HTC to Announce Upgraded Resolution?

  • I think proper VR hands will be transformative, but we do need to integrate it with our physical hardware as best we can and clever innovations will be needed to make that slick/convincing. There is technology that can give you a sense of touch in mid air ( ultrahaptics) and gloves with touch feedback, so that could be nice for switches and knobs, but i think we'd need a real yoke/stick and that is where the innovations to align things or trick the brain into alignment are needed. Just plenty of exciting things for the future.

  • How important is the concept of VR Hands to you as opposed to the visual dynamics of better resolution?



    - Kenneth

    It's not as simple as that. None of this can be answered yet as it's not fully out yet or been compared properly to others. All the reviews so far of the Vive pro say it's better than the old Vive ( but that's it, not next gen)....but the old vive did have it's problems compared to the rift ( especially for flight sims). I'd need to read a good unbiased comparison between the Vive pro and the rift first and then compare 'prices'. A lot of the other changes are things like comfort, headphones and weight but that's just bringing it up to be more like the rift. Though the resolution is where it could beat it.

    Personally I got into VR on the Vive first, though I could still tell then without having any comparisons that the screen door look and the very visible pixels could be a problem. It was also heavy on the head and having to have headphones added on top didn't help. Though with reading up a lot and the easy setup and sensor it was the one I thought I might go for. But due to money constraints and the stupid price of the Vive I got the Oculus Rift in their great sale ( with help from my good wife). Under half the price of the Vive. Wow was I happily surprised. Very little to no screen door effect. MUCH less visible pixels. Lighter, comfy and very good headphones. The only areas I could find that the vive was better was the width of the view area and maybe the colour was a tad stronger in the vive. (Yes the rift can be like you're looking through a diving mask a little more than the vive.) I'm really happy with it ( play allsorts, but mainly my time is in Aerofly fs2 and Elite Dangerous). So to conclude I'd 'GUESS' that the vive pro will only have over the rift ( at the moment) a better res possibly (and some stereo cameras added internally, which I'm not fussed about). Which is good but at what price? for how much better? We'll have to wait and see.

    Yes this was a load of waffle but I thought you might like another person's perspective.^^

  • Reading the RoadtoVR article about the Vive Pro reveals some interesting things about the complexity of making a good VR headset, and gives me more pause for thought with my hopes that PiMax's charge towards piling on the pixels will realise our hopes and dreams.


    They talk not only about screendoor effect SDE, but aliasing (jaggy lines) and mura (pixel brightness inconsistency) which aren't simply a function of resolution but require sophisticated software optimisation to make the best of the pixels available. I've also been reading about motion blur and how we really need 1,000Hz (frames/sec) to solve that perfectly compared to the 90 frames/sec which is the current VR gold standard. Again there are software tricks like inserting black frames to improve that. All this explains why the big guys aren't churning out 8K headsets PiMax style, but are no doubt working hard on the software and optimisations which don't make the headline specification sheet but count for a lot.


    Here's an interesting thing I came across - look closely at the top ufo for a second or two then look closely at the bottom one and note how the background looks each time. https://www.testufo.com/eyetracking

  • About the VR hands, DCS sort of does this if it can see your controllers and while just my opinion, I don’t care for it. X-Plane has also implemented the ability to control the cockpit and fly using controllers, and it’s also not my cup of tea. I don’t know what IPACS is planning but suspect it’s going to be more of the same but I’m willing to give it a chance and see what they have planned. IMO, where that stuff works is for checking out a sim without having a stick, yoke, throttle, button box, etc, all hooked up and configured.


    Again, it’s only my opinion and preference, but I prefer to use my own controls instead of reaching and groping for, picking up, using, and putting the controller back down. In VR, the big disadvantage is you can’t easily see the real world so controls in known locations is a bonus. That said, anything I need to do in the cockpit that isn’t mapped to joystick or throttle buttons and switches means I have to locate my mouse instead which has no virtual world representation. Others have affixed touch pads to their sims so they have a known and fixed control. I have a little table next to my sim where I keep my mouse but when I was desk-bound for simming, my mouse was always right on my mouse pad and easy to find. My controllers were pushed back to the back of my desk, unused.


