Saturday, January 10, 2015

Every day I'm shuffling.

One of the things I found most interesting at CES was at the Virtuix Omni booth. It wasn't the Oculus that fascinated me as much - it was the shoes the guy was wearing. They were the opposite of golf shoes. Instead of providing you traction, they made you slip as if you were on an ice rink giving you the ability to almost run in place. Watch video here with game overlay. Most people are calling it a treadmill, but when I saw the guy playing the game - I could see how they would train the military with this device. And as it turned out they do have a much larger military version that accommodates the requirement of soldiers to kneel while holding whatever long rifle.

I haven't talked much about Oculus lately because I think it will survive. I'm not sure if I think it will survive with it's current footprint for the same reasons I didn't think Google Glass would survive. I still believe that people just generally don't like wearing glasses. Sunglasses aside. I saw exactly two people at CES wearing Glass. I asked one of the guys how he was still liking it. His response told me everything. Uuuuuuuum. He started out.  I still like it for taking pictures to upload to my blog. I'm sure the privacy issues and stigma don't help.

I think the whole Oculus hardware getup is just awkward. But the VR is undeniably pretty impressive.

I've tried it twice now. The first time was at the last CES and they were demo'ing simple games . The second time was over the summer in a motion demo. The second time I tried it I was completely shocked how I had a physical reaction to the motion. Like that feeling you get at the top of a roller coaster. At one point I started trying to figure out how I was going to get out of this demo without looking awkward. Finally I had to tell myself - just close your eyes! That is how immersed you are.

The first time you try Oculus, you are just amazed. The second time you start picking apart the graphics. At least I do. I spend the first hour of a game just checking out the PhysX and particle effects. So the second time I was not as impressed. I went home and was talking to Mr S. I was like - It looks like I'm watching a game through a screen door! What - is - up - with - that? Turns out, that is actually a thing in graphics. Via wiki.

"The screen-door effect or fixed-pattern noise (FPN) is a visual artifact of the projection technology used in digital projectors, where the fine lines separating the projector's pixels become visible in the projected image."

He said as the devices become more dense, that will go away. Suddenly I became obsessed with figuring how where that range was. The guy in the Virtuix Omni booth said that will go away at 4k. So we are almost there I think.

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