Next Valve Index VR headset may be wireless

funkydmunky

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We just need cordless.
Otherwise the Empire will continue to gladly loose $$ to secure their VR empire.
There will be no free speech. Even in vitrual worlds.
 

MaZa

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I wonder if they will ditch the lighthouse tracking system. It has become sort of a standard for high end VR, both consumer and comercial, but it is also a massive hinderance for mass consumer adaptation outside of hardcore VR enthusiast market. 🤔
 

sc5mu93

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I wonder if they will ditch the lighthouse tracking system. It has become sort of a standard for high end VR, both consumer and comercial, but it is also a massive hinderance for mass consumer adaptation outside of hardcore VR enthusiast market. 🤔
I prefer lighthouse tracking. I do wish they could lower the price points of the lighthouse. That would be easier for mass consumer adoption.
 

MaZa

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I prefer lighthouse tracking. I do wish they could lower the price points of the lighthouse. That would be easier for mass consumer adoption.

There is no question that they offer better tracking but as Oculus has proven inside out can be good enough, so much so that it makes no difference in actual gameplay while being oh so much more convenient. It is when you need full body tracking that lighthouses become mandatory. But for your average joe gamer, convenience is king. This is why Quest 2, combined with its attractive pricing, is doing so well.
 

bobzdar

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There is no question that they offer better tracking but as Oculus has proven inside out can be good enough, so much so that it makes no difference in actual gameplay while being oh so much more convenient. It is when you need full body tracking that lighthouses become mandatory. But for your average joe gamer, convenience is king. This is why Quest 2, combined with its attractive pricing, is doing so well.

I think leap motion, Oculus (hand tracking), and to a lesser degree, msoft kinect prove you don't need lighthouses for body (or other object) tracking. It can also be done via cameras and inside out. Occlusion is an issue but not enough to go back to external tracking imo. Not sure if people realize you've been able to do full body tracking in steam for a couple of years with an old xbox kinect, works quite well. I first played around with it and my old dk1 to get positional tracking. It worked surprisingly well, but there (still) really isn't any software that makes it worth it yet.
 

MaZa

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I think leap motion, Oculus (hand tracking), and to a lesser degree, msoft kinect prove you don't need lighthouses for body (or other object) tracking. It can also be done via cameras and inside out. Occlusion is an issue but not enough to go back to external tracking imo. Not sure if people realize you've been able to do full body tracking in steam for a couple of years with an old xbox kinect, works quite well. I first played around with it and my old dk1 to get positional tracking. It worked surprisingly well, but there (still) really isn't any software that makes it worth it yet.

Of course in theory could track your whole body but it would need to have cameras everywhere and still there would be major occlusion problems. Like if you were to kneel down on one knee, the headset would have no idea where your other foot it because it would be behind you. So a tracker attached to your both your feet and on a hip is still the best way to go. Except I did not know Kinect works like that too! That is very cool!

Still though, full body tracking is very niche. It is mostly utilized by people who basically live in VRChat. 😅
 

MavericK

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Hopefully they will have an adapter for the existing Index, that would be a bit of a slap in the face if not.
 

reaper12

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msoft kinect prove you don't need lighthouses for body (or other object) tracking. It can also be done via cameras and inside out. Occlusion is an issue but not enough to go back to external tracking imo. Not sure if people realize you've been able to do full body tracking in steam for a couple of years with an old xbox kinect, works quite well.

Whether it's lighthouses or the Kinect, it's still external tracking.

As for not using external tracking for full body tracking. How would it work with just using cameras on the headset? You would need to have cameras the whole way around your head. And even at that, a lot of the time they would have no clue where your feet, hips, knees are. Considering that you still get Occlusion when using Inside tracking while it's just tracking your hands, how big of a problem would it be when it's trying to track knee, hip and feet movement?? And what if the person wearing the headset is overweight?
 

MaZa

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Whether it's lighthouses or the Kinect, it's still external tracking.

As for not using external tracking for full body tracking. How would it work with just using cameras on the headset? You would need to have cameras the whole way around your head. And even at that, a lot of the time they would have no clue where your feet, hips, knees are. Considering that you still get Occlusion when using Inside tracking while it's just tracking your hands, how big of a problem would it be when it's trying to track knee, hip and feet movement?? And what if the person wearing the headset is overweight?

