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 True Player Gear to offer an alternative to Oculus’ headset 
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One Eyed Hopeful

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We are True Player Gear, a five employee tech startup based in Montreal, Canada.

We are gamers, we are passionate and we have a vision that we’ve been developing for the past nine years. We created a virtual reality headset for the real gamers like us out there.

Up to now we operated in stealth mode, except for the past two weeks were we started gradually broadcasting our existence (eg: VR Mixer @ GDC) in preparation for a Kickstarter campaign.

We didn’t initially intend to make any announcement. But we feel that with the news of a corporation buying Oculus, who is focused on web applications and doesn’t understand the hardware business like others do, we really need to come out of the woods and let everyone know that there is an alternative that is coming soon. We are in the last stretch of developing a final 5th gen prototype and are aiming to present a finished dev. kit on Kickstarter in the next few months.

Specifications: 1080p low persistence OLED screen, 90 degrees FOV, head and body tracking, compatible with PC, PS3/4, Xbox One/360.

Features: hardware accelerated pre-lens distortion, hardware accelerated motion tracking, onboard cameras for positional tracking (WIP), expansion port for makers, surround sound via standard headphones, individual focus per eye for long and short sided peoples, oversized lenses for clearer text, and more!

We strongly stand by the developers and gamers community and as such we would like invite you all to participate in naming the fruit of our labor!

Picture: http://pic.twitter.com/wevhc2pF2H

More details coming soon on our website: http://www.trueplayergear.com


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Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:54 pm
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Hmm, how are you doing positional tracking? So far Sony looks like they have the best with LEDS on the front and back of their HMD.

Camera tracking seems to be the highest fidelity.

Also, what's your price point?

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:07 pm
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Got a ballpark for the price?


Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:08 pm
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hmmm ... I think people are better of going with the castAR by TI if they feel buying a Facebook product is a bad idea.
Not only does it offer the additional AR mode, it also was made by true tech enthusiasts.

And they did not try to use bad press about Oculus for such an indecent pitch on the forum where the Rift was conceived!

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:13 pm
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Nevermind the shill.

Competition is awesome, it's why we have an oculus rift in the first place (competition lead to cheap, powerful components)

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:25 pm
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blazespinnaker wrote:
Nevermind the shill.

Competition is awesome, it's why we have an oculus rift in the first place (competition lead to cheap, powerful components)


apropos ..... any estimates on how many units they'll sell now? ;)
TOLD YA!


Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:09 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Care to elaborate on your claim of Playstation and XBox compatibility?


Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:15 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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MSat wrote:
Care to elaborate on your claim of Playstation and XBox compatibility?


9 years of stealth mode. 8-)


Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:30 pm
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The HMD looks great. Is that a render or a real prototype? EDIT: I thought it looked badass at first, bt the orange stripe on the front makes it look like a goofy smiley face. Might wanna change that?

What is 5th gen HMD?

Resolution seems a bit low, Rift is likely to be at least 1440 vertical, maybe more with facefart money.

The whole thing seems a bit dodgy though, appearing now from stealth mode with a Rift type HMD.

I don't think I will be taking part in your kickstarter, or any other for that matter, but good luck!


"Care to elaborate on your claim of Playstation and XBox compatibility?"

With hardware acceleration, they could do the warping internally same as the sony thing. Don't know how good it would be though, likely the same problems as using Rift with Vierio etc.

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:52 pm
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bobv5 wrote:
"Care to elaborate on your claim of Playstation and XBox compatibility?"

With hardware acceleration, they could do the warping internally same as the sony thing. Don't know how good it would be though, likely the same problems as using Rift with Vierio etc.

I guess he was asking how they were supposed to read data from inertial sensors, since the PS4 doesn't support HID devices out-of-the-box. No idea for the Xbox One though.


Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:03 pm
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Joypad emulation? Sony Morpheos emulation? Mouse emulation?

