StarVR, creator of a high-end VR headset for out-of-home use, is teasing something new to be revealed next week at SIGGRAPH 2018.

StarVR is a high-end headset made for out-of-home use like VR arcades and attractions. The headset’s main selling points are its ultra wide field of view and high resolution which is achieved thanks to a pair of widescreen displays. We’ve been impressed with what the company has been able to achieve with the headset to date, and now it looks like something new is coming.

The official StarVR website is now taken over by a fullscreen teaser showing the silloughette of a headset and the words “We made something for you,” followed by the date August 14th, 2018 and an indication that the reveal will happen at the SIGGRAPH 2018 conference.

It isn’t clear if whatever is revealed will be positioned as an entirely new headset or just an updated version of what came before, but the silhouette appears to show a design that’s quite the departure from whast we’ve seen previously, now with a much more substantial headstrap (replacing the soft strap of prior iterations), complete with an easy adjustment knob in the back.

Photo by Road to VR

Last time we got a good hands on with StarVR, the company told us they were working on bumping up the refresh rate from it’s relatively low 62Hz to something higher, which could lead to reduced latency and a greater feeling of smoothness in the visuals. The company also said they were planning to support a multitude of tracking systems (rather than the PhaseSpace system that was being demoed at the time), so it seems likely that a multi-modal approach to tracking may be part of whatever the company plans to reveal next week.

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  • kool

    That thing looks like a helgast helmet.

    • JJ

      omg it so does!

    • HybridEnergy

      Damn it, I can’t unsee it now.

  • Zerofool

    It would be dumb of Acer (they own the majority share of StarVR now, AFAIK) to leave the high-FOV consumer market to Pimax, so let’s hope they’ll reveal a product which will find its way to consumers as well at some point (hopefully, by the end of this year). Imagine if Valve teamed up with them for the next reference SteamVR HMD… I’m salivating as I write this :)

    • gothicvillas

      Yes I second this!!

    • Pimax seems cool, but the market of consumer high-end headset is very, very small, that’s why is interesting for a very small company only

      • Kev

        Disagree. The high end market is far larger than one might think. 42 million people dropped $3000+ on 4K TV’s last year alone. High end media consumption devices have a big market if they can deliver on performance. (which they haven’t yet).

        This race to the bottom that some VR companies think they need to engage in boggles my mind.

        • According to Steam Hardware & Software Survery, only 2.23% of gamers own a 1080, and only 1.19% own a 1080Ti

          Pimax sell about 6000 headset at kickstarter, I hope this number grow up faster to 10X when retail version gets the market, but this would remain an unimpressive number for a big manufacturer

          • Kev

            Thing is the Vive Pro did almost nothing to attract the type of person who would drop $3k on a TV. It was a small evolutionary improvement at twice the price. People drop $1k all the time on nice computer monitors too. Current VR has insufficient fidelity to compete with either nice monitors or nice TV’s right now. When it does though VR devices will begin to tap into a very large market.

          • So, if you’re right, pimax should sell at least half a million of 8K headsets. I hope so.

          • Kev

            Probably not – because they are small enough they could not manufacture in large mass even if it was a wild success. They did sell like 40,000 units of their older one.

            Also even with the Pimax 8k advances what I tried isn’t polished enough. IMHO they will have a moderate success but perhaps a building block for bigger things.

          • TheNexusLord

            But if you don’t own a VR headset, you don’t really need a 1080 or 1080Ti to play flat games.
            How many of those 42 Million 4K TV owners who bought last year, own a 4K blu-ray player before they buy their new TV? I suspect 99% of them pick up the player, at the same time they upgrade their TV.

          • R FC

            I purchased my new television (LG 55″ Ultra HD 4K) in June this year for just £560 on sale.

            I still have a top end Sony BD player from a couple of years ago, but own very little optical media anymore, as I sold my 1400+ BD/DVD collection and switched to using a high capacity NAS with digital copies.

            The LG has excellent upscaling hardware, and its much easier using digital content; so no interest in purchasing another optical disc player.

        • mirak

          Because you can think of keeping a TV like that for more than 10 years, and you know it will be used by many people of the family at the same time, and everyday.
          That’s what people think.
          They don’t see it as something they can use everyday, share with multiple persons and that will be still usable in 3 years.

    • Bruce Banner

      The FOV is still limited by the GPU. Pimax recently told their fans that the Pimax 8K won’t run the full 200 degree FOV on a GTX 1070. You’ll want a minimum of a GTX 1080. Screens are better and cheaper now.. but it’s still the GPUs that are holding it back.

