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  • The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 05/20/18
    The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 05/20/18

    There may have been a lot of cool PSVR announcements this week, but on the releases side it’s pretty quiet unless you’re really into your quirky tower defense games and anime tributes.

    Animal Force, from ISVR Price: $14.99

    A pretty weird take on the tower defense genre that comes from a Chinese developer inducted into Sony’s China Hero Project initiative. You place small animals around the skyline in an attempt to stop an alien invasion. There’s a host of minigames, too, all of which make this look like a delightful distraction.

    One Piece: Grand Cruise, from Bandai Namco Price: $9.99

    The cast and crew of the One Piece anime gather here for their first anime adventure. This is the kind of thing made explicity for fans, letting you tackle a handful of experiences that will see you interacting with characters using simple actions like nodding and shaking your head as well as fighting a Kraken.

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  • Archangel: Hellfire Livestream – Multiplayer VR Mech Combat
    Archangel: Hellfire Livestream – Multiplayer VR Mech Combat

    One of the dream VR games that thousands, or perhaps even millions, of people desperately want is a deep, intricate mech combat simulation. After years of pop culture building up the idea in our heads through things like MechWarrior, Gundam, Power Rangers, Pacific Rim, and so much more, the idea of piloting a super-powerful mech is just too tantalizing to not yearn for. I don’t know if Archangel: Hellfire has what it takes to shoulder decades of sci-fi dreaming, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    After the mixed reception Archangel’s single-player content received we weren’t holding out breath for the multiplayer iteration, but luckily it caught us by surprise. Hellfire is everything we wanted from a hectic multiplayer VR mech combat game with three different mech types, over a dozen weapons, and super intense 2v2 deathmatches.

    Here’s our hands-on preview of the mode, which went live today, for more.

    We’ll be livestreaming Archangel: Hellfire on PC using Rift with Touch starting very soon (which means we’ll start at approximately 1:15PM PT) and aim to last for about an hour or so. We’re going to use Restream to hit both YouTube and Twitch at the same time!

    You can see our archived streams all in  this one handy Livestream playlist over on the official UploadVR YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to by the way). We’re also rebooting our Twitch channel too.

    Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and if you want to see more Archangel: Hellfire or other mech games in the future. Comment with any feedback down below!

    Tagged with: archangel, Archangel: Hellfire, skydance interactive

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  • Massive Vive Focus System Update Adds Phone Calls & ‘Surroundings Mode’

    A host of game-changing features could put HTC’s 6DoF headset at the top of the stand-alone food chain. Despite the fact it won’t be hitting consumers stateside until later this year, HTC’s answer to standalone VR, the Vive Focus, is already receiving a generous amount of updates and fixes for its strictly Chinese audience. Revealed

    The post Massive Vive Focus System Update Adds Phone Calls & ‘Surroundings Mode’ appeared first on VRScout.

  • Display Week 2018: New Samsung, JDI and LG Panels For VR Compared
    Display Week 2018: New Samsung, JDI and LG Panels For VR Compared

    Google worked with LG to develop a display panel providing an astonishing 18.1 megapixels of detail per eye in a VR headset.

    While Facebook wasn’t ready to show its Half Dome varifocal prototype in-person, the new panel from LG as well as similar ones from Japan Display Inc. and Samsung were shown during Display Week in Los Angeles.

    The LG panel compares with 1.3 megapixels per eye on the Oculus Rift and 2.2 megapixels per eye on the Vive Pro. The new research is aimed at providing “a visual experience that matches the as closely as possible.”

    At left, LG’s 18.1 megapixel panel as shot by an iPhone 8 through a VR lens. At right, a “conventional” VR display shot the same way.

    Some of the highest resolution panels, like LG’s, were shown through a VR headset’s lens, but with still images and no tracking. That makes it hard to compare how these panels might perform in a real world scenario.

    Samsung had three VR headsets mounted in a row, each with more pixels packed into a smaller display.

