Hardware Roundup


#1

Steam put out its hardware survey for July. In the case of VR, of the people surveyed, 0.18% are using Vive and 0.09% are using Oculus. Those are tiny numbers suggesting VR is barely making its mark presently.

There is quite a spread of GPUs with the top 4 including the Intel HD4000 series. The most popular VRAM configuration is 1024MB. This does suggest thinking about transitional rendering on medium power GPUs and thinking about supporting the HD 4xxx/5xxx series GPUs:

  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 5.22%
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 3.72%
  3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 3.13%
  4. Intel HD Graphics 4000 2.63%

Surprising is that the 980 ranks around the 30th. Even in gaming it is not widely used yet. I’d guess it will be quickly eclipsed by the 1080.

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 1.02%

Details here:
https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey


#2

Interesting stuff
Kinda confirms that its unheard of tek once u step out of the niche we inhabit. I’m so interested in knowing how many rifts are out there.95% of my rift stuff is on their Oculus home thing so wont register.
My rift and hydras and xtion/faceshift stuff isnt even plugged in these days
I miss the Presence thing the facetracking gave.We really lost something when the devs jettisoned it :confused:
I miss next gen


#3

Yep, I boxed my DK2 long ago. I ordered a creative RealSense camera just before facial tracking got removed. It too now sits boxed although I’ll can use it in another virtual world. I really miss the facial tracking as it was the primary nextgen wow factor I used to show off how much better virtual worlds would be. This was a major loss of functionality.

Getting back to the hardware roundup, I believe there has to be accommodation in the interface app to run the common computer/graphics configurations posted by Steam reasonably well, especially since HF wants to be listed in the steam offerings. If this is not done, therein lies the way down the trough of disillusionment.


#4

Except that all the VR games on Steam will not run on any of the low end machines. So, I am not sure this is really an issue.


#5

In January 2007 there were zero people worldwide using smart phones. In late 2007 there were probably similar numbers - 0.1% of worldwide phone users with smart phones. Today, 10 years later, than number is greater than 50%.

I think that HMD’s (which means 2-3 versions from now, not the current Vive or CV1 and includes whatever clever stuff MagicLeap and others do with better see-through displays) will reach >50% penetration into all internet/device users within 7-10 years.

I appreciate and agree that we want to run on lots of different machines as well, which is why we are open source and have made lots of other design decisions to support multiple target hardware environments.

But it is very true that we are designing, first and foremost, for this future where pretty much all users have HMDs and Hand Controllers, in the same way that early app developers were committed to designing for a strange device with a glass screen and no buttons or keyboard.


#6

True, true. A lot of those games meant for smart phones also run the same on tablets. Both of the tablets I bought,at the same time I bought them I also got a blue-tooth keyboard designed for that specific tablet (integrated into a tablet-specific case, say), so now have an older iPad with a third-party keyboard that it locks down into when the iPad is not in use, and a cheap Android tablet with a bit-less-refined-looking pseudo-leather folds-around-it case for my Android tablet. Both also let me set the tablet semi-upright with the keyboard in front of it, so it’s almost like sitting down at a laptop or a desktop machine in that regard.

The point I’m making, of course, is while the modern smart phone and its offshoot the tablet PC are devised for us to do everything on them purely via their touch-screens… people still feel more compfortable with using a blue-tooth keyboard they can actually tappa-tappa-type on. It seems very likely people are going to want to get around the limitations of the stereoscopic 3D VR goggles and the hand-controllers, by adding some apparatus that makes it more like things were before this type of device came along. Like those of us sometimes wanting access their tablet a bit more like a regular computer, many 3D VR people are going to want to interact with the Metaverse in a more SL-ish sort of way: with a keyboard, in front of a monitor, with their character appearing as a video-game character on the monitor, even if they also often “become” the character via the goggles and a VR suit or something. Take care not to drop out support for “the old way” in the effort to bring us “the new way” of visiting the Metaverse, or in the very least make sure those that want to can bolt their mechanisms for that back onto it. I.e. keyboard and mouse and 2D monitor.


#7

Taking the example of the keyboard:

There is no doubt that using a conventional mechanical keyboard in VR will ultimately be great for those who want to type fast/best. But the correct path to it will be… first just a clumsy keyboard that HMD users have to peck at with hand controllers (like we have now with the steam keyboard). This will make traditional keyboard users unhappy! In a couple years, as the lighthouse and tracking marker technology and pass-through cameras become better, it will be possible to equip a traditional mechanical with trackers so that you can see it when you get close to it, and see your hands above it with the pass-through camera. So… once VR reaches maturity, there will be a number of great options allowing full speed keyboarding. But the immersive world must come first, which will break certain things for a while (no mouse no keyboard).

Doing in the other way is what would be wrong: Assume that everyone using VR must have a mechanical keyboard with arms reach, and further assume that many are also touch typers (meaning you can use it blind with the HMD). Critical commands need to be entered on the keyboard or using the mouse, so that means seated experiences initially because if you stand you can’t carry your keyboard. So the richness of the new immersive experience suffers to allow the keyboarding experience to be first class. This approach will fail.

I guess the summary is this - we should let lots of things be bolted on, like the keyboard or mouse. But we must be very careful not to do that in a way that takes away from enabling the disruptive new experience of being able to do everything with the HMD and hand controllers.


#8

I still vote for ewven support mouse and keyboard but also HMD. I have both, but there are times that i cannot use HMD. Also always using voice get sometimes in the way too. So it’s nice if mouse and keyboard (with chat) works good to. The both have still problems, but i think the go in the same level up. except some support for things you can only do with hand controllers.

Yes, i see why HMD and hand controllers need to be implemented first. If it works for hardware like that. It’s more easy to make it working after that for keyboard and mouse etc.

It’s only a challenge to find the right balance with resources between both. But both HMD and Keyboard need to work before the big public comes in.

I would compare the lack of good keyboard and mouse support (and chat) with a android tablet that not have any software installed, including the app store.


#9

Any word / updates on when Apple will upgrade hardware to meet the industry requirements for VR headsets and other VR accessories ? Or… any word on when the VR hardware / software developers will refine the technology to make it more accessible and usable by the majority of both PC and Mac owners that cannot afford the very high end hardware required to run and experience VR ?

Thanks to everyone, members, team, staff, and all interested in the High Fidelity Project. I look forward to continued progress and success !

E.


#10

There are companies making USB video cards, basically a box with a USB cable at one end and a monitor connector on the other. I wonder if it might be possible to do some sort of full VR display-driver mechanism inside something like that. Full stereoscopic virtual-display processor in the stand-alone box doing all the heavy lifting, with connectors for the Vive or the Oculus Rift on it at one end, and the USB cable on the other simply to coordinate things with the desktop computer. I suppose some big company like Apple could make one of those to go with their existing Mac. How plausible would something like that be?


#11

Do we need vr keyboard if we’re not having text chat? What do we need to type?