    Which brings us to the speculation part of our show. And it is speculation since they didn’t even mention the twin cameras on the face of the Vive Pro other than to glancingly mention enhanced Chaperone. Maybe that’s all they are but they look eerily like the Zed Mini (no relation). https://www.stereolabs.com/zed-mini/ The stereo cameras located basically where your eyes are opens up other possibilities with caveats but Zed Mini is already doing this - it allows mixed/augmented reality. There is speculation (emphasis on speculation) that this will allow chroma keying and bringing real world items into the virtual world without having them be tracked per se. The more wild speculation is that they may provide Leap Motion (https://www.leapmotion.com/) functionality where you don’t pick anything up, don’t reach for any controller - you just use your hands to actuate cockpit knobs and switches. At a minimum, the cameras will allow easily kicking out of VR and seeing the real word in stereo to be able to locate and pick up controllers. The cameras could possibly just be for Chaperone (sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...) but I do suspect there is added functionality in there but we just don’t know yet.


    The last thing to mention is the Vive isn’t it’s own product and HTC isn’t the only source for parts, pieces, and controllers. It’s easy to think of it that way, but the new Lighthouses that are going to be part of the full Pro package are made by Valve. While the wand controllers everyone associates with the Vive are made by HTC, the Knuckles controllers that are more similar to Touch are being made by Valve (https://www.vrheads.com/valve-knuckles-controllers). There are multiple manufacturers and companies that have signed onto the Lighthouse ecosystem and will be supplying devices that work with it so people can mix and match what they want. Those that don’t like the wands don’t have to use them. When the Knuckles controllers go on sale (soon?), you can buy those instead.


    And a bit more esoteric, but I built a motion rig to use in my sim adventures. This goes way beyond this discussion, but in VR that tracks your head motions, it tracks all of your head motions - even those due to the sim platform that you are really moving relative to. There is an application that can subtract out the motion platform movements after you attach a controller to the platform. That works for the Vive. Oculus changed their motion tracking and at least for now, there is no way to subtract away motion platform movement with Constellation. For small-displacement rigs like mine, you don’t even need to worry about it. I still haven’t installed the app to do motion cancellation since it only gets weird at the extreme motions for me. But this has been giving the 6 dof guys fits. It’s a big deal for those with big displacement motion sims because they find their heads sticking out through roofs, outside of cockpits, etc. With a Lighthouse-based system, you just fix a tracked controller to the platform, set up the software, and from then on, your perspective in the virtual world only reflects your motion relative to the motion rig.

    Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, MFG Crosswind pedals, 2 dof Motion, Valve Index

  • I have a 3K VR headset, which is the same resolution as the Vive pro, and I must say you might not get too excited so soon. The perceived increase of resolution is quite subtle. Yes you an feel it, but it's not a whole new level.


    I have a 4K VR headset, which is indeed a whole level up, but the screen is too dark, the sweet spot is too small, and there are some subtle but visible stripes across the field, so I have to abandon it and go back to Oculus Rift.


    I think Pimax 8K is the way to go for flight sim this year.

  • I used the Rift with Aerofly FS 2 for half a year or so but it's eating dust now, mainly due to the Rift itself but also partially due to Aerofly FS 2. A whole lot needs to change before I will get into VR again and I don't expect it too happen in one or two years... I certainly won't invest any money in it before I know it really offers what I want: I am done pioneering.

  • Kenneth,


    I waited the entire year of 2017 to purchase my first VR. Spit40 really wanted me in include another 3 pages or more specific to using VR with AFS2 in my Avsim review that was written exactly one year ago.


    Knowing that my 6th gen PC at the time was less than a year old with a nvidia 970 card and that everyone was in agreement that one should go for the fastest processor and the 1080 Ti card for the best VR experience, I waited. I almost bought the Oculus Rift on Black Friday when the price dropped to $399 for a few hours, but knowing I really needed to have a new companion PC, I waited.