...or if the user happens to be, you know, morbidly obese? If he has not seen his joystick in 10 years then the headset would not have a single hope of knowing what happens beyond the highest point of his circumference. 😅
 

reaper12

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...or if the user happens to be, you know, morbidly obese? If he has not seen his joystick in 10 years then the headset would not have a single hope of knowing what happens beyond the highest point of his circumference. 😅

LOL, well, I was just been a little nicer in my choice of words. Besides if the folks using it as going to be that large, I think even external trackers might have problems :)
 
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bobzdar

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Whether it's lighthouses or the Kinect, it's still external tracking.

As for not using external tracking for full body tracking. How would it work with just using cameras on the headset? You would need to have cameras the whole way around your head. And even at that, a lot of the time they would have no clue where your feet, hips, knees are. Considering that you still get Occlusion when using Inside tracking while it's just tracking your hands, how big of a problem would it be when it's trying to track knee, hip and feet movement?? And what if the person wearing the headset is overweight?

A halo with a few cameras ~3 should mostly work for that and given these cameras are fairly tiny would add minimal weight, point is it can work via camera as kinect, leap motion and oculus have proven, vs. the lighthouse with body attached tracker method. As to the obese, well the same thing happens to those with big heads or really wide/narrow eye spacing now with the headsets, they won't work as well as for those that have physical measurements far outside average/normal. Not saying that's correct, but body tracking in VR is already a kind of niche within a niche, and body tracking for the morbidly obese would be a niche within a niche within a niche (and they'd be less likely to be up and moving around needing the body tracking). Even then, if the cameras see no lower limbs (it wouldn't matter for arms/hands), the software can safely assume they're directly underneath the body....Or have cameras on a belt for lower extremity tracking.
 

Dvater

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Inside out tracking isn't bad in a lot of instances but I can't help but notice how bad it can be in certain games. Playing something like Blade and Sorcery has me constantly losing tracking as I keep moving around fast and making wide swinging motions.

So I'm OK with inside out but there definitely needs more to be done about tracking voids and such. I was thinking maybe like those old Razer wireless controllers that used magnetic tracking?

Eh, I'm sure much smarter people are figuring all this out for us. I especially doubt that someone like Valve would take a step back in tracking but, I mean, I guess Oculus did?
 

sharknice

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Inside out tracking isn't bad in a lot of instances but I can't help but notice how bad it can be in certain games. Playing something like Blade and Sorcery has me constantly losing tracking as I keep moving around fast and making wide swinging motions.

So I'm OK with inside out but there definitely needs more to be done about tracking voids and such. I was thinking maybe like those old Razer wireless controllers that used magnetic tracking?

Eh, I'm sure much smarter people are figuring all this out for us. I especially doubt that someone like Valve would take a step back in tracking but, I mean, I guess Oculus did?

It's not really a step back, it's a compromise. You gain the freedom to play anywhere without any extra setup, but you lose accuracy when the controllers are occluded by your body.
I don't think outside-in tracking will ever be mainstream because very few people are willing to putting lighthouses up or dedicate space to it etc.

Quest 2 sold more units in the 6 months since it launched than all other Oculus headsets combined over their entire lifetime. It's the most used headset on Steam and it's not even marketed as a PCVR headset. I'm sure Valve is looking at that.
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Laffles

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^ they should also look at the price...

the quest 2 is totally on par with the index as far as clarity is concerned, sure the index controllers are better, but 700usd better? I think not. I upgraded from the vive pro to the quest 2 and while I miss OLED a bit, the lack of wires/ and well, build quality in general of the quest 2 far surpasses it.
 

Dvater

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So the Index is, what, one of the most expensive VR headsets and it's number THREE? When the hell has there even been enough Index stock to make it the THIRD highest used headset??? I mean, I'm not saying that number is wrong but it's certainly odd...or is it just me?
 

sharknice

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So the Index is, what, one of the most expensive VR headsets and it's number THREE? When the hell has there even been enough Index stock to make it the THIRD highest used headset??? I mean, I'm not saying that number is wrong but it's certainly odd...or is it just me?
It's been out for 2 years.
That's just the steam user numbers. 100% of index users are on Steam whereas that's not the case for the Rift and other headsets. Probably less than 25% of Quest and Quest 2 users have it connected to steam. Quest 2 has become so popular it's basically mainstream now.

