The newest entrant into the VR Headset space, AntVR and their ‘Universal, all-in-one’ wireless VR System, has caused some confusion and controversy among those in the VR community. So, we thought we’d give the new company the chance to answer their critics.
AntVR Kickstarter Causes Confusion
We had a brief look at the new AntVR ‘Universal’ all-in-one VR system a few days ago. The new company, based in Beijing, has since launched their Kickstarter campaign and with it a slew of technical specifications for the system. However, some of the claims made have caused scepticism in the VR community, somewhat understandably.
The campaign has already raised a staggering $122k as of writing and it seems clear they’ll pass their $200k goal with ease. But there are some real gaps in the technical information supplied on the Kickstarter page which have caused concern in the community. Some of the claims can perhaps be attributed to translation difficulties, but some appear purely misinformed. Just a couple of examples from their Kickstarter FAQ:
What are the differences between spherical and aspherical lens? Why do you use aspherical lens?
Generally, aspherical lens has two advantages over spherical lens. First of all, with spherical lens, standard images would look distorted if not specifically designed to work with a spherical lens. But aspherical lens is compatible with any standard image.
Whilst it’s technically true aspherical lenses aren’t spherical (this one’s somewhat of a no brainer), suggesting that they cause no distortion is incorrect. The Oculus Rift also uses aspherical lenses and any image presented to the device requires pre-warping to compensate for distortion caused when passing through the lenses. No mention of chromatic aberration either here, also requiring compensation correction at the rendering stage.
Do you have a screen door problem?
Because we use aspherical lenses and never waste any pixels in the full HD screen, it will be crystal clear in the headset. There’s no screen door problem.
Screen door is of course the visibility of the display panel’s structure, in particular the gaps between pixels. The team claim to use a single 1080p LCD panel (960 x 1080 per eye) with a 100 degree FOV, so it’s not clear how their claim of ‘no screen door’ can be substantiated. The FOV is all-important here. If they’re suggesting that they’re achieving a 100 degree horizontal true FOV, then loss of pixels is inevitable.
Finally, the comparison table used to stack AntVR’s system up against its competitors is simply inaccurate. The Oculus Rift DK2 uses a 5 inch panel, aspheric lenses and does away with the breakout ‘driver’ box. It would have to be said that merely stating ‘Built-in’ to describe AntVRs positional tracking system is somewhat unhelpful.
We Need Your Questions!
So, we want to help clear up some of the confusion but we need your help. What would you like to ask the makers of AntVR? CEO of AntVR Qin Zheng has agreed to answer your questions. Reply in the comments (or head over to the thread at /r/oculus) below this article and we’ll collate then send them over and of course report back once we’ve receive some answers.