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Vive's new HMDs: one with eye tracking, one without Valve


TwinIon
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At CES yesterday Vive announced their new headsets. The cool one is the new Vive Pro with integrated eye tracking. Unfortunately it's targeted at enterprise customers and will likely cost $1k+ for the headset alone. Also slightly unfortunate is that it's otherwise the same Vive Pro that's been around for a while now.

The more significant announcement is the new Vive Cosmos. This one is targeted at consumers and it's big selling point is that it will use four on board cameras to do true  6DOF tracking without external sensors or lighthouses. This means "real" tracking like on the current Vive and Oculus Rift, but without any real setup required. It also means that the Vive Cosmos will not be using Vave's Steam VR tracking and won't be compatible with existing Vive controllers or other tracked accessories. It also seems that the Cosmos will not be powered by Steam VR by default, instead opting for Vive's own system (though they have specified that the Cosmos will be compatible with Steam VR).

 

Unfortunately, almost nothing specific was announced about the Cosmos. We don't know much about the screens, the lenses, or any of the other tech specs that might set it apart from the current crop of HMDs. One feature that was hinted at is the ability to use the Cosmos directly connected to a phone over USB-C. It's unclear how that would work, but it's an interesting idea.

 

Personally, I think that inside out tracking is the certain future of VR. Asking people to setup a space dedicated to VR is too much, but I also think the days of PC tethered VR are limited. The high end of VR just hasn't differentiated itself sufficiently from the low end, except for the ability to do 6DOF tracking. With the Oculus Quest and the Cosmos that's changing. If I can get a completely wireless system that will work anywhere with no setup, graphical fidelity is a small price to pay.

 

The hints that we've gotten on the Cosmos are not great. The lenses appear to be the same as in the Vive, the product page mentions "RGB displays," which might mean LCD and not OLED, it doesn't have integrated headphones at all (seriously, why?). I feel like the Cosmos is Vive stepping away from Valve but not knowing what kind of product to make, so they're making a Vive competitor instead of the next generation or new type of experience.

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Not compatible with the motion controllers means I'm out. Considering I count being able to interact with the world using my hands and arms as one of the key points of VR, not having that seems bizarre. What the hell do people even use VR for on their phones? The entire experience for me is about interacting with a virtual world. Not just having the headset on, that's a key element but only insofar as gettin' them sweet, sweet hands in the game or app or whatever. Games that use a controller or just where you're pointing are so inferior as an experience. I know some of them have gotten really good reviews, but I'm not looking for a normal-game-but-in-VR, that's not at all what I want!

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1 hour ago, Spork3245 said:

How would the tracking work without room set-up? Do they want you to walk into everything in your room? :lol: 

 

The cameras on the headset scan your room and localize you within it. It's what AR glasses use and what the Oculus Quest is using.

 

Because it tracks by scanning your room, it can also present warnings/walls/etc if you are getting near an obstacle to stop you from walking into it. (Well, it can't stop you, but it can warn you :p ).

 

You should, of course, still move furniture out of the way of your space before playing. But that's less of a burden then making sure scanners have good line of sight and are carefully positioned.

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2 hours ago, legend said:

 

The cameras on the headset scan your room and localize you within it. It's what AR glasses use and what the Oculus Quest is using.

 

Because it tracks by scanning your room, it can also present warnings/walls/etc if you are getting near an obstacle to stop you from walking into it. (Well, it can't stop you, but it can warn you :p ).

 

You should, of course, still move furniture out of the way of your space before playing. But that's less of a burden then making sure scanners have good line of sight and are carefully positioned.

 

With AR it’s not an issue since you can still see the room, but, how accurate are these? How much space is present before the warning border appears? With my Vive I have it spaced where if I full extend my arm from the cage (in case I spun around and punched or something without realizing my back was against the border) that I’m safe from punching into a wall, my saltwater fish tank, my monitor or TV. :confused: 

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15 minutes ago, Spork3245 said:

 

With AR it’s not an issue since you can still see the room, but, how accurate are these? How much space is present before the warning border appears? With my Vive I have it spaced where if I full extend my arm from the cage (in case I spun around and punched or something without realizing my back was against the border) that I’m safe from punching into a wall, my saltwater fish tank, my monitor or TV. :confused: 

 

I haven't seen the tracking for a new room action, but I wouldn't be surprised if you can restrict the region virtually to something more limited if you are are worried or have areas you don't want to wonder into. I know for Quest it will also remember rooms you've configured.

 

Once you have tracking, it's not a hard thing to add constraints.

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I actually just set up my lenovo explorer I bought last year finally and did the room set up on it and it seems to work ok..I need to really take time to make sure I trace it exactly right. It tries to warn you as you approach the limits. But yeah, I’m certainly walking with great care and ocationally lifting to peak at the real world.

 

I could see if you used it a lot in the same room you yourself would probably get used to your boundaries a bit and combined with its barriers might be OK. But I couldn’t see myself letting myself totally let loose at this point.

 

 

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