With leading high-end VR headsets debuting in 2016, we’ve had about two years to see what the first-generation VR experience looks like. While there’s certainly a range of exciting games and other VR software coming soon to first-generation hardware, it feels like the market is steadily turning its attention toward next-generation technologies, and fostering a renewed sense of excitement and momentum. Here’s a smattering of exciting projects that are likely to influence the VR and AR space in the next two years.

Oculus Half Dome Prototype

Image courtesy Facebook

Prior to launch the first consumer Rift headset, Oculus had a long history of showing prototypes and development kits. Following the company’s 2012 Kickstarter, enthusiasts and developers watched the subsequent development of the Rift DK1, DKHD, DK2, Crystal Cove, and Crescent Bay headsets before the consumer Rift finally made it to market in 2016. Following the launch of the Rift, Oculus kept their R&D efforts on future PC headsets mostly secretive. That is, until the reveal of the Half Dome prototype less than two months ago.

A Rift-like field of view compared to the Half Dome prototype. | Image courtesy Facebook

Half Dome introduces a much larger 140 degree field of view (to the Rift’s ~100 degree) along with a varifocal display and eye-tracking. The larger field of view will make the virtual world feel much more encompassing and immersive. The varifocal display makes the virtual visuals look more realistic by dynamically changing focus to simulate light coming from objects of varying distances, also making it easier to focus on objects closer to you; in short, it makes the light coming out of the headset act more like light from the real world, which allows your eyes to function more closely to how they would in the real world. Then there’s eye-tracking—the ability for the headset to know precisely which direction your eyes are looking—which can enable game-changing capabilities.

Oculus has said clearly that we shouldn’t expect to see everything from Half Dome in the Rift 2, or whichever PC-based headset is coming next from Oculus, but it gives us a clear direction that the company is looking for the future of its PC headsets.

Valve Knuckles

Image courtesy @AntonHand

It was once thought that controller-less glove & finger tracking technology would be the ideal input for virtual reality, but over the last few years the benefits of having a physical, tracked controller for VR input have become quite apparent. For one, buttons and sticks are more reliable than gestures for binary input (like initiating a ‘grab’ action, or navigating a menu), and it turns out that having something in your hand while grabbing virtual objects actually feels much more natural than making a mock grabbing posture with nothing to grasp but air.

But there’s still benefits to the full finger tracking afforded by VR gloves, like added realism and a less abstracted means of fine interaction in VR (like poking and pinching).

SEE ALSO
Exclusive: Cloudhead Games Goes In-depth with Knuckles EV2 & Predecessors

The Knuckles controller, in development by Valve, aims to mashup the capabilities of both VR controllers and VR gloves, by creating a controller which can sense the position of all five fingers. Last month Valve revealed the latest version of Knuckles, dubbed the EV2, which also introduced a force sensor into the controller’s handle to detect how hard the user is gripping. Another major part of the controller’s design is the strap which can keep it on the user’s hand even when they completely release their grip.

With finger tracking, force sensing, and the strap design, Knuckles opens up new interactive possibilities like being able to crush things in your hand and more naturally throw objects.

Valve hasn’t said when Knuckles will ship to consumers, but the latest development kit is looking much more polished than previous versions and could be soon on its way to mass production.

Leap Motion North Star

Image courtesy Leap Motion

The world of AR is poised and waiting for its breakout headset. While HoloLens is impressive in many ways, it’s expensive and held back by a limited field of view and sluggish & imprecise input. It will be a few years yet until the market sees an affordable and compact AR headset which feels immersive in both input and output. Until that happens though, it’s challenging for developers to design the basic capabilities, interfaces, and interactions that will define AR experiences—just as its taken several years for VR developers to learn how to create compelling VR content.

Not wanting to wait for the future to one day show up, Leap Motion has designed its own prototype AR headset which is made to give developers a development platform which represents the input and output experience that future AR headsets will hopefully one day provide.

Called Project North Star, the device eschews any care of form factor, and aims solely at maximizing the end experience with a wide 100 degree field of view, low latency, high resolution, and of course the company’s hand-tracking sensor. Having open-sourced the design of the headset, Leap Motion hopes North Star will make it possible for the AR industry to get a head start designing apps and interfaces for a future where everyone is walking around with an immersive AR headset.

