Get a Glimpse of Valve's VR Goggles

Get a Glimpse of Valve's VR Goggles

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When told a hardware lab could cost $1 million, Gabe Newell replied "that's it?"

Valve is the videogame equivalent of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, and Nick Wingfield of the New York Times got a glimpse inside the cave of wonders that is Valve's hardware development section. He came away dazzled by Valve's foray into wearable computing which, according to their creator and Valve man Michael Abrash, may only be three to five years away. This experiment with hardware development is a recent idea of Valve's, but it's one it's more than capable to following through on. When told that a hardware lab might cost as much as $1 million dollars to build, inventor and Valve recruit Jeri Ellsworth recalled, "Gabe said, 'That's it?'"

The 3D Goggles that Wingfield saw are still in their early stages. "I have a crazy contraption strapped to my head," Wingfield said, "a boxy set of goggles that looks like a 22nd-century version of a View-Master. It immerses me in a virtual world." Wingfield describes the VR tech as "the future of videogames." It still has a lot of kinks to work out. One of the challenges is how to maintain the illusion of a real-world environment interspersed with virtual objects. If the virtual world conflicts with the real, it creates visual discrepancies that shatter immersion. It's one of several projects on the go; the Big Picture, another Valve innovation, is due to start testing very soon.

Valve hasn't yet decided whether to manufacture the devices themselves, Michael Abrash revealed. "We don't particularly want to be a company that makes hardware in large quantities," Abrash said, but he also noted "Gabe has a saying, which is, 'We will do what we need to do'". When Valve first advertised for an industrial developer, the job posting read "we're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space ... so we're jumping in." Whether or not Valve actually manufactures these goggles and its other hardware itself or gets other companies to do it is less important to Valve than the fact that the hardware is achievable, and ought to be available. According to Newell's philosophy, if nobody else will bring that hardware to market, then Valve will do what it needs to do.

Source: New York Times

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Transitioning into virtual reality will be far more painful and drawn-out than transitioning from 2D to 3D methinks....

I'm here for the long-haul.

Hmm. Will it be more than the 3D gimmick in cinemas these days? Or is Valve actually onto something here?

I await with not-so-bated breath.

then Valve will do what it needs to do.

*inserts obligatory statement about Valve needing to start counting to 3.

No in all seriousness, I'm ecstatic about this. Innovation that this industry needs, as opposed to more gimmicky bullshit. Once we have VR so that we can be fully immersed into our games, we've practically arrived at THEEE FUUTUUREEE

EDIT:

Idsertian:
Hmm. Will it be more than the 3D gimmick in cinemas these days? Or is Valve actually onto something here?

I await with not-so-bated breath.

Based off what people have said about the Oculus Rift, I really do think this is more than just a gimmick. VR is where the gaming industry is headed, it's just a matter of getting there now..

The next generation of hipster glasses ladies and gentlemen.

Fappy:
Transitioning into virtual reality will be far more painful and drawn-out than transitioning from 2D to 3D methinks....

I'm here for the long-haul.

Aren't we all.
But I can guess what kind off "wearable computing" peripheral they'll need to get you on board ;)

DVS BSTrD:
The next generation of hipster glasses ladies and gentlemen.

Fappy:
Transitioning into virtual reality will be far more painful and drawn-out than transitioning from 2D to 3D methinks....

I'm here for the long-haul.

Aren't we all.
But I can guess what kind off "wearable computing" peripheral they'll need to get you on board ;)

Make them look like aviators and I'm in.

Will it be as good as the virtual boy?

I can never see VR working for a number of reasons. I wish more gaming companies invest AR, VRD, and Haptic tech.

Baldr:
I can never see VR working for a number of reasons. I wish more gaming companies invest AR and Haptic tech.

Blasphemy. Explain yourself. Also, why can't they do both? Isn't that just a better idea?

NotALiberal:

Baldr:
I can never see VR working for a number of reasons. I wish more gaming companies invest AR and Haptic tech.

