Oculus has announced the DK2, the second development kit for the Oculus Rift, already available for pre-order at $350 USD and shipping in July. The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking. The new DK2 isn’t going to be identical to the upcoming consumer version of the Rift, however it will be very close to what you should expect from the final consumer model. All the content developed using DK2 will supposedly work with the consumer Rift.
The new DK2 uses a low persistence OLED display to eliminate motion blur and judder, two of the biggest contributors to simulator sickness. Low persistence also makes the scene appear more visually stable, increasing the potential for presence. The new high-definition 960×1080 per-eye display (Full HD OLED screen split into two) reduces the screen-door effect and improves clarity, color, and contrast according to Oculus.
The new Oculus DK2 is supposed to also come with integrated precise, low-latency positional head tracking solution using an external camera that allows you to move with 6-degrees-of-freedom and opens up all sorts of new gameplay opportunities like peering around corners, leaning in to get a closer look at objects in the world, and kicking back on a virtual beach. Precise positional tracking is another key requirement for comfortable virtual reality; without it, an enormous amount of your real world movement is lost. Time to pre-order… total cost was $486 USD with the shipping to Europe and taxes added to the price of the unit.
The 25th annual meeting of the Stereoscopic Displays & Applications (SD&A) conference, part of the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging 2014 symposium, brought together researchers and practitioners of 3D capture, display, processing, and perception from around the world.
Topics of the more than 75 oral and poster presentations spanned: the design and applications of stereoscopic 3D displays, autostereoscopic displays, quality assessment, depth map processing, and human factors. Of particular interest were two keynote presentations. Jeff Joseph, producer of World 3D Film Expo, discussed the history and lineage of numerous early stereoscopic films. Gordon Wetzstein of the MIT Media Laboratory offered inspirational recommendations for new directions in 3D display research, grounded in the combination of fast computation, optics, and mathematical optimization.
This year’s Discussion Forum was a candid inquiry into the state and prognosis of 3D in entertainment. Moderated by Lenny Lipton, panelists included: David Cohen (Variety Media, LLC), Barry Sandrew (Legend Films, Inc.) and Chris Ward (Lightspeed Design, Inc.). One question that the panelists explored was, “If the audience must pay a fee for to see the 3D version of a movie, will they expect significant use of stereoscopic effects?”
Every year, SD&A attendees have the opportunity to catch up informally over a special SD&A Banquet dinner. For our 25th meeting, we enjoyed fine dining at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s Union Square while reminiscing over the conference’s history. One treat was that Conference Chair Andrew Woods (Curtin Univ.) – who attended virtually via live video link from Australia – enumerated the depth and breadth of the most frequently-cited SD&A publications over the 25 year history of the conference.
The SD&A conference also presented its annual awards in stereoscopic cinema, 3D technology, and best use of stereoscopy. The stereoscopic cinema session is always a big hit, with contest entries judged by Bernard Mendiburu, Julien Flack, and Lenny Lipton. Winners received a copy of the SD&A DVD-ROM which contains over 1,500 technical manuscripts in the 3D sciences.
The SD&A 3D Theater Best of Show Award in the Live Action category was awarded to: “Soir de Fête” by David Robert (France).
The SD&A 3D Theater Best of Show Award in the Animation / CG category was awarded to: “Morpheos Trailer” by John Hart (USA).
The SD&A Award for Best Use of Stereoscopy in a Technical Presentation was awarded to: “Stereoscopic cell visualization: from mesoscopic to molecular scale,” by Björn Summer, Christian Bender, Tobias Hoppe, Christian Gamroth, and Lukas Jelonek of the Univ. Bielefeld (Germany).
The SD&A Award for the Best Technical Demonstration by a conference author was awarded to the zSpace System of zSpace, Inc., in conjunction with the presentation “Description of a 3D display with motion parallax and direct interaction,” by Mark Flynn and Jerry Tu.
Finally, the conference experimented with a unique activity for SD&A’s Silver Jubilee: a “Magical Mystery 3D Bus Tour” of prestigious Silicon Valley companies engaged in stereoscopy, organized by committee member John Stern and Andrew Woods. Conference attendees enjoyed impressive technological demonstrations at Intuitive Surgical and NVIDIA Corporation, such as a tele-operated laparoscopic surgical system, and the advanced rendering feats behind the real-time animated human, “Digital Ira.”
Many of the technical presentations at SD&A 2014 were recorded and these will be made available via the conference website over the next few months as processing is completed. The technical manuscripts from the conference will be published in the conference proceedings volume which will be available in April:
Woods, Holliman, Favalora (eds) (2014) “Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XXV,” Proceedings of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging, SPIE Vol. 9011, San Francisco (February 2014).
Planning for the 2015 Electronic Imaging and SD&A events are already under way, and will be held during the week of 8-12 February 2015, in downtown San Francisco.
Nvidia has made available the G-SYNC DIY Upgrade kits for the ASUS VG248QE monitor available in their store, unfortunately they can be ordered only by people living in the US or Canada (as previously announced). The kit is being sold for $199 USD and you need to already have the monitor available in order to upgrade it to support the new G-SYNC technology. According to Nvidia the installation process should take approximately 30 minutes and it essentially covers the complete replacement of the LCD driver board and the power supply that the ASUS VG248QE uses with the ones included in the Upgrade kit.