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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday May 20 2017, @01:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the real-reality-isn't-good-enough-anymore dept.

Google is partnering with HTC and Lenovo to produce standalone (no smartphone or tether) virtual reality headsets. The headsets could cost around $500-$700, comparable to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. As they will have less computational/graphics power than flagship smartphones or desktops, Google has developed a rendering system that they claim can compensate by decreasing the amount of polygons needed to render a scene (related video):

Meanwhile, a rendering system called Seurat — named after the pointillist painter Georges Seurat — is supposed to offer image quality that rivals what you'd get on a high-end PC. Andrey Doronichev, Google's director of product management, describes Seurat as "computational magic." It takes a rendered three-dimensional scene and samples shots of it from many different angles. As seen [here], Seurat uses these images to assemble a facade that drastically reduces the number of polygons the headset needs to render, without a visible loss of quality.

Google can also use the same Daydream user interface it's been fine-tuning for the past year on phones. A software update codenamed Euphrates will add the features you need for devices that users can't just pop apart and use as a phone, like a full-featured web browser and a dashboard for accessing settings and other non-VR parts of Android.

Google envisions VR and AR converging into mixed reality headsets, building on the augmented reality technologies developed under Project Tango as well as Daydream VR:

To make VR more transporting, and AR more convincing and useful, everything behind these experiences must improve: displays, optics, tracking, input, GPUs, sensors, and more. As one benchmark, to achieve "retina" resolution in VR — that is, to give a person 20/20 vision across their full field of view — we'll need roughly 30 times more pixels than we have in today's displays. To make more refined forms of AR possible, smartphones will need more advanced sensing capabilities. Our devices will need to understand motion, space, and very precise location. We'll need precision not in meters, but in centimeters or even millimeters.

Both the Rift and Vive have 2160×1200 displays. Roughly 30 times more pixels would mean a resolution of around 11880×6600, or 16704×4698 (32:9 aspect ratio).


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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday May 20 2017, @01:55PM (4 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday May 20 2017, @01:55PM (#512609) Journal

    Will this mean that people will start to see pink elephants for real? :-)

    If anyone thought Pokémon Go was bad.. wait until these things hit the market.
    Don't forget the product placements or the viral mischief apps that makes all the IRL women look naked..

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  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:26PM (3 children)

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:26PM (#512623)

    > or the viral mischief apps that makes all the IRL women look naked..

    X-Ray vision would be different tech. All you could do would be to overlay what they _might_ look like naked, not only likely inaccurate and misleading but also maybe a step too far in badly automating something most of us can do perfectly well anyway...

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:44PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Saturday May 20 2017, @03:44PM (#512626) Journal

      I said it would be a mischief .. ;)
      But it's true that it would be a interpolation of existing input.

      Now if said headset includes broadband image sensors, radar etc.. it may present a lot more of what is in the environment than plain RGB vision will be detect.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday May 20 2017, @04:09PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday May 20 2017, @04:09PM (#512633) Journal

      something most of us can do perfectly well anyway

      If that were true, why do people photo manipulate celebs to make them look naked? They should just look at pics of fully clothed women and men.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21 2017, @01:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21 2017, @01:21AM (#512820)

        Check out banggood.com and other drop ship sites They have models ranging from 800x480 to 2160p, all running android, some of them with support for either hdmi input for use with a PC, or output for use with a monitor when you aren't VR gaming. Hardware could be better, but most of the midrange priced ones on up have about as good of hardware as you'd expect from a high (but not top of the line) phone.

        I need a set of Johnny Mnemonic style data access gloves, and maybe one of those BCI headsets, compensated for the VR goggle electronics, before I will be jumping on these though.