back to article Reg straps on goggles from upstart that wants to 'democratize' VR

A Silicon Valley startup is hoping to get ahead of the rapidly moving VR market with software that offers what companies have been chasing for the past few years: inside-out tracking. Eonite Perception has released what it claims is the most-accurate and lowest-latency solution for cameras attached to a VR device, with …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's to blame?

    If these VR systems are rushed to market and die, it will be because of VC.

  2. goldcd

    I bought myself a Vive for Christmas

    My wife still disagrees as to the value of this purchase, but let's put that to one side for now (and hope she eventually will).

    There's seated VR where you can sit in place and can look around - which is fun, but not really revolutionary. Your head replaces a stick on your joypad.

    Then there's "Full Room VR" where you get to wander about, and when it works, is a revelation.

    I know most of you reading this are cynics and without trying it yourself, I'm unlikely to win you over, but please, please try it.

    Tilt-Brush, the MS-paint of VR art, allows you to wave you hand in the air to draw a 3-dimensional squiggle.

    You then take a pace forward and look at this 3D thing from another angle. It just sits there. Floating in imaginary space. You can walk around your squiggle, put your head through it, it's mesmerizing, *this is VR*

    The low level tech that supports this is pretty irrelevant (inside out/inside in etc) - what actually matters is the physical space you have available, and at least in suburban-UK that space is going to cost you way more than the tech you choose to map yourself into it.

  3. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Still dubious.

    Despite goldcd's comment I fail to see any widespread market for VR aside from gaming, a few very specific applications, and novelty.

    Probably most VR goggles will wind up on a shelf, collecting dust right beside the 3D sunglasses that came with the TV.

    And I write this just after reading Neal Stephenson's excellent "Snow Crash."

    For the vast majority of media scenarios regular 2D video is more than adequately immersive. 3D and VR just don't add enough to the experience to make it worthwhile messing with extra hardware and software.

    Maybe some killer app will emerge that will suddenly make VR the thing that everyone wants, but it wasn't too many years ago when "Avatar" was supposed to make 3D the new wave in home entertainment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still dubious.

      Despite goldcd's comment I fail to see any widespread market for VR aside from gaming, a few very specific applications, and novelty.

      I agree. There's no market aside from novelty, niche applications, and the largest sector, by revenue, of the global entertainment industry.

    2. Brangdon

      Re: Still dubious.

      If they could crack VR pornography, that would be another big one. So far I don't think they have. Rendered porn isn't yet photo-realistic enough to compete with recorded human actors. VR movies have issues with poor resolution, not allowing the user to move the point of view, and scale. (The scale issue is apparently because the recording cameras need to be the same distance apart as the user's eyes, and eye separation varies from person to person.)

      There could be a lot of niche applications. For example, estate agents could provide VR models of the homes they are selling for prospective buys to tour. That would require such models to be cheap to create. A recorded walkthrough VR movie might be good enough. There's a big difference between watching a flat screen and actually being immersed in a room.

  4. Bob Rocket

    Back to front

    From a human perspective, unknown objects further than 4 feet away are 2d, they may be rendered to appear 3d but it is only when you get within the zone can it be determined with accuracy.

    Small or faraway is interesting, without any accepted scale it is (more or less) determined by perceived resolution (if you can see individual hairs on the horse it is a close shetland pony otherwise it's a far shire horse)

    You could improve VR/ER by tracking eyeballs and only 3d rendering an apparent circle of focus 4 feet deep whilst rendering the rest in 2d.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Back to front

      Quote: "You could improve VR/ER by tracking eyeballs and only 3d rendering an apparent circle of focus 4 feet deep whilst rendering the rest in 2d."

      Basically already on it's way.

      What you're describing is close to what is known as foveated VR rendering (by nVidia), although it still renders the whole scene in 3D, the peripheries are not done in any detail (blurs out to the periphery).

      Companies like Qualcomm are also working on foveated rendering for mobile devices.

      This apparently reduces the required GPU load considerable, as the processor only needs to concentrate on a central cone of view. This means a large overall reduction in the GPU overhead for current VR.

      This should help lower the entry level needed for current VR, and also allow more detail going forwards with existing top end cards, and pave the way for things like 4k per eye displays at 90+ Hz.

      At the moment the tech from nVidia doesn't do eye tracking, but other people are also working on that as well, and there is no reason they couldn't be tied together.

  5. MrT

    Charlie Brooker's...

    .Black Mirror series had an episode focussing on VR/AR called "Playtest". In fact, all three series are well worth a watch. Most of the reviews for Playtest go on about how 'this is the future of gaming', which verges on clickbait tag-lining, but it does cram in a lot of easter egg references to current games, as well as nods to The Thing, The Matrix and so on. It does raise the question about where neural interface technologies such as DARPA's RE-NET project will end up...

  6. TheDillinquent

    the product was complete and ready to go...

    Really? Looks like a gaffer taped lashup to me.

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