      • DjArcas

        …what does FOV have to do with your GPU? The pixelcount and fillrate is the same, and transform rate goes up marginally.

        • Bruce Banner

          Talk to Pimax then. They have a software solution to switch between FOVs of 170 and 200, depending on your GPU.

        • Dave

          Thats a little petty DjArcas – what you must love messying with peoples words… Technically yes you are correct – but in a practical sense it’s not fair to critise as developers will not yield PPI from the current gen HMD’s.

      • Dave

        Don’t go green mate but I think thats fine right. A 200 degree FOV needing more than a GTX 1070 – thats not really news… I understand there is a way of switching to 150 degrees anyway so the 1070 users will be ok.

        • Bruce Banner

          I merely meant we need better hardware before we see a wave of high FoV headsets. Just like the resolution itself.. we have better screens available now, but we’re still limited by the hardware to run the things.

  • HybridEnergy

    I’m just and always have been a resolution hoe, I don’t know why but I’m just totally fine with the 110 fovs. I don’t want to waste GPU processing and pixels in areas I don’t look or see.

    • Eric Bourduas

      The FOV in the Rift does feel a bit narrow when doing things like racing sims, I think a bit wider than whatever it has would be ideal.

      • HybridEnergy

        Maybe, but I find it odd that it’s racing sims you would use as an example since the lower FOV there makes it feel like I’m wearing a real racing helmet anyway.

        • Eric Bourduas

          That’s an interesting point, and I haven’t done a back-to-back comparison, but I’m fairly confident I have more peripheral vision when wearing my helmet than I do with the Rift.

    • Eddie Barsh

      I’m the complete opposite. Let’s work our way in not out. I would much rather headset developers focus on FOV rather than resolution. there are always tricks devs can use to send out updates that give little bumps in resolution (I see it all the time on PSVR) it is such an immersion killer when u have only 100-110 degrees of FOV. Plus its a pain on your neck that u have to snap ur neck sideways to look at something when in real life u don’t have to turn ur head because its in ur peripheral so low FOV creates a lot of unnecessary movements that become hard on ur neck and when dealing with a wiorewire strapped to ur headset that can create tangles and a headache that isn’t needed. Resolution bumps are inevitable. Let’s get the FOV right first

    • dsadas

      foveated rendering goes without saying, in fact they kind of killed VR once again because they didn’t add it from the first gen, BUT fov is VERY IMPORTANT. It’s called imerssion if you don’t fee like you have the whole FOV.

      • HybridEnergy

        They didn’t kill anything, VR cat is out of the bag and running. It’s not going anywhere this time. Either way, yea, I mean I knew people were going to differ and say they want FOV instead. It’s not like I haven’t said or heard this before.

    • gothicvillas

      FOV is most important for me. Having ski googles on your face is getting a bit old.

    • Jerald Doerr

      Honestly we need both.. But I stopped playing Project Cars 2 in VR mostly because of lack of resolution I just could not see the cars or track 3 cars in front of me ( even oversampled 2.5 times ) simply because my poor Vive ran out of PPI … So I’ll wait on a headset with at least twice the resolution and definitely more field of view…

    • Me to, I’m fine with 110 fovs but I clearly see the pixels even in the pimax 4k, and I hate them. I’m happy that Pimax 8K will make you choose the FOV at driver level, but I would be happier if there was a model with less open lenses and greater pixels per degree resolution

    • Lucidfeuer

      Odd, I’d rather have wider FOV for now (granted it has at least 4K res)

  • Jerald Doerr

    I really hope they mean YOU as in US!

    This is why I have two 1080’s in sli… This is kinda off topic but it always cracks me up that people that call themselves VR enthusiast spend 5xs more money grabbing up every VR device rather than picking 1 or 2 and focusing in on a killer computer that you can be used for everything plus VR perfection.

  • oompah

    waiting for a waveguide based glasses

    • Laurence Nairne

      Might want to find something else to do in the meantime, it’s going to be a while.

  • Raphael

    When people keep saying pimax 8k needs at least a 1080… nonsense. It all depends on the game. Given that the majority of VR games currently use low-res textures (those that even have textures!), the majority of current VR games will run on a pimax 8k. A 1080 isn’t much faster than a 1070 especially if your 1070 is overclocked.

    • Not according to the Pimax testers (tested 100’s of titles) and Pimax themselves. They even have an option to drop back to 170 FOV now.

      • Raphael

        U have to do the math… job simulator… look at the graphics.. a wider fov and higher res should still be smooth given the low polygons and textures.

        • Your math is not taking other things into consideration. If only 10% of current VR games work then that would be considered not good enough.