Blasphemy. Explain yourself. Also, why can't they do both? Isn't that just a better idea?

Besides the weight issues, the studies just show to have any full screens less than a couple in front of the eyes causes them strain after about 20minutes. With AR, your not looking at the screen part of the time and can avert the eye strain. VRD has no screens, and Haptic gloves because if you don't have this, then it not worth it.

"We will do what we need to do"

I better not be the only one thinking,
"We do what we must because we can"

I still love the idea of VR so good work Valve.

Karloff:
Get a Glimpse of Valve's VR Goggles

"Gabe has a saying, which is, 'We will do what we need to do'".

"We do what we must, because we can!"

Baldr:

NotALiberal:

Baldr:
I can never see VR working for a number of reasons. I wish more gaming companies invest AR and Haptic tech.

Blasphemy. Explain yourself. Also, why can't they do both? Isn't that just a better idea?

Besides the weight issues, the studies just show to have any full screens less than a couple in front of the eyes causes them strain after about 20minutes. With AR, your not looking at the screen part of the time and can avert the eye strain. VRD has no screens, and Haptic gloves because if you don't have this, then it not worth it.

The lenses in the Oculus Rift supposedly puts focal distance at pretty-much infinity, which is argueably less straining than your usual myopia-inducing peering at a monitor at arm's length -- we'll see how well reality matches the sales pitch.

Incidently Abrash seems to be more into AR than VR himself and there are wordings in the article summation, that appears to refer specifically to overlaying CG on real world imagery.

By the way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3TAOYXT840
:)

Anyone else love Gabe's response to the cost?

Personally, I'm lukewarm on the whole VR thing.

That line, however, made me laugh, and illustrated the biggest difference between Valve and a lot of other companies.

Couple this with technology that can replicate the feel and texture of an object, as if it were really there and we're looking at a holodeck in 5-10 years.

I am a little cool to the hype - seems all the game media is rolling this story.

The Valve portion of this (and the above image) are NOT of their planned HMD but of a system they are evaluating (the system shown is a commercial sub $10,000 NVID unit).

I hope we can get some focus on what is real and what is expectation on the plans from Oculus and Valve.

Baldr:

NotALiberal:

Baldr:
I can never see VR working for a number of reasons. I wish more gaming companies invest AR and Haptic tech.

Blasphemy. Explain yourself. Also, why can't they do both? Isn't that just a better idea?

Besides the weight issues, the studies just show to have any full screens less than a couple in front of the eyes causes them strain after about 20minutes. With AR, your not looking at the screen part of the time and can avert the eye strain. VRD has no screens, and Haptic gloves because if you don't have this, then it not worth it.

Besides what Somebloke said about eyes focused in infinity, there are no real weight issues either. In it's basic principle, a VR goggle needs to consist of not much more than two mobile screens with lenses pointing at them, and some motion tracking.

The reason why older helmets were heavy, is because they were made in a time when they simply didn't have that kind of technology, they crammed whole CRT monitors and old-fashioned gyroscopes into them to do what nowadays an iPhone could do.

It was pretty funny how so many of the Oculus Rift hands-on previews were also raving on how amazingly light (200 grams) it was, for all the complex technology in it, without even thinking about WHAT all that technology is.

Somebloke:

Incidently Abrash seems to be more into AR than VR himself and there are wordings in the article summation, that appears to refer specifically to overlaying CG on real world imagery.

By the way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3TAOYXT840
:)

VR will change gaming, but AR is overhyped. Anyone who ever bought a bigger TV, or replaced his monitor for a widescreen one, knows the importance of watching immersive media with as much field of view as possible. VR is a logical step for entertainment. Once either Oculus or Valve's helmet will be on the market, and people can see for themselves that this one is finally working, millions of nerds who want to get lost in fantasy worlds for hours every day, will want one. Genres and gameplay dynamics will have to be slightly modified for it, but the basic idea is already there: Put it on, and play some shooters, RPGs, strategies, racers, adventure games, etc. Also, watch movies on it with a better 3D effect than a 3DTV.

