Monday, May 5, 2014

transcript: E3 2012 interview with Giant Bomb

1:44: Carmack started experimenting with off-the-shelf boutique hardware shortly after RAGE shipped (Oct 2011)

2:05: Carmack used code written for Armadillo Aerospace (gyro integration code) for early work interpreting data from head tracking sensors
2:27: Carmack references his custom firmware experience with Hillcrest Labs.
6:15: mentions that he didn't bother bringing any of his other prototypes to the show
8:16: mentions that he has ideas for future development of multiple-focal-plane displays
9:57: "I do an interesting thing in this demo..." (re: head tracking, discusses the potential of other kinds of sensors such as the Razer Hydra, and some discussion of demos he's iterated

11:18 "I spent some time trying to calibrate that out, but I didn't get that ready for prime time" re: issues with the use of Razer Hydra in head tracking

12:28: "what we've got here is, I have been pursuing... I've got couple of research devices that I've built, but... I ran across this Guy Palmer Luckey that had been building... he's got this enormous collection of head-mounts and he does a lot of work like this, and he had built this in his workshop that has... a 90° horizontal field of view, and a 110° vertical, so, it's enormous compared to... like the Sony device, it's five times the solid-angle ar... viewing area that you get on here. It puts you in there. Now, the resolution is low, because it's the resolution of one eye from here [points to Sony HMD] stretched over both eyes and that enormous field of view. So, you can resolve pixels in here, for some people that's more distracting than others... but, ah, the cool thing about this is, he sent me one of his prototype units to work with this an I integrated my sensors and a mounting strap, and the software for this, but, these are going to be made available as kits, it's called the Oculus Rift, and, the amazing thing about this is that, [picks up Sony headset] this is $799; a huge bargain compared to anything that came before it. Ah, the kits on this [holding Rift] are gonna be $500. Add on a tracker and a copy of Doom 3 with it, it'll be $600 plus some shipping on there. But it's still amazingly cheap, and this field of view you couldn't get in a $10,000 head-mount display, and--uh, you still can't get it today, it's, ah, it's that much higher. Now what ha--what makes this possible is that [talks about Oculus' design fundamentals: cheap optics, correct in software]

14:10 "so you can see what it's doing here where, I invert the projection that the lenses do. And this--you do all this in a pixel shader, it's all non-linear math, you can't do it in a projection matrix like you would only have years ago..."

15:32 [interviewer just asked about how close we are to a commercially-available headset experience]: "So what I think's gonna happen is... if we get these kits going out, and you build the first batch of 100 of them, they go to the whole hacker/maker crowd of people that are excited to build kits, and we'll see a lot of evolution there; we'll see all sorts of different 3D-printed mounts for these, ways to do the interocular adjustment or focussing adjustment, lots of different stuff can be experimented on, it's actually an amazing opportunity for people, that, there's lots of people that can do this level of work, and they can actually make a difference in how VR is going to evolve here, where, even with the Sony head-mount here [picks up Sony HMD] there's a little cottage industry of people... the ergonomics on this are not good, so people them in hats or welding goggles and all this different stuff; taking them apart, doing things... and that's... interesting, but [points to Oculus Rift] with something like this where you've got such a fundamentally stronger experience and people can make a bigger difference with it, that's going to be exciting. I think that you'll see people do novel, innovative things on this, so give that... you know, 12 months on there where, we have a commercial game out for this so that no matter what people hack up together they'll have something to show it off with; it'll have that existence [proof?] value of, 'here, let me show you something really awesomely cool I've been working on, and, given, you know, given a year, and we've got, another generation or two of display panels on there, ah, integrate the other sensors, do some of this other stuff on here, convince some other developers--game developers to enable support for something like this... and... I could easily see somebody... one of the majors producing a real polished piece of hardware, in a year or two's time on this. And this is... again it's more impressive when somebody's followed this for a decade on here, and you've tried the old ones that are really no good at all, because this is very much what people imagine the experience is: Virtual Reality, you block out the rest of the world, and you're around, looking around in the world, and we're finally at the cusp of being able to deliver that."

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