Headset off? Good, because we’re ready to go on yet another round of Field of View, your weekly dose of news, games and recommendations in the worlds of virtual and augmented reality.
This week’s big news was that Tobii, the maker of excellent eye tracking, is bringing its fantastic tech to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 reference mobile VR headset. That’s huge because it means eye tracking is on the way for standalone VR headsets, since a lot of tech companies build their headsets off Qualcomm’s reference.
But that’s not all that happened this week. Let’s take a stroll through everything else you should know.
Read this: News bits
Google and LG showing off high-resolution display soon
LG was been working on a high-end VR headset for some time now, but it looks like its VR ambitions are even grander than being an HTC Vive competitor. Android Police has spotted an advanced program for the Display Week 2018 trade show, and it looks like Google and LG have some incredible tech to show off.
Specifically, they’ll show off an 18 megapixel, 4.3-inch, 1443-ppi, 120Hz OLED display with a wide field of view. While the program doesn’t hint at resolution yet, Android Police points out that based on the pixel density and screen size we’re looking at a resolution of – wait for it – 5500 x 3000.
The new high-end HTC Vive Pro sports a 2880 x 1600 resolution, for reference. So no, LG is not messing around when it comes with VR. It seems unlikely that this high-res HMD is the same as the one LG’s been demoing. Instead, it’s likely the next generation of that headset.
Google is experimenting with light fields
Google has a wide net when it comes to virtual reality. It has its Daydream View headset, sure, but it’s also got the Jump rig, VR180 and a lot of other experimentations hoping to make VR better for all of us, from mobile to high end.
Its latest experiment is with light fields, a photography method where you not only capture the light entering the camera lens, but all the light in the scene and where that light came from. Lytro, maybe the biggest name in light field technology, uses it to make pictures that you can focus after the fact.
For VR, Google is hoping to just produce some incredible content. It took 16 GoPros and stitched them into a vertical arc, spinning it around in a scene to capture everything around it. Sprinkle some of Google’s software onto that and – boom – you get more immersive content. You’ll even get to see that content in the new Welcome to Light Fields app on SteamVR, which we’ll come back around to in a minute.
Lenovo Mirage Solo now available for pre-order
The Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first standalone Daydream headset, is finally available for pre-order for $399.99 on B&H Photo. Shipping on 11 May, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor, has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage that’s expandable, and a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 LCD display with a 75Hz refresh rate and a 100-degree field of view.
We tried the Mirage Solo a couple months ago and found it to be a good experience, though it’s also the price of a Rift, with the more affordable Oculus Go just around the corner.
Valve debuts auto resolution optimization
Valve has updated its SteamVR beta that tunes the resolution of your content based on your GPU. It’s simple: Valve’s software measures the speed of your GPU and then tells the app or game what resolution works best for you. This solves two problems: Helps those of us with weaker systems that can’t run things higher res, and those of us with powerful systems that aren’t getting as high resolution as we can handle.
Watch this: CNNVR
CNN has been making 360 videos for a while now and partnered up with Magnopus to do something a little more immersive for Gear VR and Google Daydream, but now it’s debuting on Oculus Rift too. You’re essentially placed in a virtual newsroom, surrounded by little news stories. All you do is drag the news stories and place them in the center console and you’re watching a CNN segment.
These stories come in two spices: There’s regular 2D video, spliced out of CNN’s daily coverage, and 360 videos created on assignment. You’ll tell the difference because the 2D video stories are represented by flat news tokens. The 360 videos look like they’re, well, circular.
Play this: Welcome to Light Fields
You can experience Google’s light field experimentations for yourself in the new Welcome to Light Fields app Google released on SteamVR, which you can use to play on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality. The app puts you in some far-off places, like Space Shuttle Discovery, the Gamble House and more.
And boy, is it immersive. The light field tech allows you to peek around corners, adding to the immersion. You can even look at a far off mirror, and as you move your head back and forth the image on the mirror changes as if you were really there.
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