Oculus Santa Cruz

image courtesy Oculus

While Oculus launched its low-cost ‘Go’ headset earlier this year, it offers a very similar experience to the Gear VR headset which has been available for several years now.

But Oculus is also working on a more ambitious standalone VR headset called Santa Cruz. You can think of it like an advanced version of Oculus Go which is not only more powerful, but also offers 6DOF tracking, meaning that users can physically move around while using the headset, just like high-end PC VR headsets. And while Santa Cruz won’t be the first standalone headset to offer 6DOF tracking, it’s poised to be the first to also offer 6DOF motion controllers, giving users both full head and hand tracking, and making it possible to play much more immersive games on the headset.

SEE ALSO
Everything We Know About Oculus Santa Cruz (so far)

Oculus has been working on Santa Cruz for quite some time now. The company first revealed the headset all the way back at the end of 2016. The last time we went hands on with the headset was when it was introduced with motion controllers in 2017. While the company hasn’t yet announced a release date or price for the headset, we expect to hear a major update on Santa Cruz at Oculus’ developer conference at the end of September.

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  • Mythos88

    I’m most excited about the Pimax 8K, I had been assuming it would be a couple years before a Pimax was worth considering but it now appears they are coming much closer than I thought. I’m looking forward to finding out more about it soon.

    My 2nd most anticipated device is the rumoured reveal of the next generation, true mixed reality Samsung Odyssey at the IFA technology conference in in Berlin in late August

    • Andrew Jakobs

      let’s just wait for the actual reviews of multiple reviewers before going to glorify the Pimax 8K, on paper it may sound great, but in reality it might turn out different. Their 4K headset also looked good on paper, but in reality it’s a very flimsy build device and not so good (ok, I really hope they’ve learned from that).

      • Mythos88

        I was about as optimistic as you regarding the Pimax 8K but reading between the lines that SweViver is not saying about it–I get the feeling it is a compelling device with flaws and a bit closer than I thought it would be.

      • Bob

        This. Most likely the Pimax will not have the same build quality, robustness and refined UX as the PSVR or the Oculus Rift/Go. In theory they may have conceived a product capable of very high resolution but getting it into a very usable product that will last long and not break apart after handling it a week or two requires a lot of money and the correct business connections with excellent manufacturing partners.

  • Jason Hunter

    I’m interested in a smart ring that can accurately read my fingers for sign language input. I could just launch and interact and write messages with my hands even blindfolded

    • benz145

      Leap Motion is available today and would probably be sufficient for that purpose:

      https://youtu.be/rnlCGw-0R8g

      • Jason Hunter

        No, Leap Motion requires your hands to be within a certain space. A ring would register your fingertips even if they relax by your hips or even inside your pockets.

  • Bob

    Resolution is definitely a number one priority in getting closer to that sort of “real life” experience. Varjo seems very promising as is the Half Dome project from Facebook.

    • nebošlo

      Personally, I’d put FOV and wireless above resolution, but yeah it’s up there.

    • Sandy Wich

      I wouldn’t say it’s number 1. People live in real life without glasses all the time. They can’t see clearly and still live fully. Watch what happens when you tie a person to a rope though.

      Personally what I want is wireless, increased FOV, reduced bulk and better controllers, “Possibly the knuckles controllers”.

      Resolution is great, but I think there is a reasonable increase they can do to PPI while still making the overall product significantly better and not just catering to brute forcing the resolution.

      Give me the ability to spin around in my play area, give me the ability to use my peripheral vision without hurting my neck after playing Skyrim for 30 minutes. Let me feel like I’m closer to the VR world by making my hands a more immersive part of it.

    • Pasi Ripari

      Definitely agreeing with neboslo and Sand Wich here.

      Resolution doesn’t matter after Vive pro/Samsung odyssey level. It’s decent enough. Wireless and FOV impact WAY, WAY more than an increase in resolution.