AR, on the other hand, seems the be one of those things that sounds very advanced and futuristic on paper, but we don't even have any specific ideas about what to do with it, other than a few concept arts that make it appear very mainstream, and normal. Like a "house of the future" show, with lots of things that we could aleady do, we just don't because they aren't all that practical.

Valve is like a renaissance patron of the modern era.

Whether or not they have some commercial success or not, does not matter as long as they produce something that will push the envelope so to speak

Whooooa! It's like I'm really there, waiting for the next Half Life!

What time to be alive!

Nintendo Wii

Sony Playstation

Microsoft XBox/Windows

Valve Steam Kettle?

That sounds awesome but couldn't this happen...



... Yeah... I'll wait 'til they can ensure me it won't melt my brain or make me go bananas...

Will it be glasses compatible or am I going to have to get contacts and learn how to poke myself in the eye?

This is going to make gaming MORE expensive isn't it?

*le sigh*

CardinalPiggles:
This is going to make gaming MORE expensive isn't it?

Or cheaper. You could get an Oculus Rift for $300 via their kickstarter. Presumably commercial prices won't be too different, especially if it proves popular and starts getting competition. You'll struggle to get a decent monitor for that little. While it's just a fringe peripheral, sure, it's an extra cost. But once (if) this sort of thing goes mainstream it could do away with the need for large, expensive screens entirely.

Kahani:

CardinalPiggles:
This is going to make gaming MORE expensive isn't it?

Or cheaper. You could get an Oculus Rift for $300 via their kickstarter. Presumably commercial prices won't be too different, especially if it proves popular and starts getting competition. You'll struggle to get a decent monitor for that little. While it's just a fringe peripheral, sure, it's an extra cost. But once (if) this sort of thing goes mainstream it could do away with the need for large, expensive screens entirely.

I like my big screen. Ok so it's not exactly big, but a 27 inch monitor is big enough in my opinion. It also only cost me 250, and considering its 1080p I'd say that isn't bad.

I dunno, maybe I'm just not fond of change and making excuses, but we'll see.

CardinalPiggles:
I like my big screen.

But that's rather the point. Why do you like a big screen? Ultimately because it takes up more of your field of view so that you get a more immersive experience when using it. The whole point of goggles is that you don't need a big screen; instead you have a small one (well, two) much closer that takes up far more of your field of view. I like my big monitor as well, but only because it's the best experience currently available, not because there's anything inherently great about sitting in front of a monitor. If I could have a more immersive experience without needing to spend 1000 on a big lump that takes up a whole table, I'd much prefer that.

Damn it Valve stop pulling this shit. I just want to loathe you with every fiber of my existence. Why won't you let me loathe you?

Yeah, put another tally in the, "Um, Virtual Boy?" column.

Attempts at immersion really have to stop going towards external devices that require more body movements and possible damage to the sensory organs. What we should really be doing is developing more technologies that control games based on brainwaves and have the gameplay get closer to the brain itself.

What I ultimately want to see is Matrix-style immersion.

Kahani:

CardinalPiggles:
I like my big screen.

But that's rather the point. Why do you like a big screen? Ultimately because it takes up more of your field of view so that you get a more immersive experience when using it. The whole point of goggles is that you don't need a big screen; instead you have a small one (well, two) much closer that takes up far more of your field of view. I like my big monitor as well, but only because it's the best experience currently available, not because there's anything inherently great about sitting in front of a monitor. If I could have a more immersive experience without needing to spend 1000 on a big lump that takes up a whole table, I'd much prefer that.

Like I said, it only cost me 250, and it's actually really skinny. I don't even need to use the sliding panel in my desk for the mouse and keyboard, they sit in front of the monitor, plus the speakers are behind it.

And the reason I can't see myself preferring some VR goggles is that they would be clunky, heavy, and downright intrusive.

I'm not saying Valve shouldn't make them of course, some people want this. But personally I don't think it'd be something I'd be willing the shed money on.

 

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