What is the future of VR?

Published: 09/27/2018  

Last Updated: 09/26/2018

By Pedro Monteiro Kayatt

Hey guys, how are you doing? Ready to get an update about Minerva Labs? If you clueless about what I am talking about take a look into our previous posts. Without further delays, check our video dev diary bellow:

This week has been crazy! I am writing this just after coming back from Oculus Connect 5 and it is hard to even realize the amazing things that were announced today! The VR world is an amazing and mutating thing that just evolves so fast, as I said today for some friends: “I love to live in the future!”.

One thing that hit me on the start of the conference was the Keynote of Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Oculus, about how his predictions from 2 year ago are coming along and what he would be adjusting. At Oculus Connect 3 he stated that the default resolution of HMD would be 4 times the ones at the time, pixel density will be 8 times better, field of view 2.5 times and the depth focus would change from fixed to variable.

Today he said that some of his predictions were wrong, since he was waiting to have commercial products with these characteristics in 5 years, meaning 3 years from today. He corrected saying that most of these things will be arriving in the hands of consumers in more 4 years. But that is not really a bad thing.

In fact, he showed several updates about how VR tech has improved fast in the last 2 years since his last talk. Let’s address some of these updates: Fist, screen resolution, we have seen some companies launching really high-resolution HMDs, from Pimax with his “8K” (in reality it is more a 4k+4K) display, to the Samsung Odyssey Mixed Reality HMD or even the HTC Vive Pro, we now can enjoy resolutions much higher than Full HD per eye. Of course, some of them can look like a crazy spaceship, or be a little bit funny in your head.

Nevertheless, we have reached great resolutions, and with it we also have seen much higher field of views. Oculus has announced around 140 degrees in his Half Dome prototype, Star VR launched also a 210 degree. Forget about the binocular view, you will be inside the Virtual world even more.

Another subject that drives a lot of people crazy is the depth focus. Some researches have even said that to be with your view so fixed to the same plane can permanently damage your vision (probably they never met someone who works developing looking to a screen :P). So there have been a lot of discussions if VR would be harmful to eyes, but I would say you do not need to worry about it. Why? That same half-dome prototype I was just talking also have a variable depth focus, meaning that you will be able to focus both on near objects as well as change it to further ones, basically it gives that great photo effect where the behind of an object gets out of focus, but as in real life (where you almost doesn’t perceive this happens, but you miss a lot when it doesn’t).

Well, all of this means a lot for VR developers, since we are developing today, but for a world of tomorrow. Knowing where we want to be in 5 years is a very strong driven so we can be ready to adapt our products and also plan for more amazing features.

For instance, in OC5 they have just announced the Oculus Quest, a 6DOF with Motion Controllers Standalone device. I personally think that this is a very powerful device to deliver amazing experiences with a low-cost budget, meaning that it is important to keep in mind that maybe in a near future will be crucial to port our Minerva Labs for it. This impacts some of our next decisions and to have in mind polygon limitations and other performance details that can be a nightmare in the future.

Either way, this has been a long day with a lot of great new. Coincidentally, it was my birthday (yay!) and I felt really happy that I got some awesome predictions about how the VR will be even better than I could ever imagine.  This reminds a video I saw back in 2009 and expressed some of what I wish I could do in my life, here it is:

I must say, we are getting there, aren’t we?

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