    My son is one of the few Dell employees with a 20+ year badge and he is my technical advisor. His personal gaming PC for several years now has been a loaded Area 51 model with triple monitors. He keep saying that he was waiting for the 2nd gen VR and even passed up the recent Dell VR headset. (I experienced this in a demo during Christmas at the Microsoft store) and agree that waiting for the next gen was good advice.


    I was not overly impressed with the first look at the Oculus Rift a few days later, but that may have been my disappointment that the Oculus rep knew less about the recent Core 2.0 and Dash beta release than I did. (The ‘beta’ may have been the limiting factor)


    I did order the fastest production PC that Dell/Alienware offers with no VR decision at the time.


    Newegg’s after Christmas sale had the Rift for $299 us$ with a free over the ear headset so I just couldn’t pass that up. I also picked up a 3rd 1 TB SSD.


    I am about 2 days from flipping the switch for the first look at AFS2 in VR.


    Should anyone’s next gen VR be reasonably priced and provide an improved AFS2 experience I will most likely be an early adopter. I am also betting on the Pimax 4k model as one of the contenders.


    More later. :S


    Regards,

    Ray

  • Gentlemen,


    I appreciate the feedback. At this stage of its concept development I am not convinced that VR Hands holds any appeal to me as a serious simmer, so that element will not come into my decision as to which route I take, unless the community here goes nuts over it when it is released. Time and experience will tell.


    I am however very attracted to the visual aspect of VR. Unfortunately, here on the Canadian prairie, I've not yet found a retailer with Oculus Rift within a 300km radius of me. I will keep looking. I could really do with trying one on for myself.


    So, for now, a step at a time. Begin building the new computer, try it out with AFS2 using a big TV monitor first, and keep an eye on where VR is going.


    I will be interested to hear Ray's reaction in a few days time. And J Van E, would you consider selling me the Rift that's gathering dust if I decide to go in that direction?


    - Kenneth

  • Hands I think are very important, but not over resolution or reduction of SDE. I will be buying the Pro instantly I imagine.


    But having tried X-Plane in VR (when it worked, now just CTD each time) the immersion of flicking switches and accurately turning knobs by hand is incredible! Of course you can use you yoke, throttle, stick etc in combination with VR hands, just simply have the Vive wand on your lap.


    There is a problem with this though, due to your controls and desk etc, you may not be able to actually reach some controls in VR.


    I sacrificed using my yoke and all, wheeled myself back in to the middle of the room and flew purely by VR, it was amazing. After a while I simply forgot my hand was holding the wand and not the yoke, I always kept my left hand holding the yoke with my arm comfortably resting on arm rest.


    Ok this isn't simming for the purist, but in some ways it is a more accurate simulation of flying to give up the yoke and literally control EVERYTHING else realistically as you would IRL.


    Has anyone seen any pics yet showing SDE side by side or original vs Pro?

  • Just for contrast to VR hands (which I do not wish to pursue at present) is Voice Activation - just ask Amazon's Alexa to set the Altitude on the MCP to 10,000 feet - or use the app Voice Attack or equivalent. The use of voice to control the world - in your car or in your home - seems a lot more like asking your First Officer to set things for you - plus you can get voice feedback to help get rid of the "loneliness" of VR. Example: "Set Flaps 15, Gear Down" - "Flaps at 15, Gear is down, Captain! Speed should be set to Vref+15 or 135 knots" Another plus of Voice Activation is the reduction in the need for more buttons on your joystick/throttle.


    Dave W.

  • That is an elegant fix to the conundrum of how to mix hardware and software inputs in VR.


