True Player Gear's Answer To Occulus Rift - Totem!
This past week, Oculus Rift made headlines by selling itself to Facebook, angering Kickstarter investors who wanted a product for users, rather than a quick profit for Oculus Rift.
Montreal-based True Player Gear, a five employee startup based in Montreal, Canada, has been working on Totem, its virtual reality head-mounted display, for over nine years.
(True Player Gear's Totem - the answer to Occulus Rift?)
According to its website, it offers a 90 degrees field of view, 1080p OLED screen, and will support PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. The company said it talked to Epic Games, and that it would be really easy to support Unreal Engine 4, as well as CryEngine, Havok, and Unity. In addition, True Player Gear says it’s currently working on positional tracking using onboard cameras, which in the future could also be used for augmented reality functionality.
True Player Gear will launch a Kickstarter in the next few months and hopes to raise a minimum of $500,000. If it succeeds, it hopes to ship Totem by Christmas. The company says that since Totem has hardware acceleration, cameras, and more, “it will cost just a little bit more than Oculus, but nothing outrageous.” The Oculus Rift Development Kit will sell for $350.
(From True Player Gear reveals alternative to Oculus Rift)
The company has stated "We are in the last stretch of developing a final 5th gen prototype and are aiming to present a finished dev kit on Kickstarter in the next few months."
It turns out that science fiction's own Hugo Gernsback came up with the idea of television eyeglasses in 1936:
(Hugo Gernsback's television eyeglasses mock-up)
His television eyeglasses--a device for which he feels millions yearn--constitute a case in point.
When the idea for this handy, pocket-size portable TV set occurred to him in 1936, he was forced to dismiss it as impractical. But a few weeks ago, feeling that the electronics industry was catching up with his New-Deal era concepts, he ordered some of his employees to build a mock-up.
"It is now perfectly possible to make thin, inch-square cathode tubes," he says, "and to run them with low-voltage current from very small batteries with no danger at all of electrocuting the wearer. Sound can be carried to the ear just as a hearing aid. Television eyeglasses should weigh only about five ounces. Since there will be a picture for each eye, the glasses will make a stereoptical view possible and since they will be masked--like goggles--they can be used in bright sunlight. The user can take them out of his pocket any where, slip them on, flip a switch and turn to his favorite station." A V-type aerial protrudes from the top of Gernsback's mock-up of the TV glasses. he likes the effect--which can only be described as neo-Martian.
Of course, Gernsback is not quite to virtual reality devices here; the video is not coordinated to the head motions and choices of the user. But still, tiny TV screens placed close to the eyes and presenting a stereoscopic image in a single head-mounted device is pretty forward-thinking, for 1936.
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