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Simple Positional Headtracking Demo (Hydra & Rift optional)

drashdrash Posts: 2,840
Trinity
edited May 2013 in Games and Apps
Hello!

I took inspiration from tbowren's videos on using a Hydra controller for positional headtracking to throw a simple demo together that lets anyone play with this idea firsthand (up to you if you want to strap a controller to your head or just hold it in your hand).

At the same time, I'm trying to get an idea on how exactly Unity demos and "VR experiences" can be shared with the community in general. I don't have a Rift yet, so I'm hoping the Unity integration is taking care of everything already. My apologies if it doesn't work for you!

Here is a link to Version 2 of the demo:
https://mega.co.nz/#!Q19VXKoB!RfnaVSXNZzeIeU7dJE7oGEwjt5MDYuqGnBYi0SpPyZA (220MB). Also included is the full source code (in the form of a Unity package that can be imported).

If you end up trying it out, please let me know if something doesn't work or if things can be improved from a Rift user experience standpoint. :) If you don't want to download anything, you can just watch a video of the old version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGYdIH8nMrY

Thanks!

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Comments

  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    Interesting. Downloading now.
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  • ianmacmillanianmacmillan Posts: 95
    Hiro Protagonist
    Not sure whether to thank you or curse you on this demo...it produced my first case of falling down using the Rift (not to worry...I ended up sitting in my chair). :)

    I started the demo seated and with the left Hydra strapped to my Rift. I did the calibration routine (hitting both start buttons) and then walked around a bit. It took a bit to get used to the steering control scheme (the right Hydra rotation is very sensitive), and I also found my virtual robot body to be a bit distracting as my eyes would occasionally end up inside it when looking left or right (ugly clipped polygons, stuck in your face).

    I walked up to the tall, slender column, and my eyes were almost at the top of it. I leaned left to peak around the side of it, which worked pretty good as long as I made sure I didn't move the right Hydra at all. I then decided to get up out my chair so I could look over the top of the column. Well...as I was standing, the right Hydra was jiggling a bit, left to right, and the sight of the column swaying around in front of me caused me to lose my balance. No shit, I actually reached out to grab the column in a vain attempt to steady myself. I fell backwards and ended up sitting in my chair with a nervous grin on my face. :)

    Needs some work, but it's still pretty cool. Thanks for posting it.
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,840
    Trinity
    Lol, oh man... Ok so far we've established that we need to consider epilepsy warnings, and now we need a "don't rely on virtual objects to steady yourself" warning! :)

    That is great feedback, I see what you mean about it being too easy to accidentally rotate your hips while focusing on looking at something else. And it sounds like positional headtracking needs to make the whole body tilt with it (to avoid clipping issue).

    Thanks!
    TitansOfSpacePlus_CoverArt_VRLandscape5_60p.png
  • ianmacmillanianmacmillan Posts: 95
    Hiro Protagonist
    I think this demo would be greatly improved with one simple change: make the right Hydra joystick the turn mechanism. The current mechanism of using the Hydra's yaw orientation makes for some scary balance issues.

    This demo has made it clear to me that while position tracking is vitally important for full immersion, it is imperative that the tracking be spot on. Any variance between where your brain thinks your head should be in space and where it is rendered in the virtual world can cause serious trouble (unlike the pitch, roll and yaw, where variances between real and virtual values are much more easily tolerated).
  • KingK76KingK76 Posts: 257
    Art3mis
    Well...as I was standing, the right Hydra was jiggling a bit, left to right, and the sight of the column swaying around in front of me caused me to lose my balance. No shit, I actually reached out to grab the column in a vain attempt to steady myself. I fell backwards and ended up sitting in my chair with a nervous grin on my face

    That made me fall out of my chair... laughing! I can totally picture myself doing the same thing. :lol:
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,840
    Trinity
    I have hopefully addressed all the feedback I got, and have uploaded version 2.
    I updated the download link in the first post, but here it is again:

    https://mega.co.nz/#!Q19VXKoB!RfnaVSXNZzeIeU7dJE7oGEwjt5MDYuqGnBYi0SpPyZA

    In addition to adjusting the way you move around with a Hydra, you can just use WA/D keys for those without a Hydra. Also added lots of simple silly stuff and effects to try to keep your attention while you're in there. :)
    TitansOfSpacePlus_CoverArt_VRLandscape5_60p.png
  • KajosKajos Posts: 19
    I can't get my head to align properly with the Hydra controller..
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,840
    Trinity
    Kajos wrote:
    I can't get my head to align properly with the Hydra controller..