      The only reason resolution is such a big deal, is because bad gaming “journalists” decided that “screen door effect” was cool and hip to write about. It was never a big deal for me, not even with the original Vive.

  • R FC

    Second generation SteamVR headset with Knuckles and Valve’s VR games…not much to ask?

    Tetherless is a deal breaker; whether integrated or add-on system, I won’t use buy another tethered headset after the freedom of using the new standalone headsets.

  • F1ForHelp

    This article makes me look forward to the future. Pretty much all I can say.

    There are a couple of things that I’m critical about or not completely sold on, but at the top of the “most acquirable” list, I predict that general optimization is what’s going to be the most appreciated; Better tracking, resolution, FOV and the likes. I think those aspects are going to go a little underrated during this hype cycle.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Buuuuurn, nothing about magic leap. lol

    • IanTH

      Yeah. Magic Leap has been an interesting one to watch. Masterclass in building hype, then a masterclass in completely exploding it and watching it slowly spiral down the drain.

      It has the feel of an underwhelming product just waiting to flop. I’d be super happy to eat crow on that if it turns out great – I was initially excited by its promise and super-secret-showings to journalists – but it just…doesn’t feel like it will.

      • quadrplax

        Magic Leap is one of those companies I group into the category of “it would be cool if it worked out, but I don’t see it likely to happen anytime soon”, along with Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Aerospace.

  • Sandy Wich

    I have no idea why people think augmented/mixed reality is going to become a landslide product, I must be missing something because I watched the entire world outside the first hype video forgetting the next day that Google Glass was a thing.

    Idk, maybe I’m being naive.. Augmented reality’s hype train has been built on things like pointing your phone and it labels different streets/businesses with a HUD and it’s tbh kinda cool and I can see it’s uses in the future, but I’ve found that people resist effort, and will likely just favor google maps instead of looking like a goof and wearing bulky glasses/pointing their phone everywhere when they’re traveling.

    Auhg… What would I know I’m no expert.. I’ve gotta be missing something or people wouldn’t be talking about it so much.

    • impurekind

      Right now AR is mostly just gimmicky rubbish imo (the kind of stuff you’ve said), but VR is already pretty frikin’ brilliant, and that’s just the first generation of VR headsets. AR/VR–and they will inevitably converge into single headsets I’d say–is going to be absolutely huge in so many ways going forward. You’d have to be rather blind or just completely out of the loop to not be able to see the huge potential for these technologies in both the near future and certainly beyond.

      • Sandy Wich

        I don’t see much potential in AR or MR over VR in the near future, but I agree, decades down the line AR/MR might be something really cool once the technology has evolved.

        Will it be mass adopted though?.. Time will tell. Someone mentioned AR inside car windshields of the future, that does sound pretty cool, if not extremely dangerous. But who knows, we got self driving cars being tested with decent results, no reason why that can’t be tested either.

        Who knows where the human race will be someday.

        • cataflic

          AR/MR is the next big thing, as now is normal for you , to have a screen in your hand to watch through for everthing, in the future you will have some sort of ” vision system” to watch through for everything.
          We are not so far away from that

        • dsadas

          the only thing without any potential is your brain. AR is the one with a future not VR. Why so? Well because AR will incorporate VR and will do both… then game over for VR.

          • Sandy Wich

            I said near future. You embarrass yourself when you act before you think. Might wanna learn to treat people nicer as well.

      • Ugur

        I see a lot of potential in both AR and VR and work on apps and games for both. I see both in their early childhood days and get annoyed when some people want to talk by the doom and gloom of the technology because it doesn’t sell gangbusters in year 1-3, while yes, of course it doesn’t, with most other technologies it takes many iterations of stepwise improvements to reach massive mass market potential, no different here.
        But very cool content is already available in both AR and VR today and it will only get better and better from here =)

        I think it is also nonsense to talk about AR wins over VR or the other way round, they have very different main use cases where they excell at (and the other can’t match), so they both totally have their place.