    The first one showed a comparison between the kinds of VR headsets we already have and one with a filter designed to remove the screen door effect. A poster for the movie Frozen is all that was shown with the tech, but the filter seemed to change the texture of the frame so it no longer looked like I was seeing through a screen door. Instead of seeing the lines between pixels, the fine details looked more like the grain of a frame from an old movie.

    In comparison, Samsung’s highest resolution system on display offered 1200 pixels per inch but still had the screen door effect, albeit the lines between pixels were much smaller.

    Unlike the Samsung and LG panels, an LCD panel from Japan Display Inc. promising “1001” pixels per inch actually showed a moving 3D picture that made it impossible to see the screen door effect at all. It was beautiful.

    Here’s a comparison of the Samsung and JDI panels shot through the lens of both headsets with the same iPhone 8.

    Companies also presented a variety of light field display prototypes that are likely years from commercial feasibility. Nevertheless, one day these displays might be used to provide more realistic visuals. Samsung, for example, showed a light field display on a phone in a darkened room. It was said to feature a 5.09 inch display with 1,440 x 2,560 pixels split into 26 different views.

    Here’s what that looked like:

    There’s no word when we might see any of the panels that were shown at Display Week 2018 in consumer-grade hardware, but it would be surprising if headset makers like Sony, Facebook and HTC don’t incorporate ultra-high resolution panels into their upcoming designs. For example, the LG panel with 18.1 megapixels per eyeball could be combined with eye-tracking to make the rendering pipeline less expensive. We’ll bring you updates if we hear any hints these displays will actually make it into consumer hardware.

    Tagged with: Display

  • Eat A Goat’s Head And Curse Like A Sailor In Bloody VR Game Tainted Fate
    Eat A Goat’s Head And Curse Like A Sailor In Bloody VR Game Tainted Fate

    There are some out there that believe VR shouldn’t be used for violence. Tainted Fate is not a game for those people.

    Developed by Misfit Village and Delta Reality, Tainted Fate looks like a celebration of over the top gore, like Free Lives’ Gorn just with more goat decapitation. You play as a demon that’s been summoned to Earth against his will and goes on a murderous rampage. The game uses the limb-removal mechanics we’ve seen in games like Robo Recall only, instead of robot parts, you’ll be ripping apart flesh and blood (as well as the occasional goat head). Check it out in the trailer below.

    Okay so it doesn’t look like the best VR game but we’d be lying if we didn’t say we were grinning at the sight of ripping off some poor soul’s legs. There are also boss fights that have you squaring off with massive monsters and a range of locomotion options for you to fine-tune.

    Tainted Fate is coming to Steam Early Access on May 28th with support for Rift, Vive and Windows VR. Right now the developers say it has about three hours of gameplay to it, and a challenge mode will be coming later down the line, too.

    Tagged with: Tainted Fate

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  • Hands-On: Evasion On PSVR With The PS Aim Controller Is A Perfect Match
    Hands-On: Evasion On PSVR With The PS Aim Controller Is A Perfect Match

    Cooperative first-person VR shooter Evasion is officially coming to PSVR and we got the chance to go hands-on with it at a pre-E3 Sony preview event last week. Described as a “bullet hell” shooter for VR, you and some friends will jump into this world as one of four different classes and do your best to stay mobile and dodge the torrential downpour of lasers and missiles as you blast hundreds of aliens and robots into thousands of pieces.

    Evasion is basically like a modern VR interpretation of what a sci-fi co-op Serious Sam game might look like and I’m all here for it. I’ve played this same mission multiple times, including first way back at VRDC in October, then GDC earlier this year on an expensive Vive Pro, and finally now on a PSVR.

    My PSVR demo was quite different from the previous two though because I wasn’t using just two motion controllers this time. Instead, I was holding the surprisingly sturdy PS Aim Controller while standing in place with my VR headset firmly plastered to my face. Immediately, I was getting Farpoint flashbacks.

