty: Thanks for posting. That does explain a bit.

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Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:21 pm
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I thought VR mode on this thing would just be a novelty, and the Rift would be for 'real' VR, but while watching that video link I just realised that if they make wrap around glasses, just like the ones in cyber's avatar in fact, then you could have InfinitEye class FOV in a tiny sunglasses package! youd still need some of the material placed around your room for the tracking , but I'd be ok with that to have such a sleek package.

I'm seriously wondering if this could surpass the Rift now, maybe not their V1 which only has 80-90 FOV but their V2. Rift V2 will not have 180 FOV unless they use more than 1 screen (which they seem set against) or a curved screen which is unlikely, as they are only just coming out and have to be the right size & speed properties which is really going to limit the selections. Even if this is achieved though, it will still be a lot bulkier than a cast AR version due to it using standard optics (eg. in front of an lcd)

If castAR can't stretch to 180~ FOV with one projector, I am sure they could find a way to use 2 projectors per eye, huge resolution would be possible then, the glasses would take 1 ultra panoramic video signal and split it between the 4 projectors so no sync problems.

I don't intend to buy castAR V1, just the Rift, as I am not too excited for AR, for me the Rift just seems more 'complete' for VR right now, but if castAR can massively increase the FOV for V2 then... oh boy.. :) If they coould do it, it would make the InfinitEye look like the laughably bulky tech from decades ago. (yeah I know it's already bulky by todays standards too but.. :) )

Excited for the future of this.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:12 pm
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I still want to see more about it with the VR clipon. Some of the specs seem pretty nice. No (or almost no) screendoor effect should be a top selling point. But I just feel I don't know enough about the product for VR mode. I think I fear a washed out quality of image. They really need to get this in the hands of Rift users so we can better understand how it stacks up. I wish it would translate well on video or in images too. At least trying may help.

I recently started considering getting in on the kickstarter. But that was when I thought this was around $100 (not really sure how I thought it was that cheap). Now knowing the real price, I'd rather go back to continuing to save my money for the commercial Rift or DK2. I personally would care more about it as a VR device, and secondary as a AR device if at all. And everything about it is designed around the opposite. So I guess my lack of interest makes sense.

Wish they were planning at being at CES and I could get in too. But sadly it's a no on both counts. I'd love to try it out first hand if I could, but I live in Vegas, don't go traveling around, and I'm on a budget. =(

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Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:37 pm
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If you leave early in the morning, you should be able to get to the LA convention center on one tank of gas in time for the expo to open at 10:00am at GDC Next this Tuesday (or Wednesday) (Los Angeles convention center). There is a code for free expo passes floating around online (but if you can't find it I'll PM it to you).

That's what I'm doing, but from San Diego (admittedly, a two hour shorter drive each way).

I'm basically going to try CastAR and then drive back lol. Have a good iPod playlist ready. I'm missing two classes, but hopefully I'll make it back in time for a 9pm class.


Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:38 pm
Two Eyed Hopeful
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As I said, I don't go traveling around much anymore. I know its a 4 hour trip there thanks to my old days of MTG tourneys. But now that's to far. It would have to be here in Vegas, and that's pretty much CES.

But even if they were headed to CES or I could get to this GDC, I wouldn't mean much. I want to see the VR mode of CastAR in action, and atm they don't even have a single real working prototype of their VR clip-on. They just have bulky hardware setup for a single eye. Nothing a user could wear. This I've learned of thanks to the recent Rev VR Podcast. I doubt they would have a VR clip-on made that's tradeshow demo ready by GDC. Maybe by CES if they were going to it, but that I'd have to wait and see for.

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Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:11 pm
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