        I’ve heard the thought brought up a few times that at some point there would only be MR headsets/glasses as in a single thing for both, and i’m not sure i agree to that as ideal target, because AR and VR are ideal in different use cases with different features for the headsets/glasses.
        Sure, for both they will become less clunky over time, but i don’t think them reaching the same form factor as end goal would be a sense making one.
        With AR glasses one wants them to be ideally almost like regular sun glasses, leave as much of your view on the real world not occluded as possible, besides the content overlayed on top.
        So ideally the glasses should be thin framed letting light/scenery photons “leaking” in intentionally in as much of your field of view as possible.

        With VR glasses though? You exactly don’t want that. You don’t want light and outside real world scenery view stuff leaking in, you want to be masked off from the outside completely, else that would totally break immersion.

        So hence i am not convinced a single form factor headset/glasses is or can be ideal for both at once.

        Where i see a nicer total and ideal convergence possible is with the controllers, i mean once in a few generations down the line something like the vive knuckles can be had with same 6dof tracking precision and speed (or at least very close) with inside out tracking with cameras on the headsets and controllers, one would not need base stations/external cameras anymore and then i can totally see something like a vive knuckles controller as a great input device for AR glasses, too.
        (I think the ideal combination is to have both hand tracking for some content and interaction types and hand held controller for others)

        • nebošlo

          I wouldn’t say it’s “early childhood”, since I remember VR arcades and home products in the 90’s :)

          • Ugur

            Sure, VR devices of some form have been around for a good long while (even way earlier than the 90s), but what we see as modern consumer VR headsets, what basically got kicked off with the Rift DK campaign, that is less than 3 years old as sold in consumer retail version now.
            We’re like at still first or second iteration for the controllers (next coming up with the knuckles and i saidf first or second because it depends on if you see the vive and rift touch controllers as gen 1 controllers or the vive ones as gen 1 and the rift touch ones as gen 2 and then the knuckles would be gen 3 =) ), and still basically at first consumer iteration of the headsets.
            (something like the vive pro i see more as gen 1.25 than a proper full next generational leap)
            So i find that most comparable to like in the regular console world when we got the first home consoles.
            (One could make cases for things like the virtual boy being there many years earlier and sorta being a consumer device, but it was also still so crude that it then wasn’t even sold in most countries and abandoned within less than two years, the tech was just not ready yet at all for a consumer device, even now with the already way more advanced rift and vive i still find this iteration more interesting for enthusiasts and explorers (next to for various business use cases) than wondering why it isn’t yet a massive mass market success, of course it isn’t, many steps of improvement needed to be not just appealing to game and tech enthusiasts and some business but also to more average joes and janes, many of those steps are pretty obvious, it’ll just take a good amount of iterating on it to get there)

            Compare this short timeframe of modern consumer VR headsets on the market for less than 3 years to something like the phone industry or tv industry where over 40 years passed between first halfway usable consumer devices and it nearing a state where it feels pretty matured and is fully mass market globally and even to a degree where it has reached saturation and is settled until the next largescale breakthrough.
            Like this article shows, with VR and AR we’re nowhere close to that level yet, we have a bunch of cool content already and usable tech, but tech side it is clear there is a long path of stepwise evolution ahead, and contentwise, too most studios are at most 1-a few first vr titles in.
            It is an exciting journey to be on, one should just be realistic about it being early days and enjoy what one can have there now and look forward to the next progresses and don’t feel like it is doomed when it doesn’t sell gangbusters in its first iteration on the market for less than 3 years, there are many more iterations to come in hardware and sfotware and both sales and hardware and software will just progress on and on constantly with each of those evolutionary steps.
            (Regarding the cell phone/tv comparison, one upside is of course that thanks to the internet, worldwide cooperation and information exchange, much faster computers and also things like manufacturing, robotics and AI advances, we nowadays have progression much faster in many fields than a few decades ago overall, so now when one constantly pushes on it one can expect a bigger breakthrough next generation feel around every 3-5 years instead of a few decades ago every 5-15 years depending on the field)

          • ArSh

            Indeed. These are actually third or fourth generation HMDs. I have a VR headset from 2005 gathering dust in my cupboard of obsolescence. Cost me over $650 back then!