    However, Farpoint mostly deals with ground-based enemies, is a bit slower-paced, and leverages its narrative very heavily. In the case of Evasion, it’s like cranking the action up to 11. You’re basically required to sprint around the map at full speed at all times to make sure you can dodge all of the incoming bullets, which means keeping your head on a swivel and your trigger finger nice and loose.

    The benefit of using two motion controllers on Vive and Rift (which include analog sticks) is that you can block with your left hand and shoot with the right separately. In the case of the PSVR while using the PS Aim Controller, my shield is attached to the front of my gun so I can only block in the same direction as where I am aiming. It’s a slight limitation, but it feels appropriate given how satisfying the gun is to hold in VR.

     

    I’ve played a lot of VR shooters, many of which featured cooperative or competitive multiplayer of some kind. The closest comparison out there to what Evasion is trying to do right now is probably Gunheart, but there’s no word on when that game is actually coming to PSVR, although we know it’s in development.

    The bottom line is that if you have a PSVR with a PS Aim Controller that’s been collecting dust ever since Bravo Team failed to meet expectations, then Evasion is your reason to dust it off. With this and Firewall: Zero Hour both on the horizon, now is a good time to get reacquainted with your smooth, plastic peripheral.

    Evasion is currently slated for release on Rift, Vive, and PSVR later this year. The PSVR version of the game will support both DualShock 4 and PS Aim Controller play styles, although based on our demo we have a feeling that the PS Aim will be the best way to play the game.

    Let us know

  • Hands-On – Archangel: Hellfire Is Finally The Epic VR Mech Game I’ve Wanted
    Hands-On – Archangel: Hellfire Is Finally The Epic VR Mech Game I’ve Wanted

    We weren’t big fans of the single-player Archangel experience when it released last year. While not terrible, it just didn’t do enough to stand out as a must-have VR mech game due to its uninspired story, on-rails movement system, and lackluster set piece gameplay moments. Skydance Interactive listened to the feedback though and are now updating the game with a deep, hardcore multiplayer mode named Hellfire that aims to push players to the limit.

    Archangel: Hellfire is not for the faint of heart. Instead of nudging players along slowly through levels on rails, this is a full-locomotion, pedal to the metal, boost-jumping, laser shooting, multiplayer showdown. In short, it’s the VR mech combat game I’ve been waiting for.

    If you already own Archangel then you’ll get Hellfire for free and the open beta officially starts today around 10AM PT. If you don’t have it already, then it’s included when you buy the whole package. As of today it’ll feature two maps, three mech classes (light, medium, and heavy,) and a single team deathmatch game mode for 2v2 warfare. The winning team is the first to 10 kills.

    That doesn’t sound like a lot, but once you dig into the intricacies of gameplay and layers of complexity involved with each of those three mechs, as well as experience how much health you each have, you’ll see how it’s anything but shallow.

    Controlling your mech feels like it could have been ripped right out of Pacific Rim or the most recent Power Rangers movie reboot. Each controller (Oculus Touch or Vive) represents an arm of your mech. As you sit in your chair you move your arms around to aim your weapons, mimicking your robot’s movement. Since you’re inside of a cockpit the right stick or touchpad steers the position of the mech’s actual head, but you turn your own IRL head to aim your targeting system for some weapons and to look around the battlefield.

    You’ll use the left stick or touchpad to move around the battlefield with full, smooth locomotion and you can click it in to perform a hover boost that rockets you upwards above the battlefield. If that sounds complex that’s because it all kind of is when you put it together — but that’s only covering the movement mechanics.

    In terms of actual abilities each mech feels completely different from the others. As you probably guessed the ratio between speed and health scales based on size so the light mech is faster with less health while the heavy is slower with more health. During my demo we did two full rounds so I got to switch between each class liberally during each match. All three mechs have the same movement controls, activate shields with each controller’s grip buttons, and use machine guns as their default weapon for each hand, but vary dramatically beyond that.

