APPLICATION ACCESSIBLE. Hear that Oculus/Microsoft?
(Rift-S/Quest and WMR cameras can't be accessed by developers, so we can't use them for things like marker recognition to correct the tracking space or do things like object tracking)
3 years later...
It just arrived!
Originally many years ago this was an AR project at Valve. But they decided to focus on VR instead. Luckily Valve allowed the team to keep what they'd developed and form their own company.
It's nice being able to install and start running a headset and not have it ask me to log in to anything. 🙂
A development point of view...
The Unity support is a 1.6MB package (Oculus is 415MB). No dependencies. No project settings to change. No UnityXR (which is a complete mess).
I dropped a prefab of the board from the package into the scene. Added a cube. Put a script on the cube and added one line of code. The cube was now following the tip of the Tilt Five wand in real world space.
I didn't even look at the docs yet, I just guessed and it worked.
Easiest integration with a headset I've ever had.
It's a fascinating device that works rather well.
Although it's not without flaws. This is the first product release, so for things like ergonomics and build quality think back to maybe Oculus DK2 or DK1. This isn't a CV1 level of polish yet. But it shows the concept works, and it's cheap ($359 for the extra large board edition).
A few other issues:
- 720p resolution
- the sunglasses style feels less secure on my head
- the cable is about 1m long and none of my Rift extension cables work with it. The Quest Link cable is too fat to plug in to the recessed usb-c port.
- the fan in the headset is quite noticeable
On the positive side:
- weighs next to nothing (I got my scale out, it's the same weight as a quest 1 controller without a battery: 109g)
- very easy to develop for
- no accounts, no stores. Games for it are on Steam or elsewhere.
- very portable. Wand and headset are small and light. The huge-ass reflective board folds up to a size that would fit in a back pack easily.
- shared space. You can have multiple people with headsets sitting around the one board, all in a game together. The dots around the board are tracking markers, so all the headsets would share a coordinate system, and the retroreflective material means players don't interfere with each other's view.
I think for a group of people meeting in real life and playing a tabletop rpg or something, this would be great.
The only one of the negatives that I actually care about is the cable length. 1m (or whatever it is) is just WAY too short, and it seems overly sensitive to extensions. Apparently they are close to Android support, so that would make it easier (plug into phone instead of laptop).
Overall after a day... very interesting device. Developing looks fun, costs less than VR, no privacy issues.
It's a shame Oculus won't give us developer access to the constellation tracking system, the CV1 cameras would be awesome with the Tilt Five wand. It has 5 IR LEDs along the front part, tracking that would be easy.