          • impurekind

            I’d say it’s the “early childhood” of proper consumer-level VR. I mean, there were computers and stuff that were around long before any normal person could really afford them, but you wouldn’t talk about that as being when computers launched as an actual consumer device like VR now has. So this really is the first generation of consumer VR headsets, and things are only going to get better from here imo.

        • impurekind

          Well, put it like this, VR headsets will inevitably start offering AR as a form of passthrough so you don’t always have to sit blocked off the real world–maybe you want to drink some tea or even just see your mate next to you in the same room when talking to him for a bit for example–and that’s what I say when I mean the will converge. Some people will still go off and buy AR-only headsets too, but I think VR basically needs to adopt AR to some degree to truly be practical and mainstream in the long run.

    • Gnoll

      I think the excitement is about the hardware entering a phase where it looks no different than a pair of thick sunglasses such as Ray-Ban Wayfarers. AR can quickly go from novelty to mass adoption once it reaches that stage. Even the larger headsets will gradually gain adoption after each iteration, at least in the private and professional settings, once the field-of-view increases and the current performance improves by 2-3x. Then we have the large display AR tech that’s in development, things such as car windshields, windows and camera + displays, which have practical application once they get the cost down.

      • Sandy Wich

        I figured this was it. I see applications for this far down the line but when I hear ppl talk about this stuff I often get the feeling people are excited about what’s around the corner, and what’s around the corner looks pretty average to me.

        That’s what had me confused, I started to think people were really hyped over a AR/MR headset over what I believe to be vastly superior VR.

        • R FC

          Have a look at new Clive Owen movie “Anon” showing potential future of AR with neural implants. Very interesting concept seen in the movie…

          • Sandy Wich

            I’ll check it out bud, dunno how i feel about implants but still why not

    • benz145

      I agree with @disqus_pnD7Ia6NzD:disqus, people think AR will be huge once it reaches the point where headsets are slim enough that we can wear them comfortably all the time.

      The long term vision for AR goes much further than the things you mentioned. Consider how much we all use our phones, computers, and TVs… now imagine a world where all of reality if a canvas for digital information, instead of just those screens. Magic Leap’s concept video offers an interesting glimpse of what that might look like down the road:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPMHcanq0xM

      • Sandy Wich

        That’s a pretty sick video, it would be interesting to see AR reach such a level, and on a software level it seems it’s that many years off “I base that on a AR tech demo of a Pokemon concept where I watched a Pikachu and Eevee dance around objects IRL seemingly a part of the world.”

        It was a basic concept, but it showed promise.

        I think it’s plausible to think AR could reach mainstream adoption if it existed in this, “ultimate”, form while being just a basic pair of glasses, but this is almost Mass Effect fantasy stuff with much standing in it’s way.

        But when I saw people getting hyped over AR/MR, some even saying it’ll crush the VR market in a few years, I was legitimately confused. That made no sense to me, now I can kinda see they were just delusional, and it’s more about what the far future brings than what’s on the shelves next year.

    • Joe Strout

      Jumping in late, I know, but Google Glass was not an AR device. It didn’t have head or world tracking, and without those, you don’t have AR; you have a head-mounted display. And phone-based AR is just silly. Right now the only true AR device is HoloLens, which I have tried, and it really is as awesome as they say; but it’s also heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable. If ML1 can do basically the same thing with a much more comfortable form factor, it’ll be a big step forward. And eventually, I really do think AR is going to be much bigger than VR — roughly on the same scale as smart phones are today. It’s that compelling.

      • Sandy Wich

        Yea I looked into it’s development more closely, it certainly isn’t feasible right now but technology will shrink, in a decade or 2 it may be an everyday wear. It might even replace the cellphone, as long as people adopt a pair of glasses for everyday wear that is.

        Whether or not it becomes bigger than VR… Idk. VR is a sealed environment that can simulate an entire game world already like Skyrim/FO4, and it’s only going to get significantly better from here on out. But the same could be said for AR as well.

        It really comes down to how far can each technology go? Is VR limited by it’s own nature while AR, “in the much longer run”, capable of doing what VR does just as good, but then so much more?

        Hmmm… I’ll keep my eyes open, but AR is a long ways off at least for enthusiast use of being better than VR. It may be that in our lifetime VR is the way to go, as AR might not reach it’s potential until our generation is over.

        But by then AR would be accomplishing what VR is doing right now anyways, so it really doesn’t matter that much, as long as this technology continues to evolve, it’s better for all enthusiasts.

  • Ombra Alberto

    I look forward to the Cv2. Hoping it’s 160 and not 140.

    • Mike

      140 would be dumb. 160 would be acceptable. The Pimax 8K is 170 with no edge distortion, 200 with minor edge distortion.

      • cartweet

        If I’m not mistaken that 200 degree measurement for pimax is a diagonal measurement. The 140 degrees for the half dome is the horizontal measurement so they’re not too far off from each other if you do the calculations.

        • Leon

          It’s 200 across and not diagonally . That was just a graphics error in a video.

          • cartweet

            On the pimax subreddit everyone says it’s 200 diagonally. Sweviver (who was one of the recipients of the prototype) also said it’s 200 degrees diagonally.

            With the way the display and lenses are configured I don’t think it’s physically possible to get 200 degrees.

          • Leon

            I just tried it a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t scientific but it was so much wider than the frame of my glasses. I think the 170 option is probably fully acceptable as well.

        • Kev

          The pimax I saw last year was really wide and also had a lot more vertical than my vive. It had a lot of rough edges but was promising.

    • Kev

      They said the half dome proto isn’t cv2 and the tech that was part of it will not appear for a very long time.

      • Engineer_92

        Ehhh they said that all of the tech in the prototype wouldn’t appear in CV2. I’m guessing the wider field of view and eye tracking will be in Rift 2 but not the varifocal display.

  • impurekind

    Lots of good stuff there.

  • VR4EVER

    Eye-tracking will be truly groundbreaking!
    Not only will we enjoy better graphics on standalone HMDs, it will also make high pixel density displays possible, which otherwise would take years until an affordable graphicscard could run them.
    And lets not forget the impact of social VR – when you can actually have eye-contact with other people! Facebook knows this very well …

  • I’d remove Massless and add Neurable

    • JJ

      yes!!! I can’t wait for neurable

  • Gnoll

    I didn’t see it mentioned but 5G-based VR streaming seems interesting. If 5G truly delivers the low-latency + high-bandwidth solution it promises then it might be possible to have stand-alone VR hardware that is much cheaper than today’s tech because it doesn’t require the expensive and bulky high-end tech to process and render locally. The reduction in cost could also allow for better hardware in regards to FoV, eye-tracking and screen resolution without paying more than current hardware.

    • benz145

      Yup, definitely huge potential there, if it can be done. The scope of the article was looking at “projects that are likely to influence the VR and AR space in the next two years;” I think 5G VR streaming will be a little later than that since 5G will take quite some time to become widespread.

      • Gnoll

        Good point, it’s probably 4-5 years out at best.

    • Sion12

      Outside of VR video and general application, i dont think streaming will ever be good enough for gaming, atleast not within 10 years. You just cant overcome the input lag.

  • Kim from Texas

    The future Magic Leap goggles look exactly like what the villains use in the movie The Incredibles 2. How embarrassing to have your product be characterized as evil in a movie that made $500 million domestically!

  • Molmir

    Does anyone know if knuckles also track “finger separation/finger base rotation” or just the amount of finger curling?

  • Joshua Terry

    Hopefully PiMax 8k headset performs better than their 4k headset did.

  • Molmir

    Does anyone know if knuckles also can track finger positions like a “vulcan salute” or similar, or is it just tracking finger curl?

    • IanTH

      I hope they let me post this link – Road to VR seems a little strict with things like that. Here goes:

      https://youtu.be/FCkD5aM3AwQ?t=45

      Short demo, but a decent show of the fidelity (especially when looking at the range of the pointer finger going up and down). It certainly isn’t 1:1, but more like it tracks each finger and there are different stages of animation to which it will assign certain ranges of finger motion.