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:17 pm
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This is great more competition :) & rubbing it into Oculus .. nice one guys

If this is priced right I know where my $ is going.

sure hope they can up the 90 degree FOV.

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:33 pm
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colocolo wrote:
blazespinnaker wrote:
Nevermind the shill.

Competition is awesome, it's why we have an oculus rift in the first place (competition lead to cheap, powerful components)


apropos ..... any estimates on how many units they'll sell now? ;)
TOLD YA!


Honestly, this is all just hype. Beyond us VR fanatics and industrial uses, I really don't see people buying into this.

I've been doing this for a long time. I know what people are like and what they will and won't do. Strapping something on around their skull and all the unpleasantness that creates (isolation, warm eyeballs, sweat, neck strain, inner ear caused nausea, yada yada yada) is not outweighed by 'presence'.

Frankly, for a lot of people, presence itself will feel creepy enough. Tuning out of the real world like that? Yikes.

I can see arcades with virtuix omnis etc, but this whole sit down thing.. gimme a break. Most people will just get a big monitor.

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:42 pm
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blazespinnaker wrote:

I've been doing this for a long time. I know what people are like and what they will and won't do. Strapping something on around their skull and all the unpleasantness that creates (isolation, warm eyeballs, sweat, neck strain,


I know plenty of (relatively normal) people who are willing to wear motorcycle gear all day. Hot, sweaty, bulky, uncomfortable, expensive gear. But it lets you ride a motobike and have a reasonable chance of surviving a crash. Riding motorbikes is awesome. You are too distracted by the awesome to notice the gear you wear.

Would people not think the same way for VR?

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:30 pm
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bobv5 wrote:
blazespinnaker wrote:

I've been doing this for a long time. I know what people are like and what they will and won't do. Strapping something on around their skull and all the unpleasantness that creates (isolation, warm eyeballs, sweat, neck strain,


I know plenty of (relatively normal) people who are willing to wear motorcycle gear all day. Hot, sweaty, bulky, uncomfortable, expensive gear. But it lets you ride a motobike and have a reasonable chance of surviving a crash. Riding motorbikes is awesome. You are too distracted by the awesome to notice the gear you wear.

Would people not think the same way for VR?


I think they will think it exactly the same way for VR! (Btw, I am a motorcycle rider of that nature).

Now, ask yourself, how many such people are there in existence?

It's a niche market, and will be for at least 10 years and facebook will not be one of the winners.

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Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:58 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Hi, thanks for the interest. Let me answer the questions so far:

We are using the two onboard cameras for positional tracking. We still have to find the best way to do it reliably for a consumer product: go the Valve way with markers, go the Facebooculus way with IR, go the Sony way with Colored LEDs or go the TPG way with the detection of the actual environment. This is still a work in progress.

Regarding the price point, it will of course depends on volume, but we will be just a little bit more expensive than the DK2, since we have more hardware cost with the FPGA and Cameras.

For console compatibility, we have two pending patents that enables that: we emulate the tumbstick on the gamepad that controls the view, so it's transparent for the game. We will also try to emulate the Morpheus when it comes out. Since we also do realtime onboard compensation for the lenses distortions, we are seen as a regular 3DTV for the game. It will be fine for certain games, but of course games built from the ground up for VR will be much better.

Over the years, we have mostly used Kopin microdisplays, but they were getting smaller and smaller and the optics were battling against the laws of physics. So we decided to switch to mobile phone panels. 1440 would be great, but the OLED panels are not there yet and will demand top of the line graphic cards!

Finally, the 90FOV is used because we want to minimize the screen-door effect while still having presence. If we go higher in FOV, the Pixel Per Inch will drop too low.

Hope this answer all the questions,
Bert


Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:03 pm
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TruePlayerGear wrote:
We are using the two onboard cameras for positional tracking. We still have to find the best way to do it reliably for a consumer product: go the Valve way with markers, go the Facebooculus way with IR, go the Sony way with Colored LEDs or go the TPG way with the detection of the actual environment. This is still a work in progress.


