Free Essay

Oculus Rift

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By renorudo
Words 1801
Pages 8
I. Overview
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that will work with your computer. The Oculus Rift was invented by a VR enthusiast named Palmer Luckey. After showing a prototype at the E3 gaming convention in 2012 that garnered interest from gaming media, he founded the company with Brendan Iribe, who became CEO. They launched a Kickstarter project in August 2012 to sell prototype developer versions of the Oculus Rift so game studios could start making games, raising $2.4 million. In the months since, Oculus VR has raised additional money and shipped tens of thousands of developer versions of the Rift, while continuing to perfect a consumer model.
But what is a virtual reality headset anyway? Two things. Firstly, 3D visuals – just as your eyes perceive the real world. This is more than simple cross-eyed viewing though, and involves a complex series of transformations to wrap the view around and produce large field of vision – 110 degrees in the Rift, in fact. Secondly – and this is where the Oculus really becomes something amazing –head tracking - so that when you move your head to look up, your view of the virtual world adjusts accordingly. You can look around with a full 360 degree of freedom, including right behind you.
It is designed specifically for video games that will change the way you think about gaming forever. With an incredibly wide field of view, high resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favorite game and explore new worlds like never before.
What’s special about the Rift is that it can deliver nearly the same level of immersion as existing commercial setups costing orders of magnitude more, but at a price that makes it available, if not to the average consumer, at least to the average consumer who would already have the kind of computing or gaming system that can support the Rift.
The device is not being sold or marketed as a finished product yet, but as a development kit for $300. Other products cost tens of thousands of dollars, and are limited to high-end military applications – the Oculus Rift aims to bring virtual reality to the masses.
Immersion and Presence
Two key terms we use to describe VR are immersion and presence.
Immersion is the art and technology of surrounding the user with a virtual context, such that there is world about, below, and all around you.
Presence is the visceral reaction to a convincing immersion experience: when immersion is so good that the body reacts instinctively to the virtual world as though it is the real one.
When you turn your head to look up at the attacking enemy bombers, that’s immersion; when you can’t stop yourself from ducking as they roar by overhead, that’s presence.

I. Description
Virtual reality is about constructing an experience that simulates a user’s physical presence in another environment. By that definition, one could argue that any first person shooter is VR, in that you’re simulating the view you’d have if you were actually in the environment portrayed in the game, albeit with a very limited field of view and with the need to mentally translate desired changes in your viewpoint into manipulations of a controller, typically either a joypad or a mouse & keyboard combination. Both of these factors limit immersion. The advancement of VR then is to reduce or remove those obstacles to immersion, or more simply stated, to increase immersion itself.
The Rift hardware is designed to increase immersion in two ways:
• first by using head tracking to change your point of view
• second by rendering an immersive view by more accurately mimicking the way actual vision works with a wide field of view and different images presented to each eye.
 Using head tracking to change the point of view
The first way the Rift increases immersion is via head tracking, eliminating part of the necessary mental translation when interacting with a computer generated environment. If you want to see what’s to your left, you no longer have to go through the process of calculating how far to move your mouse, or how long to hold the joystick. You simply look to your left. This is as much an instance of Natural User Interface (NUI) as Virtual Reality. NUI is all about making the interface for interacting with a computer application or environment so seamless as to essentially be no interface at all. Interacting with a touch-screen surface and dragging a UI element around by literally dragging it is a form of NUI. Changing your perspective within an artificial environment by moving your head is another.

 Rendering an immersive view
The second way the Rift increases immersion is rendering a more immersive view by accurately mimicking the way actual vision works with a wide field of view and different images presented to each eye.
The Rift hardware offers a much wider field of view than a typical monitor Even a 30-inch monitor will typically only occupy about 50 degrees of your field of view, depending on how close you sit to it. Ideally the Rift provides a field of view of over 90 degrees or more vertically and a remarkable 110 degrees or more horizontally. The exact field of view experienced is dependent on a variety of factors, including how the Rift hardware is configured and the physical characteristics of the wearer.

