It is time to share some first impressions from the new Oculus Rift development kit after playing with it for a while already, sharing this a bit late due to the arrival of the DK2 coinciding with a planned vacation… a vacation without the Rift in the real world and not in the virtual one. I should note that the following first impressions from the second development kit are from someone that has used the first development kit quite a lot, so there will be a lot of comparing between the two. So let us get started… Starting with what is new, the new Oculus Rift DK2 comes with a 1080p OLED display, something that was really needed in order to improve the level of detail that the older smaller resolution 1280
It has been a little over 5 years since the start of this blog, even though I has been a stereoscopic 3D enthusiasts for much longer, the reason for the existence of the blog was Nvidia’s 3D Vision. I was really excited when they have announced it and when the first 3D Vision-ready monitors started appearing on the market I was eager to get one as I really did see the potential that the technology had for gaming. And back then since it was something really new and exciting I decided to share my experience, knowledge and other useful information with other users that were just starting and this is how this blog was born. Now, five years later we are seeing a deja vu as the situation with 3D Vision is pretty much the same as with the Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Drivers that were available before the birth of 3D Vision. Nvidia did create a market and strong demand for products at first, however they slowly start to neglect things and in a few years they kill the market.
Oculus has announced the DK2, the second development kit for the Oculus Rift, already available for pre-order at $350 USD and shipping in July. The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking.
The 25th annual meeting of the Stereoscopic Displays & Applications (SD&A) conference, part of the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging 2014 symposium, brought together researchers and practitioners of 3D capture, display, processing, and perception from around the world. Topics of the more than 75 oral and poster presentations spanned: the design and applications of stereoscopic 3D displays, autostereoscopic displays, quality assessment, depth map processing, and human factors. Of particular interest were two keynote presentations. Jeff Joseph, producer of World 3D Film Expo, discussed the history and lineage of numerous early stereoscopic films. Gordon Wetzstein of the MIT Media Laboratory offered inspirational recommendations for new directions in 3D display research, grounded in the combination of fast computation, optics, and mathematical optimization.
Here comes the announcement of the first Nvidia G-SYNC enabled monitor at CES 2014 fromm ASUS – the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q. The monitor supports WQHD 2560
It seems that Steam has added a category in their search that allows you to easily see what games are available in the platform that have support for the Oculus Rift 3D VR HMD and even though the category is called VR Support it essentially means Oculus Rift support for now. And while we may see other games supporting different VR platforms as they become available in the future, at the moment Steam has listed 14 titles in the VR Support category though the number of games is actually a bit different. You can see the list if you open the search on Steam and go to the advanced search where you have the option to select category and at the bottom of the category list you will see the new VR Support category. We mentioned 14 titles available under the VR Support category, but the number is actually a bit different as the list includes Team Fortress 2 two times and it is also included in the Valve Complete pack where other Valve games with Oculus Rift support are only available
DDD has released the new version 6.0 of their TriDef 3D software, bringing official support for 64-bit games (previously only available in beta) as well as updating the list of game profiles, so now the new version comes with support for over 850 games. Another interesting development with the release of the new version 6.0 is that the beta TriDef 3D’s Oculus Rift support does not require you to install a beta version of the Ignition part of the software – it is now available in the form of an add-on that you can install along with the latest official release of the software.
As we were promised the new version 2.0 of the free and open source Vireio Perception software for Oculus Rift just got released today, adding a lot of new and interesting features and making even more games that were not designed to be played with the Rift to be played with the Head Mounted Display device. This way you can get to play regular games that were not designed to be played with Virtual Reality display devices rendered in VR mode with stereoscopic 3D support and head tracking available separately from your mouse control. But Vireio Perception goes beyond only Oculus Rift support as the software can be used with other devices and not long ago it was announced that there will be support for castAR for example as well. Currently Vireio Perception is the only free and open source solution that lets you take existing games that were not designed to be played in VR and play them with an Oculus Rift, the other similar solutions like VorpX and DDD TriDef are commercial solutions. Have in mind that Vireio Perception is not intended to replace native VR support, but instead to add such or as close as to native support in games that originally do not have it available and give you the ability to play normal games with the Rift
An interesting new project in the form of a VR game with Oculus Rift support intended to help people with depth perception issues such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eye). The game Diplopia takes advantage of the wealth of new information in scientific studies that have come out in the past couple of years to create an experience that will effectively train people who have a suppressed eye to use that eye in conjunction with their good one. Evidence shows that with a simple well designed game it only takes 1-2 hours a day for 2-3 weeks for a person to get measurable improvements in their vision. The game is inspired by Breakout and DX Ball, where you bounce a ball around a room with a paddle to destroy blocks, unlocking power ups. By manipulating the contrast of game elements such as the bricks, ball, and paddle you can force the brain to integrate the two images.
I’ve introduced the free Gimpel3D manual 2D to 3D stereo conversion software here on the blog back in 2011, and now the author has made it an open source software by releasing the code of the project on Sourceforge. Gimpel3D is a free application that can help you convert a single 2D image or image sequence into stereoscopic 3D written by René Gimpel. The conversion to 3D is manual and the software only assists you, so do not expect automation like with an 2D to 3D autoconversion solutions that do everything with just a click of a button, with Gimpel3D however you can get much better results. Since the original freeware release of Gimpel3D, many of the ideas presented in the software have become standard features in commercial software and as a result the author of the program has decided that there is no significant advantage to continue developing it as a stand-alone proprietary solution, although the codebase makes a nice platform for future research and experimentation. René Gimpel has released all source code for G3D under the GPL so that other stereo researchers, hobbyists, and/or professionals can build upon his existing work, and integrate/test new capabilities using the projective modeling environment.