    When I get lazy I will say:

    "Taxi and take off as per ATC instructions and fly us to our dream holiday destination. Open the door after shutdown. Thank you" ;)

  • As a PPL holder and an Oculus Rift owner, combined with a basic set of Saitek Yoke, Pedals and TPM, I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to fly virtually if I didn't do it in VR. That's partly why I'm so excited about what's happening here with Aerofly FS2 - the performance of the modern 64-bit engine means that frame rates are no longer an issue. Yes, the current range of VR headsets "suffer" from a lack of resolution, meaning it can be hard to read instruments, but when we're talking about VFR "fun" flying, the freedom and feeling of immersion more than makes up for a couple of Mr Magoo moments in the cockpit. Lining up a downwind leg in my Cessna, checking my distance to the runway is now a natural turn of the head. Checking my airspeed is in the right arc before safely adding in some flap is a glance down rather than a keyboard press or the movement of a joystick "hat" switch to adjust my virtual viewpoint. The value of that cannot be understated.


    On the subject of VR hands - I'm yet to be convinced how this can work. I own the Oculus Touch controllers, but, by their very nature, they are devices that fill my hands. The sight of "my own hands" in-game is pretty immersive, but switching between the important business of flying my plane, holding the yoke, adjusting the throttles, etc. and picking up a Touch controller in order to flick a switch or tune a radio? That sounds like it would break the immersion quite dramatically.


    An alternative I would propose is to allow me to "look" at the switch I want to control and then press a button on my joystick/yoke to enact the change. Something similar exists in other applications. Maybe a button to enable the mode for "I want to flick a switch/turn a dial" which would show a cursor (hand/appropriate icon) in the centre of my VR view. Then a button (or other mappable control) to interact with the cockpit switch/button/lever over which I'm hovering the cursor. In simple terms, allow me to use the Oculus headset as a replacement for the mouse and allow me to map buttons for "toggle" or "up/down" or whatever I need as "interaction" controls. The feeling of immersion is retained as I'm looking at the thing I'm doing and I can keep my hands on the controls. OK, I'm not reaching out into thin air and flicking imaginary switches, but without any haptic feedback so I can "feel" the switches, that's not a biggie in my books. Plus, reaching out into a virtual world, often means knocking my hand against a very real-world cluttered desk, which does more for breaking immersion than anything else!!


    Voice control could work well, too, especially in a multi-pilot, complex cockpit environment like the commercial jets. Not so relevant in my humble 172 and kinda freaky if I'm in a single-seater!!


    I'm excited for the future of VR. I'll be interested to see some comparisons of current Rift and the new Vive Pro in a few months. The computing horsepower required to drive these higher resolutions shouldn't be underestimated. I'm in the market for new hardware myself and there's never an easy time to buy - the knowledge that you're spending thousands of hard-earned dollars on something that will look like a museum piece in a matter of months is never palatable, but all you can do is get the best you can afford at the time and then enjoy what you've got.


    AFS2 is the brightest star in the flight sim world for high-quality VR flying and if forthcoming improvements like a weather engine and AI traffic/ATC are of a comparable standard to what we've seen so far and they don't have too much of a hit on frame rates, then us virtual pilots will be truly spoiled.

  • Having spent the past week with XP native VR, this is what I've concluded as well. Flying the Bell 407 and 412 (two excellent payware aircraft) with my HOTAS and using a touch controller/hand to reach up, flip switches and turn knobs is incredible! This is how I'll use touch control in all of my sims. I did try out flying a few fixed wing aircraft using only the Oculus controllers. It was fun, but I prefer using my Warthog, Saitek yoke and pedals.

    Redtail

    KFRG, KTEB, KEWR, KLGA

    ~Straighten up and fly right~


    DESKTOP: i7-7700k @5GHz (water cooled), Nvidia GTX 1080Ti FTW3, 32GB DDR4, 500GB SSD, Oculus Rift CV1, Windows 10 Home 64 bit,

    TM HOTAS Warthog (large spring removed), Saitek PRO Flight Combat Rudder Pedals, YOKO yoke!

    Laptop (gaming): Acer Predator Helios 500- Intel Core i7-8750H @4.1GHz, Nvidia GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD/1TB HDD.

    Gametrix JetSeat FSE (Flight Sim Edition)-USB Vibrating pad. Nextlevel V3 Motion Platform / Sim cockpit.