    I tried the light mech first, which let me run around the battlefield quickly and get in and out of engagements. My left arm can switch over to “shield breaker”

  • VRFC Becomes Football Nation VR In Time For Russia World Cup
    VRFC Becomes Football Nation VR In Time For Russia World Cup

    VRFC should never have worked. VR has no business tackling football (or, for our American/incorrect naming audience, soccer) until you can truly bring your feet into a match, right? But, against all odds, Cherry Pop Games’ latest does work; the moment you stick your arm out to drag your foot along and stop a ball it becomes painfully clear that there is at least something here. Granted that something is closer to the kind of football you play with an inflatable bubble over you at a birthday party, but it’s close enough.

    It’s time to stop turning your nose up at this sort-of-sport, then, because there’s never been a better time to jump in.

    Just as Pool Nation VR was rebranded to Sports Bar VR, VRFC is soon to morph into Football Nation VR, signaling the arrival of a more complete edition of the game built upon feedback from fans, just in time for a certain World Cup.

    Launching as a free update for existing users on PSVR, Rift and Vive, Football Nation trades the amateur atmosphere of a game of 5-a-side with friends for the big leagues. There’s now a massive stadium to play in, complete with a crowd to cheer you on, and the pitch size has been scaled up.

    Teams are bigger, too. Up to 8 human players can joing 16-person matches, choosing either to all play on the same team against AI or split it down the middle and have computer-controlled opponents on both sides, too. You can now pick from 36 international ‘VR nations’ to play through a tournament mode.

    To celebrate the game’s launch Cherry Pop is hosting a tournament of its own. Running over the weeks following the update’s launch, players will be able to back a team and try to win games to keep themselves in the league. Every win they earn gets three points added to a global leaderboard system for their chosen team. As weeks go by, teams with the least amount of points will be shaved off until the tournament arrives at its finals on July 21st. The timetable for the tournament is below.

    I jumped back into the game to see a bit of the update a few weeks back, and it looks set to deliver what many football fans have wanted out of VRFC from the start. The stadiums, for starters, are to be admired in VR, and the bigger pitches introduce a little more strategy to the game. In the original game, it was all too easy for everyone to just charge at the ball without thinking, but the extra space gives you more room to open up opportunities with teammates. New features like penalties and solo player against AI give you more options, too.

    If you’ve been on the bench with VRFC, it’s time to get in the game.

    Tournament timetable:

    Round 1 = 36 teams Lasts 3 weeks: 7th June – 28th June 2018 Round 2 = 16 Teams 1 week 28th June – 5th July Quarter Finals = 8 teams 1 week 5th July – 12th July Semi Finals = 4 teams 1 week 12th
  • HTC Reveals PC, Phone Streaming Features For Vive Focus
    HTC Reveals PC, Phone Streaming Features For Vive Focus

    Today at the 2018 Vive Ecosystem Conference (VEC2018) HTC announced a slew of updates coming to the Vive platform, including the flagship PC Vive headset and mobile Vive Focus device.

    One of the largest limiting factors facing most mobile VR platforms, including the Vive Focus, is a lack of content. The Oculus Go has the benefit of leveraging years of Gear VR apps from that ecosystem, but even on that front the quality of the experiences pale in comparison to what’s on offer for Rift, Vive, Windows VR, and PSVR. That’s where new streaming features are coming into play.

    Soon, Vive Focus users will be able to wirelessly stream PC VR content from Steam and Viveport to their Focus over 5GHz Wi-Fi via an “optimized version” of the ironically titled Riftcat VRidge application. You can download the app on the Viveport M store starting today.

    When you stream a PC VR app to your Vive Focus, you can interact with it using either the standard Vive Focus controller, an Xbox One controller, or a third-party controller paired to the PC.

    Obviously latency is the big question with any sort of VR streaming so it remains to be seen whether or not streaming an extremely demanding high-end premium PC VR game from Steam to your Vive Focus, in real-time, will actually work that well.