Facebook is selling millions of Quest 2s and doesn't have any serious competition. Hopefully Valve can change that.
 

funkydmunky

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As much as I dream of wireless my biggest negative for me in VR was a hot and humid HMD that would lead to discomfort and ultimately nausea.
I fixed this by adding and air system that pumped diffused air, at my control, into the HMD attached along the video cable.
Drop the cable and I have no air :eek:
 

Chief Blur Buster

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I wonder if they will ditch the lighthouse tracking system. It has become sort of a standard for high end VR, both consumer and comercial, but it is also a massive hinderance for mass consumer adaptation outside of hardcore VR enthusiast market. 🤔
Why not both inside-out AND lighthouse tracking support?

The Quest 2 inside-out is already more millimeter-accurate than Lighthouse when your hands are directly in front of your face. At least with Quest 2, you can touch your two controllers together, and in VR, they touch perfectly right to the millimeter, zero drift, zero jitter, on the surface you touch the controllers at. At least in a well lit room.

It would be pretty net to have "Inside out tracking" with optional Lighthouse support.

Basically, a headset that will work with inside-out tracking by default, but would improve accuracy (for behind-back, and odd hand positions) with optional cordless portable Lighthouses which you just park anywhere you want in the room.

That way, you get easy out-of-box, but power users can then upgrade to full range of behind-your-back tracking capability.

So you don't need Lighthouses, but you can optionally add them to improve occluded/dark tracking even further.

What Quest 2 does with inside-out is pretty impressively accurate in non-occluded situations.

...I wonder if Index 2 could theoretically become a reference "Android SteamVR Platform", so that standalone play-anywhere is supported. I still like my airplane-seat IMAX theater, and I like pop-up Beat Saber anywhere I visit. The Quest 2 GPU is almost as powerful as a GTX 1070 for some games such as Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy Edge. So would be a bonus if Index 2 was also a hybrid too like a Nintendo Switchesque Quest 2 (standalone operation + PCVR operation). And perhaps be able to achieve superior wireless PCVR versus Quest 2, like inexpensive built-in TP Link style connectivity.
 
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MaZa

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Why not both inside-out AND lighthouse tracking support?

The Quest 2 inside-out is already more millimeter-accurate than Lighthouse when your hands are directly in front of your face. At least with Quest 2, you can touch your two controllers together, and in VR, they touch perfectly right to the millimeter, zero drift, zero jitter, on the surface you touch the controllers at. At least in a well lit room.

It would be pretty net to have "Inside out tracking" with optional Lighthouse support.

Basically, a headset that will work with inside-out tracking by default, but would improve accuracy (for behind-back, and odd hand positions) with optional cordless portable Lighthouses which you just park anywhere you want in the room.

That way, you get easy out-of-box, but power users can then upgrade to full range of behind-your-back tracking capability.

So you don't need Lighthouses, but you can optionally add them to improve occluded/dark tracking even further.

What Quest 2 does with inside-out is pretty impressively accurate in non-occluded situations.

...I wonder if Index 2 could theoretically become a reference "Android SteamVR Platform", so that standalone play-anywhere is supported. I still like my airplane-seat IMAX theater, and I like pop-up Beat Saber anywhere I visit. The Quest 2 GPU is almost as powerful as a GTX 1070 for some games such as Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy Edge. So would be a bonus if Index 2 was also a hybrid too like a Nintendo Switchesque Quest 2 (standalone operation + PCVR operation). And perhaps be able to achieve superior wireless PCVR versus Quest 2, like inexpensive built-in TP Link style connectivity.

That would be supersweet! Functional inside out tracking for general public and gamers. And if you get an itch to expand your VR experience with full body tracking (or occlusion is a problem for you) then you can start adding lighthouses.
Probably won't happen but one can dream.
 
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