  • I've got an Oculus Rift CV1 right now that I haven't had too long, so I'll use that for awhile. I'm holding out to upgrade for VR contact lenses.


    Although I have to admit, I will miss flight simming with a brick strapped to my head. Just like I miss those giant cellular phones and 8-track tape players. Those were the good old days. 8o

  • Just for contrast to VR hands (which I do not wish to pursue at present) is Voice Activation - just ask Amazon's Alexa to set the Altitude on the MCP to 10,000 feet - or use the app Voice Attack or equivalent. The use of voice to control the world - in your car or in your home - seems a lot more like asking your First Officer to set things for you - plus you can get voice feedback to help get rid of the "loneliness" of VR. Example: "Set Flaps 15, Gear Down" - "Flaps at 15, Gear is down, Captain! Speed should be set to Vref+15 or 135 knots" Another plus of Voice Activation is the reduction in the need for more buttons on your joystick/throttle.


    Dave W.

    Yep, exactly how I have my setup. I use a voice attack profile that someone made (forgot his name at the moment), but I modified it slightly, so instead of saying "turn" right/left 30°, etc. I just say "left 30", "right 60", etc. No need to keep repeating unnecessary words like "turn" and "degrees".

    I mentioned that to the author and he agreed.


    However, being able to say "approach flaps", "flaps up/down", "gear up/down", "Altitude up 3000 feet", "Vertical speed mode", etc.... really adds to the immersion when flying in VR.

    Redtail

    KFRG, KTEB, KEWR, KLGA

    ~Straighten up and fly right~


    DESKTOP: i7-7700k @5GHz (water cooled), Nvidia GTX 1080Ti FTW3, 32GB DDR4, 500GB SSD, Oculus Rift CV1, Windows 10 Home 64 bit,

    TM HOTAS Warthog (large spring removed), Saitek PRO Flight Combat Rudder Pedals, YOKO yoke!

    Laptop (gaming): Acer Predator Helios 500- Intel Core i7-8750H @4.1GHz, Nvidia GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD/1TB HDD.

    Gametrix JetSeat FSE (Flight Sim Edition)-USB Vibrating pad. Nextlevel V3 Motion Platform / Sim cockpit.

    Edited 3 times, last by Redtail ().

  • Yep, exactly how I have my setup. I use a voice attack profile that someone made (forgot his name at the moment), but I modified it slightly, so instead of saying "turn" right/left 30°, etc. I just say "left 30", "right 60", etc.


    Being able to say "approach flaps", "gear down", "Altitude up 3000 feet", "Vertical speed mode", etc.... really adds to the immersion when flying in VR.

    And... maybe one day... "Miss Pamela" (as Belgeode calls her in his videos) will respond with a simple... "Yes Dear!".... Next step is bringing that interactive cutie from the A2A Piper Cub into our aircraft. "Do you know how to fly?" she'll ask as we battle our way through an air race course, and we'll turn to her in VR and say "Will you be quiet" (or something unprintable!) Gotta' laugh.


    Seriously though, who would have imagined all these advances when flight sim (and many of us) were young? I love it.


    You're a great bunch of folks to spend time with BTW...


    - Kenneth

  • Yep, exactly how I have my setup. I use a voice attack profile that someone made (forgot his name at the moment), but I modified it slightly, so instead of saying "turn" right/left 30°, etc. I just say "left 30", "right 60", etc. No need to keep repeating unnecessary words like "turn" and "degrees".

    I mentioned that to the author and he agreed.


    However, being able to say "approach flaps", "gear down", "Altitude up 3000 feet", "Vertical speed mode", etc.... really adds to the immersion when flying in VR.

    I like using Voice Attack with AFS2. I asked that "Airspeed Alive, 80 kts, V1, Rotate" be added to the profiles and it works great for the Lear. Michael Waddle did the original profiles that I use. He has a long YouTube video showing it off. Great stuff.


    I sent the info to Torsten very early on, but AFAIK nothing became of it.


    Regards,


    Ray