The Rift achieves this high field of view through the placement of the display and the use of special lenses. Inside the Rift is a small high-resolution LCD display, and wearing the device places the display directly in front of you at a distance of about 4 centimeters.
Maximizing the rift’s field of view
To understand how to maximize the Rift’s field of view, you need to look at how the brain interprets the images perceived by the eyes. Each eye covers its own field of view, with the left eye showing more of the world to your left, and the right showing more to your right, with a large amount of crossover at the center.

Your brain takes the two images and fuses them into a single panoramic view. This invokes a sense of depth, even though actual depth information is only really available for items in the crossover area, where your brain computes parallax.

II. Design
The Oculus Rift Development Kit includes everything you need to start building virtual reality content for the Oculus Rift. • Headset and control box
• Power cord with adapter
• DVI/HDMI adapter
• 6ft HDMI cable
• 3ft USB cable
• 3 pairs of vision lenses
• Over-the-head strap

The headset is formed of black molded plastic. It has small adjustment wheels on the left and right side that allow you to move the display closer to or further from your face. There is foam padding on the surfaces intended to rest against the skin and straps that secure the Rift to your head. In addition to the normal ‘around the sides’ strap that you might find on any pair of ski goggles, an additional strap goes directly over the top of your head. This third strap provides additional support for the headset, which while light, can still be front-heavy enough to cause fatigue during extended use. Perhaps more importantly, the third strap reduces the need to secure the side straps as tightly, alleviating another potential. The headset incorporates a single 1280x800 display at the heart of the device, as well as motion tracking hardware which reports acceleration, rotation rate, and magnetic field strength and direction. The display is split between both eyes (each eye can only see one-half of the display), yielding 640 × 800 per eye.

In addition to the cable extending to the headset, the control box also has a DC power connector, a USB mini-B female port, and DVI and HDMI female ports.
It has 5 buttons, one for power, and two each for controlling brightness and contrast on the display. It also has a small blue LED in the center of the Oculus VR logo that glows blue when the Rift display is active.

Three lenses are supplied:
Set A are the largest, used for those with 20/20 vision, whilst wearing corrective lens or glasses, and those with long-sighted vision (for which no glasses are needed – the display is infinitely focused).
Sets B and C are for those who are short-sighted, and are smaller in size than set A. C is the strongest correction of the two.

Connecting the Rift to the computer

The Rift headset is hardwired to the control box with a single wire that carries all the necessary signals while the control box requires three connections:
1. A USB cable. The flow of data on this connection is primarily from the Rift to the computer, and it allows the head tracker information to be collected by an application.
2. A display cable. The flow of information is primarily from the computer to the Rift. The connection can be made using either DVI or HDMI at the control box, although you should only connect one or the other. The behavior of connecting both is undefined.
3. The control box power cable.

III. Generalization
It is quite impressive for me that our technology is advancing pretty fast. With virtual reality developing, it will make a big contribution to us, humans.
Not just from gaming, but it may also be applied to something else. We can explore and simulate a lot of things with it like virtually exploring and getting a better perspective of a certain location.
VR and the Oculus Rift could also have an impact in the medical field. VRIT is a type of psychotherapy that is used as a way to treat patients who suffer from anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Its organization proves how advance it is compared to normal monitors. It gives a different perspective or view to the user from the game with little effort as if he is living there. With the graphics evolving as well, it may totally mimic every detail reality has one day. It may become the base of virtual reality in future. If people fund this well, it may be fully developed into full immersion which is one step in seeing technology we only have seen in movies and games.

IV. References

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/oculus-rift-development-kit-review-and-giveaway/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421913,00.asp

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/5723/oculus-rift-vr-development-kit-thoughts-so-far-and-its-future/index.html

http://www.engadget.com/products/oculus-vr/rift/

http://www.theverge.com/products/oculus-rift-developer-kit/6741

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