Remember Friendster or that MySpace thing? Probably not, because Facebook did social media better. It was a category killer.
That’s what the duo of Acer and Starbreeze (two tech companies) intend to do with the StarVR virtual reality platform.
It won’t matter what’s happening now. It will all be history, effective Wednesday, August 31st. That’s when the world’s leading tech show, starts, IFA, in Berlin.
It’s there, they intend to drop a few lucky people into the world of The Walking Dead. Yup.
The World of VR
Oculus Rift is the current gold standard in virtual reality. For all its awesome, there are limitations. The field of view (FOV) for Oculus is 100 degrees.
That means that inside the worlds of the Rift, you see 100 degrees of activity at any time. StarVR will double that FOV to 210 degrees. As they see it, this will be a true virtual experience.
For the folks at Oculus, those are fighting words. Up until now, the only competition for Oculus Rift has been the HTC Vive or the Playstation headset for the PS4.
The Vive isn’t much different than Rift, with the same resolutions, refresh rate, and FOV. Oculus isn’t HTC, a known tech brand, but they were first so that counts.
There are other VR headsets out there, but no real competition.
Your only alternative is to go with something like Google Cardboard to save money, but you can’t a better experience you cannot buy than Oculus… until now or at least very soon.
Design-wise, StarVR is more angular than Rift, at least it seems from the prototypes. There appear to be two screens instead of one.
The refresh rate, which is important to the reality part of VR, matches the Rift at 90 Hz. They promise a resolution experience almost twice as high as Rift, but that’s not the big news. The kill shot StarVR introduces is an increased FOV.
The normal FOV for humans in the real world is nearly 180 degrees, depending on how fast we’re moving. The Oculus Rift offers 100 degrees.
While 100 degrees is nice, 210 is better, right?
The Acer-Starbreeze crew seems to think so. If they can present a user experience that is as realistic as the other guys, with a greater depth and FOV, perhaps another category will be killed.
The Future of VR
The VR market is still a baby. There’s plenty of room for a new company to take over.
In a matter of days, the StarVR will either be the laughing stock of IFA or the coolest present for Christmas 2016.
While the world of gaming seemed locked in a dead heat for the last decade or so, VR adds firepower to that battle.
VR’s primary audience might be the gamers, but the rest of the world won’t mind when their movies go from 3D to full immersion. Forget T-rex on the screen in Jurassic World. He’s coming straight for you.
This is the holographic movie futurists used to predict. They just didn’t know we’d have to strap on a headset to experience it. VR will allow us to interact with microscopic worlds and travel to the edge of the universe.
StarVR will push us there faster.
With Apple’s Keynote on the 7th and the IFA, the coming weeks will reveal much about the future of wearables, especially VR. We can barely contain our excitement.
While there are so many interesting tech stories coming down the pipeline, the most interesting one is virtual reality.
Health trackers, NFC rings and the world of notation devices will fade into the background in time, but VR will continue to push our relationship with our world.
Things are about to get very interesting.
Not so sure? Watch this video: