Oculus Rift Crystal Cove – CES 2014 (1080p AMOLED). Picture: Polygon.com
Since I my review of the Oculus Rift development kit, Oculus Rift has demonstrated another awesome prototype that deals with problems I didn’t expect anyone to solve this soon. The prototype is called Crystal Cove and
- 1080p AMOLED (ultra fast)
- Low persistence
- 6 DOF tracking via camera
- Much less latency overall
With low persistence Oculus VR and Valve has solved one of the biggest issues with the current development kit or actually with VR googles in general. In short, low persistence is the screen only showing the image in 1 or 2 ms instead of waiting for the next image. At 60 fps on a normal LCD screen every image will be shown 16,7 ms, but the image shown will only be correct the exact moment it’s shown. Showing the image for 1ms instead of 16ms will prevents the eyes and brain from getting images that’s not completely in sync with the direction you’re looking. This is what’s causing the smearing and blur on current Oculus Rift. Together with lower latency, this completely solves the nausea issues of the development kit. This is only possible because Oculus VR has gone from LCD to OLED technology, because low persistence is only possible with sub 1ms screens and not 15-20 ms LCD tech.
Valve and Oculus VR has done some research and found that anything above about 75 fps combined with 90hz refresh rate will look close to perfection with low persistense. You will however still get a OK result with anything above 60fps, but 90hz refresh rate is minimum to eliminate or hide flicker when doing low persistence.
The other great news is the optical 6DOF tracking, making it possible to get your exact position in 3D space with lowest possible latency. The HMD has numerous IR LED’s mounted and a camera tracking the LED’s. This is the same technology the film industry is using right now in movies like Avatar. This is simply the fastest, least expensive and most precise technology right now. It makes sense. The only trade-off is that Oculus VR is aiming at a seated experience for now. The camera will only work for a certain distance and only if you’re facing forward.
I look forward to GDC 2014 where I expect Oculus VR to reveal the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2.0. There are plenty indications that this is going to happen, so let’s cross our fingers for that.