VR Kit – HMD : Portable VR

I finally have a first prototype of a HMD based VR Kit. This is a work I’m doing with my fellow VR Geeks of Paris.

By the way we’ve just started a new webpage : http://www.VRGeeks.org

There you can join the (worldwide) VR Geeks mailing list ! I’ll make another announcement later but you can already join early 😉

The idea of the kits is that we don’t impose any hardware, you can use whatever hardware combination/tracking method you want ! Here I’m using the most cheap/usable ratio I’ve found. More infos on the VR Kits here. This is just a quick first version to get the idea, and you’re invited to join the discussion !

Here’s a quick video :

And here’s the parts list for this setup :

Vuzix VR 920 HMD (350€)

Spacepoint Fusion orientation tracker (100€) (my Vuzix tracker is completely unusable..)

– Wiimote + Nunchuck (50€)  for some buttons and a joystick.

– A Gametrak (20€) to get the head and hand position.

Total : ~500€ !!!

Everything fits nicely in my small backpack so I’m able to do some nice demos around. Granted the Gametrak tracking is a bit cheesy and you’re quite tethered for the moment, but it is *very* cheap and works really well. Everything is replacable by more interesting/expensive/clever solutions.

I would need a second Spacepoint Fusion to get a correct Wiimote orientation (yaw..), or maybe you will be able to help … More on that later 😉

I also have a nice setup with a 3d projector, the VRKit-Wall.

(Update: David testing the kit)

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20 Comments

  1. @SpatialGuru: let’s do that :p If you create a vrpn driver for that you can offer that to the VRGeeks 😉

    @Maxim: maybe but anyway it will drift, whereas the SpacePoint Fusion works really well !

    @Luca: totally, I just started with what I already have, and next step is to remove as many wires as possible 🙂 If you want to help out feel free to join the VR Geeks!

  2. Hi,
    well done. What tyoe of stereo does the Vuzix support.
    Frame sequential? Did you use the nvidia stereo drivers ?

  3. Hi Dimi,
    the Vuzix has its own stereo specification it seems. I hope they will update their firmware so that it works with 3d vision ! Otherwise you have to program specific stereo support for the Vuzix ..

    So my system doesn’t support stereo yet, but as you have correct parallax, it is enough for the moment to perceive depth.

    ( http://cb.nowan.net/blog/2010/04/28/does-stereoscopy-s3d-matter/ )

    I’ve asked several people after they tested the system if they thought it was stereoscopic. A lot couldn’t guess, but they said they could really perceive depth !

  4. Hi Sebastien,
    thanks for the link, ti was very infromative. So in essence beacause you provide 3dof head tracking and correct visual cues the user of the HMD is fooled to think that he is perceivein stereo? Or at least he does not miss it. Very nice.

    What does the Vuzix specification include? A custom driver?

    Instead of a Wii you could also use a Wireless Logitech RumblePad II. Since you are using only joystick and buttons I think its more convenient. We are using it for year on our installations. (vr.ime.gr)

    Where did you order the gametrack? I tried yesterday and could not find it for order over the internet. The company tha t produced it was aquired by someone else.

  5. Hi Dimi,

    I provied 6dof head tracking. Position is very important to get the parallax effect which can be more important than stereoscopy. I think most people mix depth perception with stereoscopy, but stereoscopy is only one of the cues for depth perception.
    Of course it would be better with stereo, but it’s too much work right now.

    Vuzix have a SDK where you can pass both images I believe. One fellow VR Geek has decoded the usb protocol for it too so if you want to try that I can give you his contact.

    You’re right about the gamepad, but I had a Wiimote and not a gamepad 🙂 Also I’d say it feels more natural to move both hands independetly. When people have the gamepad in their hands, are they still moving the pad in space or just orienting it ?

    I ordered the Gametrak 5 years ago I think. One month ago there were still several places were it can be bought.. Ebay etc. Careful there is a PC version and a PS2 Version. The PS2 version will require a soldering point to work it seems.

  6. I am *NEW* to VR but pretty good at 3d modelling (3ds, maya, blender). If I wanted an hmd with good head tracking to immerse myself visually in my models, would it be simpler than the doing all of those great things youve done in this post?

    i mean, would head tracking alone not be very immersive? I would not concern myself with interaction for the moment (id use a xbox controller or something), but id like to be immersed visually.

    what are your thoughts on that?

    plz and thank you.
    m

  7. @Marco : It would indeed be simpler just to get a hmd with tracking, but you will only get rotation. Head translation are quite important for depth perception. Getting stereoscopy to work with HMD is not always straightforward, they don’t support nvidia 3d vision yet !

    Architecture walkthrough are surely a very nice VR application, so you can start with that and see if you need to improve that 🙂

  8. Hi cd,
    Thank you for your reply. I would like to begin working with VR visually. I am a 3rd year software engineering uni student, so HOPEFULLY i can cope with some of technical aspects. where does one look to read about setting up little test system? besides this great blog of course!

  9. There are several nice VR software to have fun with.
    Virtools, Vizard, Quest3D, VR4Max (specially for architecture)
    They should all have relevant documentation.
    Or you can drop me an email if you have specific questions !
    Good luck and let me know your progress!

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