      • Molmir

        Looks like the old prototype though, so it might have improved since. It is understandable that they cannot track the full range of finger curling motion since the controller is necessarily preventing the finger from curling all the way into fist position and so the force sensor has to approximate that particular position beteen controller holding position and virtual fist position. But if they beyond that only has improved but still approximated pre rendered animations “oculus touch deluxe” instead of leap motion 1:1 true handtracking, and only limited to the finger curling, the knuckles “finger tracking” will still be really immersion-breaking. Hope Valve is smart enough to either fix this themselves, or implement Leap Motion to do the finger tracking from the headset which is working well, and keep everything else in the knuckles controller that is actually great: natural grabbing & throwing, force sensing, and positional tracking.

  • Felix Hoenikker

    Half Dome is okay, I came across DeepSee the other day and their approach seems to be the ticket for variable high focus with hi res and doesn’t mess with fov. also looks like a pathway to much smaller headsets since they’re using micro lens arrays. I’d pay close attention to what they’re working on and seem to have some smart folks on their team.

    • IanTH

      I think half-dome looks great. If that came out as v2 (in some capacity, since who knows what all would actually make it over), I’d be thrilled. It is kind of weird to me that there are people out there who are underwhelmed by that.

      There wasn’t a lot of info up there in that link to DeepSee, but I’m always interested in more tech – I’ll try to dig a bit more later. But I also have a hard time thinking that a small company like that will be able to outdo a company backed with a team of 30 people who are literally some of the brightest minds in their respective fields. Not to mention being backed by the might of Facebook’s money. And again when realizing this team has been working on Half-Dome for 2+ years. I couldn’t find a single video or image of an actual HMD from DeepSee either, so at this point it seems like their work is potentially still living in the theoretical/very-early-prototype stage – something like Half-Dome was closer to 2 years ago. Think about where the team that made Half-Dome could be in another two years.

      Not saying it can’t be done of course, garage startups have shaken up industries in the past, but it seems a little harder when talking about something as complex as this.

      • Felix Hoenikker

        Dont disagree with you at all. I’m surprised Oculus isnt using a similar approach bc i can think of a lot of advantages over the half dome, having done some optics work in the past.

      • Bob

        Time and resources are not a problem for Facebook and yes indeed they have hired plenty of eggheads to solve and perfect the presence issue with Virtual Reality. If there is indeed a startup that has access to amazing research and technology within this field then rest assured Facebook would be one of the first companies to know and would obviously absorb them into the company especially when you have one Mr Zuckerberg (VR fanatic) at the helm.

        Simply put whatever Facebook are doing in their labs is guaranteed to be bleeding edge; possibly even more than other major companies invested in this field such as Valve and Google.

  • MosBen

    I appreciate that this doesn’t exactly fit with the thrust of the article, but just having the second generation of top tier HMDs announce is going to be a big deal for the fledgling industry. Early on, several players in the VR space talked about the expected life of HMDs to be in the cell phone range, which many people took to mean that we’d see refreshes ever 2-3 years, as opposed to the life expectancy of a console generation, which is in the 5-10 year span. But we’re now into the third year of the Rift and Vive and we really haven’t heard anything concrete about the next iterations of the hardware.

    Getting to a point where we as fans and consumers have a better idea of how quickly we can expect the pace of the development of this tech to be, and also just that this is definitely going to be a next generation, seems to me like a pretty big deal, even if it’s mostly psychological.

    • R FC

      SteamVR ecosystem has something big brewing under the surface when you start looking carefully at recent updates and guarded reports from associated developers.

      I’d place a sportsman’s bet on SteamVR v.2 headsets announced in same time frame as consumer Knuckles and VR applications from Valve.

      It would not be out of character for Valve to launch their second generation with little to no warning…and for VR enthusiasts’ jaws to drop and minds be blown, like the early days of the Vive.

      • benz145

        What recent updates and guarded reports do you mean?

        • JJ

          lol guarded means its not meant for bloggers and writers to get hold of.

    • dsadas

      console generation is in 5-7 years year span, not 5-10.

  • Felix Hoenikker

    I think Varjo is great but think its trying to solve a focus problem with resolution. There will be higher resolution screens in the near future but to read fine print or see well defined small objects its seems more like a focus issue?