    Additionally, Vive Focus users will soon be able to receive messages, social notifications, and even take calls on compatible HTC smartphones — all without removing the headset. This feature is included in the new System Update 2.0 that releases today as an expansion of the built-in Vive companion app, available in the HTC official app store and Tencent app store soon.

    Finally, HTC is also working on a feature that will allow users to stream non-VR phone screen content (such as existing apps, games, or videos) from a compatible smartphone to the headset to be enjoyed on a massive VR theater-sized screen. Details are light on the timing for this feature.

    Fore more information on what HTC announced at VEC2018 today, you can find all other stories, including a 6DOF controller update for Vive Focus, here.

    Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: htc, VEC, Vive Ecosystem Conference, Vive Focus

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  • HTC Plans Hand And 6-Dof Controller Tracking For Vive Focus
    HTC Plans Hand And 6-Dof Controller Tracking For Vive Focus

    At a conference in China HTC is teasing both hand tracking and six degrees of freedom controller tracking for the Vive Focus.

    The Vive Ecosystem Conference in Shenzhen is HTC’s China-focused event where the company is revealing a series of new features for the standalone Vive Focus.

    #VEC2018 Welcome to a New Ecosystem! Today is going to be a good day! @htcvive @htc pic.twitter.com/5oTOpzlpp0

    — Alvin Wang Graylin (@AGraylin) May 24, 2018

    The demonstrations include “light gesture recognition” using the headset’s outward-facing cameras. That feature is planned for release to Vive Focus developers in the coming weeks. The company also teased the ability to make the Vive Focus pointer controller “behave” like a 6DoF controller. That feature is planned for release to developers sometime in Q3 this year.

    The movement of our hands are more difficult to track than our heads because our hands generally move faster. Though others have tried, only Facebook’s Oculus has demonstrated good 6DoF controller tracking in a completely standalone VR headset. Google recently showed off research of its own that could turn a 3DoF controller into 6DoF, but we have yet to test it.

    Updates to come, and for more from VEC click here.

    Tagged with: VEC, Vive Focus

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  • The Forest VR Livestream: Survival On A Deadly Island
    The Forest VR Livestream: Survival On A Deadly Island

    The Forest is one of Steam’s indie darlings that’s risen to popularity amidst the survival game craze. You’ve got to scavenge for supplies, build shelter, and find a way to survive on an island full of cannibalistic mutants. Sounds like a charming way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

    I’ve been saying for a long time that more survival games need VR support. The Solus Project is a great example of how to do it correctly, so I’m extremely excited to see The Forest introducing official VR support as well. It’s still in early stages, but it’s an exciting prospect to try and survive in the harsh wilderness via the immersion of a VR headset.

    We’ll be livestreaming The Forest in VR on PC using Rift with Touch starting in about an hour (which means we’ll begin at approximately 2:00PM PT) and aim to last for around an hour and a half or so. We’re going to use Restream to hit both YouTube and Twitch at the same time!

    Embedded livestream coming soon

    You can see our archived streams all in this one handy Livestream playlist over on the official UploadVR YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to by the way). We’re also rebooting our Twitch channel too.

    Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and if you want to see more of The Forest VR in the future. Comment with any feedback down below!

    Tagged with: livestream, survival, The Forest

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  • VR Comedy ‘Door No. 1’ Available Now On Hulu

    Smoke weed with Snoop Dogg or chase after the girl of your dreams in this outrageous 360 experience centered around a high school reunion. Brought to us by writer/director Nora Kirkpatrick (The Office, Greeks) and produced by AOL VR production company RYOT, Door No. 1 is a comedic, multi-narrative VR experience loaded with various branching

    The post VR Comedy ‘Door No. 1’ Available Now On Hulu appeared first on VRScout.

