AntVR ‘Universal’ VR Headset Kickstarter Proves Controversial – What Would You Like To Know?

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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.

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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.

Comments

  1. Sentient68k says

    Two things would actually convince me this is a real, working device.

    1) A teardown of a working unit to show it inside-out. Nothing in there should really be new or proprietary so there’s no reason they can’t show off all the internals.

    2) At the very least, a working demo that includes a view of what’s inside the headset. Probably the most important thing this will do is actually SHOW us an image but they’ve done nothing to demonstrate that it can or what it would look like.

  2. Christian says

    I have heard that they measure their fov diagonally, and reality only has 60vertical and 80 horizontal (or something). IWould like to know if it is true, and if it is I want follow up questions about why they make a false comparison to dk2 and morpheus in their chart.

    I want to know what they mean with positional tracking, and if they are talking about the same thing as other vr-developers when using that term.

    I would like to know about what they mean with x-box support, and if they consider that they will dissapoint the backers that will vomit when running a 30fps x-box game without headtracking (which I guess is the scenario here).

    Also ask about which drivers they are going to use to make games on all different systems playable in their hmd.

  3. Carter says

    I would like to know what they plan to do about non PC support. It seems to me as though they would be emulating the thumb stick controls, and this would be a terrible experience because the movement of your head is not at all represented by the thumb stick controls.

    Also the Fov is concerning because If i were to order one of these sets I would be buying it for the virtual reality, and that 100 degree diagonal is not quite up to par with OR. 60 by 80 will definitely be a step up from my 24″ monitor but will it offer that truly immersive experience that the OR does.

    I would like to know how in the world they managed to get the wireless kit down to a supposedly sub 1 ms latency while the oculus rift hasn’t gotten that fast with a wired connection.

    • Andreas Aronsson says

      That 1 ms is for the wireless video transfer only, which is a technology I think they need to license or they are buying from a supplier, WHDI. This excludes all the other stuff like rendering the image, waiting for vsync, running it through the display controller and lighting the pixels on the panel.

      What Oculus measures is pretty much total latency between when something happened in the game and the time at which it is visible in the headset :P If I have understood it correctly that is…

  4. Stefan Pernar says

    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.

    Spherical lenses produce increasingly strong spherical aberrations when ones gaze moves from the center of the spherical lens outward. Technically only the center of a spherical lens produces an undistorted image. Aspherical lenses can minimize these aberrations. The Rift uses fish-eye aspherical lenses that in addition to minimizing spherical aberrations introduces a pincushion distortion to the image seen on the RIft’s screen through the lenses, requiring a barrel distorted image to cancel out the distortion effects and produce a relatively clear image with a high field of view. Hope this clarifies things.

    • Carter says

      What I would like to know is, how much of a VR experience these types of lenses will create. Also will these lenses be compatible with sbs 3d games? and will they give you the sense of depth that is needed for virtual reality?

  5. eyeandeye says

    Begun, the clone war has.

    Personally I think the Oculus competitors are all cheap knock-offs looking to ride the wave. It doesn’t help that consumer VR is a brand new thing and all these impatient consumers aren’t going to know the difference between a good device and a bad. They’re going to buy what comes out first, and then be soured by an inferior experience.

  6. Darshan Gayake says

    Though i feel a cheap replica of rift as first thought but few things are eye-catching

    1) Controller that’s TRANSFORMER Cool for Heli Games/FPS/Drive Games n TPs too. it covers most.
    2) Tear-down shows two Aspherical Lenses Per eye so its in reality 2+2 = 4 lense system
    More over one lenses has Plano concave and other has Plano convex kind of look (Spoon-fitting Type but
    with other side of spoon being flat one!!) May be this has something to do with their claim of DISTORTION
    FREE IMAGE on all platforms – May be they got some optical trick to take pre-warping out of equation?
    3) Glance window is nice trick IMO.
    4) Adjustable IPD Nice
    5) BTW biggest THING they are saying best seat in IMAX not ‘Get Inside The Game” so they are pretty much saying don’t expect RIFT Experience but hai we Did Knockdown HMZ-T3 at 1/4 ro 1/5 Price tier.

  7. Darshan Gayake says

    If best seat in IMAX @ Wireless connectivity with Phone / Tab /PC with ability to play all current 3D movies without any special rendering requirement at less then 300$ and if it support all the current gen games in SBS mode for Middle-ware supported games there is hardly much to complaint about if they provide good build quality and hardware.Not dump class Chinese clone product famous for. There got to be something like china built quality product.

  8. Darshan Gayake says

    Few questions for Qin Zheng

    1) is there dual optic setup per eye in AntVR ‘Universal’ VR Headset?
    2) Do their headset require special player to play movie? like creating vr cinema hall and play movie as rift?

    Thanks

  9. David Hothersall says

    I want to know:
    1. What they have as tracking. Is it truly 6 DOF ie Positional and orientation or just orientation as in Rift DK1?
    2. Screen shots or a video of a view through the HMD of teh screen.

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