Sony has officially released the new PS5 VR handle, which has many new features, including finger detection, analog joystick, inside-out tracking (“Inside-Out Tracking”) and more.
The grips have just been announced on the PlayStation Blog. They look very different from the PlayStation Move grips used in the original PSVR. The glowing tracking ball is gone. The grips themselves look closer to the Oculus Touch and Valve Index grips, and now have a tracking ring that runs around the user’s wrist when they hold the grip.
PS5 VR grip revealed
The blog confirms several features that have been seen in previous patents obtained from Sony in the past. For example, the Dualsense PS5 grip’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback features, such as the L2 and R2 trigger buttons on both grips will generate recoil when shooting, and the rumble of the grip will be more tactile. The design also eventually confirmed that the handle will be tracked by the headset itself, rather than the user-oriented camera like the original PSVR.
In terms of buttons, the handle has changed significantly. Sony has implemented an analog joystick on both devices, in addition to the trigger button and the handle buttons that make up L1 and R1 respectively. There are two “face buttons” on either handle (the left handle is the △ and □ keys, the right handle is the × and ○ keys) with the Create button, Options key, and the “Home” button.
These new grips can “detect your finger without pressing your thumb, index finger or middle finger”. We hope to see features like Valve’s Index Controllers.
I believe developers will soon be able to get a prototype of the new device (a development kit for the headset itself will be released). The new PS5 VR headset hasn’t been officially named and won’t be released this year, but Sony says it has more to share.
Facebook shares latest hand tracking, haptic feedback research
Recently, Facebook shared the company’s research in the direction of wrist devices, according to the introduction of the wrist device will be used for high-fidelity finger tracking and haptic feedback function.
In February, Information reported that Facebook would release the SmartWatch in 2022 and the second generation in the following year, and Sean Keller, Facebook’s head of AR/VR interaction and R&D input, described the company’s wrist device as follows:
“Wristbands and hand representations are already widely used. The wrist device serves as a platform for computing, battery, and radio, acting as a complete input and output hub with display, touch interface, and rich haptic feedback, and supporting a wide range of sensors.”
Neural signal tracking of the hand
The Oculus Quest headset can support hand tracking through the headset’s camera. This function needs to be used in well-lit conditions, and will produce a certain degree of delay. When the user’s hands are folded, the headset can not achieve tracking.
Higher-quality cameras, depth sensors and faster chips can help improve the headset’s hand-tracking capabilities. Even so, in some scenarios, the headset still can not track one or more fingers.
Therefore, Facebook is also conducting research on another tracking method, that is, tracking by reading wrist signals, using the program can even be achieved before the hand action to sense its movement. CTRL-Labs, a New York-based startup doing similar research, was acquired by Facebook in late September.
Thomas Reardon, who directs Facebook’s neuromotor interface research, said the brain is largely in control of the hands, not the rest of the body. He claims that recent research breakthroughs can decode the activity of individual neurons to “control the machine as infinitely as possible. This means that hand interaction can reach incredible millimeter-level precision.
It is understood that because the device tracks neural signals rather than real fingers, users can simply “think” of moving their fingers to make the virtual fingers move. In a small video shown by Reardon, a person born with a missing finger experienced virtual hand control, you can see that the virtual finger tracking his hand movements are intact.
It is worth noting that the collection of personal data by this tracking solution could be considered a serious privacy issue:
“Neurological data like this is private information, so we consider this as part of our research. How to deal with this personal information and make the user participate in the experience in advance with a human-centered approach is a question that needs to be considered. I would say, as scientists, we will strictly adhere to the principle of transparency with the public, explaining to people why we are using this data, how it is being used, and in which user experiences this information is enabled.”
Wrist-based haptic feedback
When it comes to Facebook’s long-term goals, Sean Keller, head of AR/VR interaction and R&D input, described the future as pumping out “a pair of soft, lightweight haptic gloves.”
The first time I heard about Facebook’s research was when Facebook demonstrated “Tasbi” at the 2019 World Haptics Conference. Nicholas Colonnese, manager of scientific research at Facebook, discussed the potential for delivering haptic feedback from wrist devices.
We intuitively think of the sensations on the wrist as not being very applicable to finger-based virtual interactions, but Colonnese said sensory substitution can do that, with the brain understanding visual and tactile stimuli as the same thing.
“We’ve done a lot of virtual interaction experiments in VR and AR using haptic functions with Tasbi vibration and squeeze, such as pushing, pulling and turning buttons, and moving virtual objects in space. We also tried a lot of atypical cases, such as climbing mountains and drawing bows. We conducted these tests to see if Tasbi’s vibration and squeeze feedback could make people feel like they were interacting with these objects in a natural way. Surprisingly, we got a positive answer thanks to the sensory substitution that brings together multiple body information.”
Colonnese describes more common cases when paired with AR glasses to validate Tasbi’s high-fidelity haptic feedback, such as vibration feedback when navigating on foot.
Immersion” supports iPhone or iPad operation in VR, with an Android version coming soon
The Android version will be available soon.
The VR Beta version of the phone transmits data from the iPhone or iPad screen over the local Wi-Fi network in a low-latency manner. The feature requires an iOS app downloaded from the App Store to bring your Apple device into VR. “Immersion” plans to release an Android version of the app in a few weeks.
The software doesn’t currently track the location of handheld devices, making it difficult to type on a touchscreen in VR, but if you have a docking station for your device, you can easily align physical and virtual locations, Immersion said, adding that it plans to eventually add tracking capabilities through ARKit and ARCore.
This week, Immersed raised more than $3.4 million in a new funding round through the WeFunder crowdfunding investor platform. The startup is aiming to raise $5 million by the end of the week.
The new addition allows you to easily receive notifications or open apps when using the Oculus Quest or Quest 2 VR headsets. Using a multi-device Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can quickly switch input control from PC to iPad, and now support synchronization of the fixed keyboard position for input in VR.
Pimax “8K” X update with 90Hz refresh rate on GeForce 30 series GPUs
Today, Pimax Technologies released a Beta update that increases the refresh rate of the “8K” X headset to 90Hz in “native mode”, compared to the headset’s original maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. The company said it worked with NVIDIA to overcome previous “bandwidth limitations” to achieve higher refresh rates on most GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs.
The Pimax “8K” X is the company’s flagship headset and the only one capable of displaying full resolution on a 3840 x 2160 dual display. However, when running the headset in this “native mode”, the headset can only run at a rate of 75Hz. Or users can switch to “advanced mode”, that is, 2560 × 1440 resolution, which means that the image will not be very clear, but can still run at 90Hz.
Currently, this is only possible with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 or 3090 GPUs, with the correct version of the GPU driver. It is not clear if this includes the RTX 3060 or certain high-end 20 series GPUs.
Faster refresh rates in VR allow for smoother views of the virtual world and lower latency, which contributes to user comfort and immersion. High refresh rates are especially important for very large viewing headsets like the Pimax “8K” X, because the human eye is more sensitive to display flicker in peripheral vision than in central vision.