This is presented here as a sort of "minor bullet point", but the engineering choices, research, and refinement that go into this part of the project are extremely challenging.


Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:52 pm
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brantlew wrote:
TruePlayerGear wrote:
We are using the two onboard cameras for positional tracking. We still have to find the best way to do it reliably for a consumer product: go the Valve way with markers, go the Facebooculus way with IR, go the Sony way with Colored LEDs or go the TPG way with the detection of the actual environment. This is still a work in progress.


This is presented here as a sort of "minor bullet point", but the engineering choices, research, and refinement that go into this part of the project are extremely challenging.


Maybe! Computer vision is one of those funny areas of study where sometimes you can discover pretty interesting shortcuts.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:19 am
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welll....at first i thought this was some kind of costly done troll website....lol....as a reaction to the Fb aqcuisition....lol

turns out to be true...!?


Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:54 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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blazespinnaker wrote:
brantlew wrote:
TruePlayerGear wrote:
We are using the two onboard cameras for positional tracking. We still have to find the best way to do it reliably for a consumer product: go the Valve way with markers, go the Facebooculus way with IR, go the Sony way with Colored LEDs or go the TPG way with the detection of the actual environment. This is still a work in progress.


This is presented here as a sort of "minor bullet point", but the engineering choices, research, and refinement that go into this part of the project are extremely challenging.


Maybe! Computer vision is one of those funny areas of study where sometimes you can discover pretty interesting shortcuts.


That applies to the amount of computation power required, not the development challenges.


Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:40 am
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blazespinnaker wrote:
brantlew wrote:
TruePlayerGear wrote:
We are using the two onboard cameras for positional tracking. We still have to find the best way to do it reliably for a consumer product: go the Valve way with markers, go the Facebooculus way with IR, go the Sony way with Colored LEDs or go the TPG way with the detection of the actual environment. This is still a work in progress.


This is presented here as a sort of "minor bullet point", but the engineering choices, research, and refinement that go into this part of the project are extremely challenging.


Maybe! Computer vision is one of those funny areas of study where sometimes you can discover pretty interesting shortcuts.


There is a long and storied tradition of people saying "Just put some cameras on it! Now positional tracking works, right? Now we have AR, right?" It's just not as easy as all of the vague hand waving makes it seem.


Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:41 am
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MSat wrote:
blazespinnaker wrote:
That applies to the amount of computation power required, not the development challenges.


no the development challenge is building a computer fast enough to do the computation within acceptable latency. ;)

but seriously - even if they solve the problems, it still leaves the need to have markers in all direction. sound like the product is much closer to a quick cash grab than a serious VR product. doing the design before the technical hurdles says everthing to me.

I repeat go Oculus Rift, if the Rift is a nogo because of Facebook then go castAR.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:05 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Regarding positional tracking, we have 4 engineers that comes from the computer vision industry and this is not a challenge that we take lightly.

Everything is connected through an FPGA which is much faster than any software algorithm.

Do we still have some R&D to do? Yes! Is this a pipe dream? Absolutely not!


Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:16 pm
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GeraldT wrote:
doing the design before the technical hurdles says everthing to me..


This.

I've seen many Kickstarter projects start this way and go wayside quickly. Designing a cad model is the easy part.

As much as I'd love to see some Canadian VR love, this isn't convincing.


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Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:59 pm
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TruePlayerGear wrote:
Regarding positional tracking, we have 4 engineers that comes from the computer vision industry and this is not a challenge that we take lightly.

Everything is connected through an FPGA which is much faster than any software algorithm.

Do we still have some R&D to do? Yes! Is this a pipe dream? Absolutely not!



I PMed you.

Regards,
Neil


Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:03 pm
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TruePlayerGear wrote:
Regarding positional tracking, we have 4 engineers that comes from the computer vision industry and this is not a challenge that we take lightly.