  • Hands-On: Vacation Simulator For PSVR Retains Owlchemy’s Signature Charm
    Hands-On: Vacation Simulator For PSVR Retains Owlchemy’s Signature Charm

    Vacation Simulator from Owlchemy Labs may look a lot like Job Simulator, but it packs a whole lot more than the studio’s first VR game. Designed as a direct successor to the comedic menial labor simulation experience, Vacation Simulator puts players in a wide range of stereotypical “relaxing” situations.

    At a recent pre-E3 preview event we got the chance to go hands-on with the PSVR version of the game for the very first time after previously trying it out on a Vive Pro at GDC earlier this year.

    In terms of content, the demos were basically the same. I got to visit the idyllic, colorful beach landscape you see in the screenshots and trailers here. I built a sandcastle, tossed a frisbee, took selfies in the water, and played a ball game with a robot. It was like the VR-fueled vacation I never knew I wanted.

    What stood out to me most in terms of differences between playing on Vive Pro and PSVR is obviously the visual quality. The Pro was significantly more crisp with next to no noticeable screen door effect in a game with this sort of art style, whereas the PSVR didn’t quite reach that point. It still looked and ran great, mind you, because bright, bold visuals like this look great in any headset, but it was noticeably downgraded from the Vive Pro.

    Additionally, since the PSVR doesn’t truly support 360 tracking for anything other than your actual headset (if you turn around your body blocks the camera from tracking the controllers) the layout was reorganized a bit I’m told. I didn’t actually notice the re-organization, as it’s very subtle, but this way they’ve ensured you never need to fully spin around on PSVR to access everything.

    You might recall that Job Simulator is a series of small, mini-game style jobs like being a chef, a car mechanic, or a convenience store clerk. Each level has everything you need within arm’s reach so you never need to move around beyond your play space. Rick and Morty VR, Owlchemy’s second game, used that same concept but instead let you teleport back and forth between four squares on a grid that were each sized like the levels from Job Simulator. Now, with Vacation Simulator, there are entire worlds full of these zones that you teleport between to play.

    My demo only offered a brief glimpse of the beach environment, but we’re told there will be several in total. And just like both previous Owlchemy games, we expect the majority of the fun will come from messing around with things, going off the beaten path, and seeing just how far the game’s physics will let us go. You can read more about the demo’s content and mechanics here.

    All in all, Vacation Simulator is shaping up to be a worthy successor to Owlchemy’s iconic ‘simulator’ line of VR games. It’s slated for release on Rift, Vive, and PSVR later this year.

    Let us know what you think of Vacation Simulator down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: owlchemy, Vacation

  • Why Media Molecule’s Dreams Could Be PSVR’s Most Important Game
    Why Media Molecule’s Dreams Could Be PSVR’s Most Important Game

    I’ve been following Media Molecule’s Dreams with cautious optimism for three years now, not because I doubt the LittleBigPlanet developers’ ability to make a robust, accessible creation platform, but because I was worried the team wouldn’t realize the full potential of the app on PSVR. Creative platforms like Tilt Brush, Medium and Tvori make for some of the most compelling VR experiences on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and PSVR has been missing out on them for two years now.

    But Dreams’ possibilities go far beyond these virtual art studios.

    Now, my caution hasn’t yet been remedied, but recent signs suggest things are looking up. Media Molecule has understandably had to dance around the subject of VR in interviews and previews while the Sony marketing machine gets its messaging in order, but there are vital signs of life. For starters, an interview last month suggested that Dreams’ VR support will allow players to create within their headsets and even play certain experiences inside PSVR. We might not be able to play all of the games’ user-created levels in VR, for example, but it sounds like it’s possible for users to make content specifically tailored for VR.

    Then, earlier this week, a report surfaced claiming that Dreams’ VR support will now be included from the game’s the as-of-yet-undetermined release date and not patched in later as previously expected. We have to take that report with a pinch of salt, of course, but if true it suggests that Media Molecule is fully aware of just how important Dreams could be to VR.

