The Vision Spark

OCULUS RIFT

A virtual reality head mounted display Oculus Rift is an upcoming technology.  The developers are Oculus VR, raised US$ 91 million for the project.  The company was cofounded by Palmer Luckney and John Carmak. Palmer used Meant to be seen (MTBS) Discussion   forum to promote it. The idea was more effective and inexpensive for gamers.  Later through his research on same prototype  Carmak joined him.

In 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo they announced their updated version of Doom 3 known as BFG Edition. There Carmack introduced homebrew head mounted display  the unit was of 5.6 inch LCD display, visible through dual lenses  by 90 and 110 degrees horizontal and vertical stereoscopic 3D prospective.  This prototype later turned into Oculus Rift.

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Later on August 1 2012 company started kick starter campaign the funding ended at  $2,437,429. The Oculus developer kit was an initial version financed by a kick starter campaign. The campaign sought to get the initial Oculus Rift into the hands of developers to begin integration of the device into their games.

In August 2012, Oculus announced that the “dev kit” version of the Oculus Rift would be given as a reward to backers who pledged $300 or more on Kickstarter, with an expected shipping date set of December 2012. These preorders were expected to start being delivered in “May 2013”, but started arriving around March 30. Currently Oculus is accepting new developer kit orders on their website with a ship date of December 2013.

Upcoming under development projects includes consumer oriented version of rift targeted for general market, improved components and features, better head tracking , position tracking , 180 p resolution . Set up of wireless communication system are under consideration. The new panel’s pixel switching time is significantly faster, reducing latency and motion blur when turning one’s head quickly. The pixel fill is also better, reducing the screen door effect and making individual pixels less noticeable. The LCD is brighter and the color depth is 24 bits per pixel. The 7 inch screen also makes the stereoscopic 3D no longer 100% overlapping, the left eye seeing extra area to the left and the right eye seeing extra area to the right. This mimics normal human vision, which does not 100% overlap either, although the overlap area is smaller on the Rift than in real life.

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Games and game platforms must be specifically designed to work correctly with the Oculus Rift. Oculus is producing a software development kit (SDK) to assist developers with integrating the Oculus Rift with their games. The SDK will include code, samples and documentation. According to Oculus, game integration will begin with PCs and smart phones and be followed by consoles at a later date. Games with support of Oculus rift are: Team Fortress 2, Museum of the Microstar, Half-Life 2 ,  Hawken.. The games included in the oculus rift are to be discussed in next blog.