    Does it help if you hitt the hydra start button(s) on the controllers once you're in a comfortable forward-facing position?
    TitansOfSpacePlus_CoverArt_VRLandscape5_60p.png
  • KajosKajos Posts: 19
    Nope, the rotational alignment gets screwed up as well, even though it should rely on the rift input only..
  • danworlddanworld Posts: 127
    Hiro Protagonist
    Yes yes! Thanks for making this demo! Adding positional tracking is soooo important and I've been looking forward to trying it.

    Even though this is a rough setup, it REALLY helps with motion sickness and immersion.

    Oh my gosh. I hope there will be many more demos with this integration. You can actually just move around and it's reflected in the game instead of only relying on the sickening controller.

    Please make a Tuscany version using this controller setup ASAP if you have the time.

    Things:
    The positional tracking was exaggerated, not 1 to 1. But I can see instances where this might be a good thing. I know you can adjust the arm length distance in the hydra Tuscany demo.

    While I do like having a body in demos, this one was blocking the FOV too much.

    Awesome!
  • danworlddanworld Posts: 127
    Hiro Protagonist
    I would suggest making the body automatically turn when the head turns. This allows you to move around more freely in the world instead of having this big ball and chain in your view that you have to adjust with the controller.

    It went back to non-Rift mode sometimes, and it seemed to be triggered when both looking to the side and then rotating the body to match up.

    Seriously, I'm more excited about this demo than about the awesome spaceship simulation First Law. This is the first playable Rift demo with positional head tracking (the awesome Tuscany video demonstration was never posted as something we could try ourselves as far I know), which makes it some little part of VR history.
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,840
    Trinity
    danworld wrote:
    I would suggest making the body automatically turn when the head turns. This allows you to move around more freely in the world instead of having this big ball and chain in your view that you have to adjust with the controller.

    Thanks for this suggestion -- hearing someone call the body rotation a big ball and chain is helpful in understanding that it gets in the way of immersion. :)
    danworld wrote:
    It went back to non-Rift mode sometimes, and it seemed to be triggered when both looking to the side and then rotating the body to match up.

    I had this happen to me once too -- I found out that I had the Razer Hydra system tray thing going after I accidentally called up some onscreen keyboard. I'm really not sure what happened there but left/right on the controller was sending the backspace key to the app as a keyboard function or something! Killing the Razer system tray thing made the problem go away.
    Seriously, I'm more excited about this demo than about the awesome spaceship simulation First Law. This is the first playable Rift demo with positional head tracking (the awesome Tuscany video demonstration was never posted as something we could try ourselves as far I know), which makes it some little part of VR history.

    Thank you for saying that :)
    TitansOfSpacePlus_CoverArt_VRLandscape5_60p.png
  • zaptruderzaptruder Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    Thanks for this. This is a great demo. Definetly helps to improve the sensation of been inside the space...

    But one of the bugbears I had about it was simply looking up and down - attaching the hydra to my head, when I look up, the hydra goes down. When I look up, the hydra goes up. It actually ends up exacerbating some of the issues that positional tracking is intended to correct. But when it works... it works brilliantly. Can't wait for Oculus to release the positional tracker/tracking version of the Rift.
  • SiggiGSiggiG Posts: 190 Oculus Partner
    Thanks for this demo, it was great to have something to try out when I got my Hydra :)

    One feedback I'd like to give you is to look at your scaling. I felt like a 10 meter high giant that was flying through the air when bending down or moving at all.
    If you are using Unity then generally 1 unit = 1 meter.
    CCP Games, EVE: Valkyrie developer | @SiggiGG
  • drashdrash Posts: 2,840
    Trinity
    Thanks for the solid feedback zaptruder and Siggi, I guess I'll just have to leave this demo here as a good example of what NOT to do huh? :)

    Zap, I guess it's true what I've read that it's better to put a positional tracking Hydra controller on your chest rather than on your headband. Now I understand why!
    TitansOfSpacePlus_CoverArt_VRLandscape5_60p.png
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