          The real world tests on current games suggest that a 1080 is a minimum requirement for the 8K.

          It is far more than just graphic quality at play here like the extra bandwidth to shift that amount of pixels, keeping FPS at 80, the post processing and warp transform, and then the scaling.

          They all contribute to bottlenecks along the way regardless of graphic quality.

        • Adrian Meredith

          its called fillrate, doesn’t matter the texture quality or polygons. A gpu can only do so many pixels at once

    • R FC

      my G1 GTX1070 was overclocked (with Core i7) but still lacked enough overhead for useful levels of supersampling in many applications.

      i’m currently building a new PC specifically for VR and will purchase the top end Nvidia GPU once the next generation is released (pundits say September). With the lack of optimisation found in many applications, top end GPU is ideal, and i’d prefer to spend the extra getting the top GPU rather than second tier.

      • Raphael

        Wouldn’t be needing top gpu if developers weren’t lazy. 99% of VR games don’t use the VR features of a 1000 series GPU. The 1% of games that do see a big leap in performance using VRworks.

        Then again… Nvidia don’t know how to promote their systems with developers. It’s not enough just to make a web page and then expect developers to code in VRworks,

        • NVidia is putting all their eggs into VRWorks for the next series of GPU’s it would seem (if rumors/leaks are correct). The RTX series have hardware ray-tracing built in, which is coupled to VRWorks SDK. That and the new VR port will make all GTX cards become the budget cards.

          It is a strange game to play though, they could squeeze AMD out of the VR space if it pays off.

          • Raphael

            Realtime raytracing is great for the future of 3d graphics/games… unfortunately valve have a very poor track record of getting their specific GPU enhancements into games. SLI has been around for many years and is still hit or miss. Very few games support VRworks/VRSLI…PhysX is looking like another abandoned system. The problem with VRworks is that it’s left to the discretion of developers. Developers can’t be bothered or don’t want to be seen to be favoring Nvidia with specific Nvidia GPU features.

            A real shame because games supporting vrworks see a very big performance improvement.

            Games are also crippled by antiquated API’s below DX12 or Vulkan. We need more powerful GPU’s because hardly any game developers are using Vulkan or DX12.

            If an AAA game utilised Vulkan.DX12 and VRworks the performance would be incredible even on a 1060 or 1070.

          • Valve?

            VR-SLI and the old SLI that has been around the last decade work very differently in that VR-SLI dedicates one GPU per eye. The bottleneck will always be the GPU as brute force grunt can not keep up with panel advancements and until they can work out how to spread the computation cost of high res at super fast frame rates we will constantly be held back by a reduced graphic quality.

            Eye-tracked foveated rendering is hopeful, so is multi-gpu support but brute force power can not carry us all the way.

            Proprietary software (VRWorks) will hamper the wider adoption of VR, something we do not need. We need open standards or at least an equal partnership (and equal investment) of major players to stop any single manufacturer monopolizing the early days of VR.

          • R FC

            i believe he meant Nvidia rather than Valve.

            i’m looking at an Intel/Nvidia build (i7+RTX) than AMD (Ryzen2+Vega) simply for the increase in performance i will be able to exploit with noticeable benefits inside a VR headset

            whether this is brute force or leveraging proprietary software does not concern me directly, although I understand the valid concerns for the VR ecosystem

        • R FC

          yes that’s too true, but unfortunately they (devs) are lazy, so consumer has to brute force the application with top GPU.

          one of the best examples i’ve seen of excellent optimization was Valve’s “The Lab” a masterclass no doubt.

          • Raphael

            Agree. You know the croteam VR games, Eve Valkryrie (abandoned by idiots), Raw Data support VRworks?

        • Lucidfeuer

          Have you a ever tried implementing VRworks, or any “Nvidiaworks” for that matter? It’s a rethorical question: of course not.

          Nvidia horrendous implementations and APIs are WHY almost nobody implements them, not lazy developers.

          Also fuck any Nvidia proprietary tech.

    • Lucidfeuer

      It’s not a matter of resolution of texture, no single consumer GPUs can output at brute 8K, it uses supersampling. And the problem is that supersampling only work for as far 2x, meaning if you want 8K, you single GPU has to at least output at 4K while maintaining at least 60fps for VR. And depending on the game this is bordering the limits of even an overclocked 1070.

  • Sandy Wich

    I never say no to new VR goodness, hope it’s a cool reveal w/e it is. >:D

  • Adrian Meredith

    Ooh integrated eye tracking! Their media press release unfortunately confirms its for commercial customers so its going to be in the $1000s