Second Life News Week #33 Late

General News

Busy week for me in RL. I’m behind. MIssed the Topless Cruise. We do have interesting news.

We had the first Content Creators’ meeting in a couple of weeks. Vir Linden gave us a little information on what came up in the Linden Summit Meeting held in Massecuites a couple of weeks ago.

orinoco valley

orinoco valley

The ARCTan project is being set at a priority such that we will likely see work resuming on it this quarter.

EEP and BoM are hopefully to soon release. Vir is on BoM now. There are a few bugs blocking the release of each. EEP has some performance issues and problems with various graphics cards. BoM has good overall performance. But shadows and alphas still have some render problems.

Also, there should be a new Animesh Project Viewer out soon. This will have the Phase II stuff, animesh customization. There will be LSL stuff to play with.

Dirt Sim 421 is the server-side of the viewer on ADITI that works with this coming Animesh Viewer. Continue reading

Second Life: Is VR Likely?

VR for Second Life™? Hamlet just wrote about SL and VR. See Is Second Life Too Technically Limited To Create A VR Version For It?

One of the people that came to SL from Myst Online, Adeon Writer, is quoted and has opined in the article’s comments about what is technically possible.

i9-9900k – October 2018

Like most things, anything is possible. But that doesn’t say anything about whether it is likely or reasonable. Both likely and reasonable are generally matters of opinion and the answers are a matter of who you ask. And in matters of opinion, there is generally no final or definitive answer. So, it is a matter of understanding another’s viewpoint and reasons for their opinion.

So, will we have VR or can we have VR? The will and can questions have very different answers… probably. We know we can have VR because it has already been done. So, that answer is out of the realm of opinion. The Lab made a VR viewer for SL years back. Two more VR viewers have been made since then. One shortly after the Lab discontinued their VR viewer. Another just recently. So, can? Yes. As a fact, it has been done. Continue reading

HTC Vive Price Drop

This morning I see the Vive has dropped in price. The retail price of a new Vive is now a mere US$600. That is better than the previous $800. But still expensive. Vive headsets have been going on eBay for about $500 for some time. Gear VR units are going for $65 on eBay.

HTC Vive – Aug 2017

Sansar is supporting Oculus and Vive. I have neither. So, how well they are supported and how easy they are to setup with Sansar, I don’t know. I have yet to get my Gear VR working with Sansar. So, I know that is difficult. I think I am down to a ‘controller’ problem. I have an Xbox 1708 controller on order (US$20-30±).

If you Google on Vive and SL, you may get the idea Vive and SL will work for VR. That isn’t the case. The information is almost all 2016 stuff written before the Lab dropped their SL VR project and CtrlAltStudio stopped VR Viewer development. I have been able to get SL into 3D, not VR, with my Gear VR. Not really worth the effort. It’s a nice novelty.

I have used the old CtrlAltStudio Viewer to see SL in VR. There is no Bento support. Until someone decides to merge the CtrlAltStudio code and an updated Firestorm there is essentially no ‘native’ VR support for SL. There is some third-party software for various games to get them into VR. Most of those are for DirectX games, not OpenGL.

SL users are second-class VR citizens…

Sansar – On an iPhone & xBox w/Gear

Sansar News (unofficial) has a tutorial on using an iPhone to see Sansar in VR: How to Hack into Sansar Using an iPhone. The direct link to the video: @ YouTube. The audio part sucks.

This is the basic render on computer and display on phone-headset.

For the Gear VR people…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkq2DffKqQA

We are seeing more people figure out how to use various controllers and headsets.

Interesting VR Games

I picked the game form the Top Five listed over on Road to VR. These are rated as some of the best VR games available. I think this is a good example of the radical game play possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3F7OULck1U

This next one shows the excitement possible.

There is hope for VR. But, it is hard to know how many people will like VR enough to spend some money.

VR: Minimal Latency

You probably know a serious problem with VR is latency, the delay between moving your head and your eyes seeing the visual response. It is considered the primary cause of Simulator Sickness, aka motion sickness, AKA sea sickness, etc. A part of that delay comes from how long it takes the display screen to refresh the image it displays.

I suspect many of us haven’t realized that for Augmented Reality the problem is even worse. In AR we are seeing the world in real time with perfect sight and head movement synchronization and  an lagging AR image super imposed. While there is less chance of simulator/motion sickness the lag is visually obvious and annoying. See the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUXZwzH-114

NVIDIA is experimenting with 16,000Hz (16KHz) screens. My Samsung screen provides a 120Hz refresh rate, more than 1,000 times slower.

See: NVIDIA Demonstrates Experimental 16,000Hz AR Display

We can get acceptable AR for most uses with way lower refresh rates. However, NVIDEA’s tech will provide crisp images even in combat games and athletic efforts where head motion is extreme.

360 Video – Google’s Take

Google and their YouTube are moving toward 360 video. The site Voices of VR Podcast has an interview with Google reps. See the article: YouTube VR Wants to Find the Next Billion Dollar Genre That Hasn’t Been Created Yet.

This video is from the New York Times, taken in Falluja, Iraq August 2016. It is a 360 video. You can drag the view around as it plays. I think it works amazingly well.

For viewing on my 2D screen it is a bit of a pain. I can’t always tell what the point of the clip is and have to pan around to see what it might be. I suppose in VR with directional sound it would be more… useful? Enjoyable? I think as each scene fades in from black that a direction needs to be set so one is looking at the subject of the clip.