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Overview on Head-mounted display Oculus Rift

My hands got a virtual reality helmet Oculus Rift, now actively discussed - we wrote about it repeatedly, and at CES 2014 it produced a furor. And now we have the opportunity to tell about their own experiences.

Talk about the experience of using Oculus Rift - like trying to convey the feeling of a rollercoaster ride. To understand this, you have to experience yourself - although here the experience is very close to those obtained on the rides.

For a start that it and why. This is - an innovative virtual reality helmet, designed to pamper you from head to the world of video games and other computer activities. In the current iteration Oculus Rift looks more like goggles or a mask than a helmet - unit only closes his eyes. Headphones until you need to use any other external. So now the person using the version for developers, inevitably reminds outside observer simple welder.

In general, this model is all kind of says it - purely technological prototype, even if it is up and running in full force. The tester is enmeshed lots of wires (the final version should be wireless, of course) - to your computer Oculus Rift connected simultaneously via ports DVI / HDMI and USB: one of them passes the video signal, the other - the data about the turn of the head and other service information. Power management, brightness and contrast via a special box, which also underfoot.

Why do so many Oculus Rift discuss? Several answers - Carmack, Crowdfunding, iPhone, oculusmmo.com

Firstly, John Carmack, known to you as the father of Doom, Quake, and a number of other crucial games, take part in this project - here he is co-founder and CTO. It was he who introduced the prototype helmet at E3 2012, there was demonstrated a special version of Doom 3 (I'm so afraid something to play it, I wonder, what is there in a helmet). Carmack - the name of more than noticeable in the gaming industry, so all development associated with it, will automatically receive one hundred points in the press and users.

Carmack pulled his friends - a fateful video made with Kickstarter Cliff Bleszinski (Epic), Michael Abrash and Gabe Newell (Valve), David Helgason (Unity); many other prominent people in the industry have expressed their interest - at Oculus Rift now optimized almost all popular engines and plaftormy.

Yes, this item is worth, of course, mention Palmer Lucky - author and creator of the project. It is to him during his gaming pleasures lacked standard for modern helmets review 40 degrees, and he decided to go further.

Secondly, the first major investments have been collected on Kickstarter - the required amount in the quarter of a million appeared in only four hours, and in the end developers natekla more than two million dollars. This, of course, is not comparable with breathtaking success Pebble, but the gap 'expectations-reality "is enchanting. This proves once again just how gamers believe Oculus Rift and await its publication.

Third, what have the iPhone? Very simple - because of its simplicity, power, affordability and quality, Oculus Rift has to change the world in the same way as it did in its time iPhone. It is not known how it would be so, but we believe, and people believe. Similarly, public opinion is formed, for example, about the cars Tesla. Or thermostats Nest. Or the same Pebble. This - the revolution, those living and true things that our eyes make the daily life some fantastic areas of activity, which we previously could only stare in movies.

Construction at Oculus Rift is very simple - I can not understand them and show you personally because this alien thing, but I can say that everything is extremely maintainable - as if you have a Lego hands. If the right really very interesting, here are colleagues from iFixit disassembled gadget to screw.

Outside we see the screen itself, two lenses, straps, to wear a helmet on his head, wires and two rotary knob, with which you can change the focal length. The stereo effect is achieved due to the lenses and software, and not just any polarization (the set includes lenses with diopters - for people with poor eyesight). The screen here, by the way, a seven-inch (1280x800), and the resulting field of view - 90 degrees horizontally and 110 diagonal (this is quite a lot, not to see anything but the virtual world, that is completely invisible frames when properly configured). Inside there is a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer, which help capture all the movements of the head. Developers are proud of the fact that there is almost no delay feeling - this is true because in good weather.

For clarity - shows just such a picture; through the lenses of her volume is formed.

This version is for developers is worth $ 300. Mass models released in late 2014 (and even in summer), it will be cheaper than $ 500, will get more serious screen resolution (1920x1080), will not embarrass the wires and (perhaps) the lack of sound. And will notably look!

Now, of course, all the hard - you have to tinker to adjust the helmet and find suitable games. In addition, the wire shackle movement, and most importantly - during the game you can not see the keyboard, so it's best to use a gamepad or advance to memorize the location of the keys. Well, sitting on a chair is also not particularly razvernёshsya - hard to depict movement in space, staying in one place.

Oculus Rift can be connected to a PC or Mac. With Parallels very difficult conversation: apparently, in a long chain of drivers someone does not know about virtual reality, so I play Mirrors Edge helmet with no chance. A pity - by the reviews, it is the most realistic game in this sense because it captures all the movements of the head, and not only in one plane. Can view other people's videos and make vitality (expressivity of the author proves the reality of getting the feeling).

Much to our disappointment, the console about Oculus Rift also do not know - and I'd love to, of course, plunged into the world with a head prefixal. Certainly, you can use your computer as a controller that will process a video and make it stereoscopic, but it is not journalism handiwork. So far, the helmet can be adapted as a regular display, which is not so cool.

I'm mostly just downloaded a few dozen demos and games that are compatible with the Oculus Rift or written specially for him (the full list is given, for example, here, here, here or here). Very impressive powerful benchmarks, where you can wander around, looking at the forest; also all newcomers worth showing a roller coaster, with a mention that I started this text: feeling very cool, the first time I even seasick. Actually amazing how virtuality can be so real - if you include the share of fantasy, forget about the inferiority of the screen, on the severity of the head, under a chair, and sometimes pop edge.

As you already know, the effect produced by the presence of lenses and software - the software divides the image into two parts and distort them a bit, and the lenses were pooled and helpfully direct you to the brain through the eyes. Impressions little spoiled bad display - still too low resolution here, visible "grain". But we know that this will be fixed, so the question is removed. Read more on Oculus Rift news

Pleasure lubricates and weight - 300 grams is still quite impressive argument for not wearing a miracle for yourself for longer than 20 minutes. But you can conveniently adjust the "landing" due to the elastic strap and adjust the focal length (in other words - the remoteness of the screen from the lens).

Above was a picture Oculus Rift Crystal Cove - a new version of a helmet, presented at the last exhibition CES. Its feature consists in that complete provide a camera that captures an additional movement of the head (almost like Kinect). This, of course, stronger involves the user in the game. Well, in the new model a little worked over the image - now the picture is processed slightly differently, and LED-display replaced by the OLED.

Even with the current stocks - grain, resolution, viewing angle, wire, sound, weight - can be understood that this is a very worthy gadget. I would gladly bought a custom version - feeling the prototype, you begin to believe in Carmack, Varnishes and their team. If you have a healthy dose of imagination and kill a skeptic for a moment, you can now get used to the role and have no incomparable drive.