Oculus DK2 image

OculusImageThis image needs some explanation! I was trying to get a photo of how the display really looks using the Oculus DK2 HMD. The real quality is vastly better than the photo would suggest as it’s really tricky to get everything lined up correctly for a photo. In particular, it seemed to be necessary to use a very small aperture on the camera which makes sense in terms of trying to minimize distortion – after all, the whole system is set up to deliver a corrected image to the human eye which has a fairly small aperture. The most important point is that the DK2 is actually very effective at creating an immersive effect. In particular, when you try the basic office desk demo that’s part of the config utility, it’s very bizarre looking down and seeing an empty chair where your legs should be!

Ignoring the distorted areas towards the edges (these distortions are not real but caused by trying to take the photo of the Oculus screen) and just looking at the central part, you can see the gridded pixellation quite clearly. When using the HMD, you have to sort of see past this when looking at the image. It’s definitely extremely usable like this but clearly a higher resolution screen would help create a more immersive effect.

There’s an interesting effect when head tracking is switched on so that you are able to look around the screen. As the video wall moves across the pixel grid, the brain actually integrates the image so that a higher effective resolution results. For example, some text in the video stream that isn’t readable when the HMD is perfectly still may be become quite readable with small head movements. This is another reason why the pixellation isn’t as intrusive as might be imagined.

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