John Carmack, the CTO of Oculus VR, gave a talk at the Game Developers Conference that just ended this week. Various topics are addressed, including the story behind Samsung’s Gear VR and what’s coming next, the democratization of virtual reality, the work on the API, the unsolved problem of controllers in VR, or the use of real-time ray tracing in VR.
John Carmack’s GDC 2015 talk.
It is a fairly long video (1h30), and as often with him, there are no pictures to see, just hear his personal views and insights on the work he is currently taking care of.
I have retweeted this already, but information tends to get buried pretty quickly on Twitter so I put it here. Syoyo, a real time ray tracing enthusiast, is looking for a talented ray tracing engineer to join his company, Light Transport.
Given their existing technology (interactive to real time ray tracing, interactive shader editing with JIT compilation) and their current focus on the Oculus DK2, I can let you imagine how exciting this position is.
People on twitter are starting to mention that their Oculus DK2 are being shipped or are arriving. Exciting.
Meanwhile some people have mentioned how eye tracking could be a great addition to a VR set, and some have even started hacking their headset. See for example:
So what’s the point? One use is explained in this paper: Foveated Real-Time Ray Tracing for Virtual Reality Headset. In this excerpt from AMD Developer Summit 2013, the rendering architect of the Frosbite engine, Johan Andersson talks briefly about foveated rendering.
Long story short: Oculus and eye tracking could really mean real-time ray tracing in a matter of years.
Exciting. But I’m repeating myself.
In January, Oculus shared a list of recommendations for a good VR experience as a PDF, and kept updating them since then: Oculus VR Best Practices Guide.
More recently, Tom Forsyth gave a talk at GDC 2014 where he gave some guidelines on what to do, what not to do, and what they haven’t figured yet about making VR experiences. The talk is available in the GDC Vault: Developing VR Experiences with the Oculus Rift.
Michael Abrash of Valve gave a talk about the near future of VR: What VR could, should and almost certainly will be within two years. Much of it deals with the notion of “presence”, the sensation of actually being in the virtual world, and what makes or breaks it.