    In the past year we’ve seen many of VR’s existing art apps expand to include not just static 3D paintings but also introduce intuitive new ways to make animations and even create new worlds and objects for videogames. Oculus’ Quill now lets users make keyframe animations with a fairly simple interface, for example, and some developers have even managed to make entire VR games out of assets created inside Tilt Brush. Unity, too, hopes to streamline content creation and turn more people into developers with experimental apps like Editor VR and Carte Blanche.

    Make no mistake about it; these are the first steps in a revolution for 3D content creation, but they still require users to have a basic knowledge of development engines in order to incorporate VR-made assets. Editing in Unity inside VR looks incredible, but it still requires a decent understanding of the platform’s UI to get started, as does importing easily-made Google Blocks assets into your pipeline. Carte Blanche’s content packs, meanwhile, will have you making VR levels in seconds, but could also limit exactly what people can make in VR.

    Dreams, however, could leapfrog all of these solutions.

    If, come release, Dreams presents an accessible means of not only making 3D worlds and objects in VR but also designing interactive experiences within them, it could be the most important PSVR game thus far. What we’ve seen so far from the game on standard displays seems promising; an intuitive UI navigated using PlayStation Move

  • Facebook Explains Why It Engineered The Half Dome Varifocal VR Headset
    Facebook Explains Why It Engineered The Half Dome Varifocal VR Headset

    At Display Week in Los Angeles Facebook revealed why its researchers and engineers built a varifocal VR headset.

    Over the last few years researchers at Facebook’s Reality Labs (formerly known as Oculus Research) developed a series of prototypes designed to solve a fundamental problem facing current VR headset design. The event opened Tuesday with a keynote by Douglas Lanman, who leads the Computational Imaging Team at FRL which developed the prototypes in partnership with eye tracking systems developed by Rob Cavin and Alex Fix as well as wide-field-of-view optics developed by a team led by Jacques Gollier.

    The work was first revealed as the Half Dome prototype at Facebook’s recent developer conference, but the presentation during Display Week went much deeper as part of a symposium put together by the world’s preeminent researchers and engineers in display technology. Lanman used the event to explain how and why Facebook engineered this system with moving displays over multiple generations. It started with a loud monstrosity but was eventually engineered into what we see in Half Dome.

    The headset actually moves the displays to match the positioning of your eyeballs, and could help with the vergence-accommodation conflict plaguing VR headsets today. In virtually all consumer VR headsets, the lenses make your eyes focus far away. When objects appear near, there’s a conflict in where the lenses of the headset are focusing your eyes and where they naturally wants to focus. This can cause eyestrain and limits how long some people want to wear a headset.

    Here’s how Lanman described the issue in an interview with UploadVR:

    “Nearly all consumer HMDs present a single fixed focus. Some have focus knobs, but most just lock the optical focus of the displays to something around two meters. When you look at a near object, vergence (eye rotation) and accommodation (deformation of the eye’s crystalline lens) move together. As your lens deforms to focus on a nearby virtual object, it is focusing away from the fixed focus of the HMD. So, most people report seeing some blur. Sustained vergence-accommodation conflict has been linked, in prior vision science publications, to visual fatigue, including eye strain.”

    Exploring the kinds of displays to solve this problem is a “daunting engineering challenge,” according to Lanman, so the “science community is only beginning to investigate.”

    “In terms of visual clarity of near objects, varifocal displays have proven beneficial in our experience, as well as according to prior publications,” Lanman said.

    In our interview, Lanman offered the first hint of what it feels like to try the Half Dome system.

    “In a quiet room I don’t hear the screens or feel them moving,” Lanman said. “These are still feature prototypes, so the engineering isn’t completely perfected.”

    An Oculus spokesperson declined to say when developers or journalists might be able to test the system. (Oculus has in the past presented new dev kits for testing at its developer conference late in the year.)

    “We may never see these specific technologies in a product,” spokesman Brandon Boone wrote in an email. “Not ruling it out forever, but for now, we