Everything is connected through an FPGA which is much faster than any software algorithm.

Do we still have some R&D to do? Yes! Is this a pipe dream? Absolutely not!


okay, this sounds interesting. just please don't create a kickstarter before you have a well working model to show to people. too many new VR startups and I would hate for cash-grabs to damage VR now that everthing seems to be going so well.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:53 pm
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realyst2k wrote:
GeraldT wrote:
doing the design before the technical hurdles says everthing to me..


This.

I've seen many Kickstarter projects start this way and go wayside quickly. Designing a cad model is the easy part.

As much as I'd love to see some Canadian VR love, this isn't convincing.


Yep. Anyone can overpromise. Give me duct tape and hot glue over CG renders any day.


Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:59 pm
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I love seeing any progress in this space. This forum has a history of being very kind and supportive of active membership and R&D work that is earnestly discussed and demonstrated, but skeptical of verbal claims and marketing.


Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:09 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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GeraldT wrote:
TruePlayerGear wrote:
Regarding positional tracking, we have 4 engineers that comes from the computer vision industry and this is not a challenge that we take lightly.

Everything is connected through an FPGA which is much faster than any software algorithm.

Do we still have some R&D to do? Yes! Is this a pipe dream? Absolutely not!


okay, this sounds interesting. just please don't create a kickstarter before you have a well working model to show to people. too many new VR startups and I would hate for cash-grabs to damage VR now that everthing seems to be going so well.


Yes, we wanted to finish our demo before going out of stealth mode (which should be ready for E3), but the Facebooculus deal rushed things, because we wanted tell the VR community that there is an alternative coming for people who are disappointed with the Facebook deal...

We will NOT do a kickstarter before people can actually try it. No false HYPE thing here! We worked too long and too hard for this!


Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:50 pm
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I have to say I really dislike your motivation to come forward and it will make me distrust you every step of the way until you can show something real.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:18 pm
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TruePlayerGear wrote:
For console compatibility, we have two pending patents that enables that: we emulate the tumbstick on the gamepad that controls the view, so it's transparent for the game.
I don't see why you'd need a patent for this.

SplitFish did use a similar technique with their eyeFX 3D adapter for the PS2 gamepad, by sending switching commands very fast to generate the two views required for stereo 3D.

Still, I'm curious to know what frequency and latency you can get from this technique, can you share some numbers ?

Another option would be to do like War Thunder, which does support USB keyboard and mices on the PS4, but that would limit you to the PSN. Not necessarily limiting since I don't see a major studio supporting your device on the PS4 when the Morpheus is available.


Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:34 pm
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I've heard Sony has been having financial problems, although i have no idea how severe they are, but some of the claims involve them going out of business if something doesn't change. So they may be very concerned with their profit margins here.

EDIT: oops, i deleted out the main point...

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:29 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Another 90 degree FoV headset..

great..


Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:09 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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GeraldT wrote:
I have to say I really dislike your motivation to come forward and it will make me distrust you every step of the way until you can show something real.


Something real:

Our current mechanical prototype
Attachment:
Eos

What we showed at CES 2013 in private
Attachment:
Cronos


Enjoy!


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Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:43 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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isn't that last picture just a pair of night vision goggles?


Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:26 pm
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They did remind me of this from Silence of the Lambs

Image

On topic - Best of luck guys, the more competition for Oculus the better for VR :)


Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:54 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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Console compatibility sounds great.

About the OLED panel, i hope you also drive it "low persistance"

I think that you have a chance of being swallowed by facebook oculus only if you do brilliant ideas first. I really hope you guys can do that! To compete against such financial power i wish you all the best!


Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:40 am
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...


Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:14 am
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bongodriver wrote:
isn't that last picture just a pair of night vision goggles?


It is, but I'm guessing they just used the shell for a prototype??

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Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:42 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Prototype for what? it still has its sensors lenses and IR emitter in place, would have been cheaper and as practical to use a welding mask painted with a company logo.


Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:29 pm
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