Exclusive: GameFace Mark 5 Prototype Heading to E3 With New Form-factor, Front Facing Depth Camera, Ports, and Custom Lenses

gameface mark 5 lenses mobile vr headset

At SVVR Conference & Expo, GameFace Labs shared with Road to VR info on a new prototype of the mobile head mounted display that the company intends to show off at E3 next month. The prototype features a brand new form-factor, front facing gesture camera, multiple ports, and custom lenses.

GameFace Labs revealed last month their ‘Mark 4′ prototype which was the first VR headset that we saw demonstrated with a 2.5k display. The company is working on a mobile VR headset which will be self-contained and not need to be plugged in to a computer or game console.

The company’s forthcoming Mark 5 prototype, which will be the first from the company based on the powerful Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC, will envelop the 2.5k display in a completely overhauled form-factor. The new design includes independent adjustments to both IPD and lens-to-eye distance, enabling the device to be worn without glasses or lens swapping. The new prototype will include custom lenses and no longer rely on a pair taken from the Oculus Rift DK1. An over-head strap has also been added.

The depth sensor to be used in GameFace's Mark 5 prototype

The depth sensor to be used in GameFace’s Mark 5 prototype

The Mark 5 GameFace prototype will also see the addition of a front-facing depth camera that will be mounted to the mobile VR headset, presumably for sensing the user’s hands, and possibly the environment around them. The company wouldn’t share the make or model of the depth camera, but I had a chance to see the unit that will be used.

The depth camera will plug into an on-board micro-USB port which sits alongside an HDMI-out port as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.

GameFace’s CEO, Ed Mason, told me that the HDMI-out port would enable the unit to be used as a mobile game console, able to run standard Android games that would be played on a TV with a Bluetooth controller, much like the Ouya Android console. He also said it could be used to show what’s being displayed on the screen while being used for VR.

GameFace plans to have the Mark 5 prototype ready to be demonstrated at E3 next month.

During a panel at the SVVR Conference & Expo, on which both GameFace’s Ed Mason and Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey sat, Mason said he believes that in the next 3-5 years mobile chips will be up to the task of a quality mobile VR experience. Luckey said that he doesn’t believe that mobile VR is yet capable of providing a good VR experience today.

At the conference I was able to try out the GameFace Mark 4 prototype with 2.5k display. I was impressed with the clarity of the screen and the lack of ‘screen door effect’ (space between the pixels). Oculus Rift users will almost certainly demand this resolution for a consumer launch.

GameFace plans to launch a developer kit of their mobile VR headset by the end of 2014.

Comments

  1. seanlumly says

    What about the tracking for the Gameface Mark 4 specifically? I know it likely would not compare to Oculus DK2 or Morpheus, but how does it compare to something like the Oculus DK1?

  2. Chris Given says

    It’s rumoured that Samsung is also developing their own HMD to compete head to head with Oculus…

    Well that didn’t take long!! Sony, now Samsung!! Who’s next?? Microsoft and Google I would bet!! Let the HMD wars begin!! Oculus with a head start and an all star development team… Sony and Samsung with loads of cash and the ability to manufacture screens designed specifically for the task and the infrastructure to mass produce their HMD’s quickly!! I love this… Still think VR is just a passing fad?? Think again!!

    Here is a link to the article…

    http://vrfocus.com/archives/3462/samsung-developing-vr-headset-report-claims/#comment-31423

    • snake0 says

      It won’t necessarily compete head to head with Oculus. It could easily be a media device ala the HMZ, Samsung won’t want to suddenly jump into the games industry unless they stand to profit from it.

      Also your comment completely misses the fact that Facebook own Oculus and will provide them with the funds to manufacture screens. Mass production is already available to Oculus, they have had contracted factories since the first DK1 units.

      Enough of the unfactual sensationalism already.

  3. Chris Given says

    It’s going to be great watching video’s comparing the various version 1 consumer release HMD’s against one another!! Should be interesting to see if they are all close in performance and visuals or if some will be stronger in some areas and weaker in others.

  4. Curtrock says

    I’m impressed with how hard and fast this company is trying to push ahead with VR tech. I haven’t tried this HMD, so only time will tell, but the un-tethered experience is def where we want to be. Also, the reality of front facing cameras on this, (also recently confirmed for the Rift) will be a big plus. I had a spirited debate a while back, with someone online here, who vehemently stated there would be no way that the rift would have stereo cameras on the front. It’s nice to find out that I was completely right, and he was 100% WRONG.

  5. Chris Given says

    They will compete head to head with Oculus… They are both after the Android market and the PC gaming market… Yes maybe Facebook will give Oculus the ability to source out some custom screens as well but Samsung is ahead in that regard… So it’s not sensationalism it’s just the way it is and it’s going to be fun to watch the VR wars!! And don’t get me wrong Im a big Oculus fan boy and it will be my HMD of choice because I think they have the best shot at bringing the best experience to market… I’m just saying with all the new competition coming to market they may have to push their plans even further!! Such as the front facing camera they are now planning on putting on the Rift… Im not sure that was in the plans until every other HMD has plans to add it!! That kind of pressure is a good thing!!

    • snake0 says

      “It’s just the way it is”
      How do you know? Are you privy to information not available to the rest of us? The so-called ‘report’ is nothing more than rumor and speculation. In addition, even if we accept the premise that the report is accurate, it still says nothing about the device being for game-use, nor does it convey that the device will aim at the same market as Oculus. All that can be said is that it will be a peripheral for Galaxy smartphones. That does not even say that it will work with other Android phones.
      So yes, you are being a sensationalist. Look at the facts before spreading baseless information. I know you’re excited but lets separate the wheat from the chaff here.

  6. Curtrock says

    @Ben Lang: The confirmation of the camera(s) that will be part of the CV1 rift, came from Carmack himself via the WIRED article that I mentioned a few days ago. The article is called “The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality”.
    Here is the relevant quote:
    “Oculus is also working on a second, outward-­facing camera that will be part of the headset itself. The Valve proto­type used such a camera to read fiducial markers on the walls for tracking, but Oculus seems to intend it for very different applications. For one, Carmack says, it can function as a pass-through camera, allowing Rift-wearing users to see what’s happening in the real world”

  7. alberto says

    Why HDMI Output? Why not HDMI Input? hdmi input it´s more important than hdmi output. With hdmi input we will use GameFace with PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Blueray, and most important, future android devices with better Gpu than Tegra K1. One Gameface for next 5-6 years!!!

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