A joint venture between Taiwanese computer giant Acer and Stockholm-based Swedish video game company Starbreeze, StarVR on Tuesday (August 14) announced its newest head-mounted display, the StarVR ONE and the StarVR ONE XT, at the SIGGRAPH tech event in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The company, however, chose not to give details about pricing and availability, which should be announced in the “near future,” according to the Starbreeze website.
Before we talk about the features and specifications of this awesome new virtual reality headset, please be informed that the StarVR ONE is a high-end device for professionals, designed primarily for commercial applications and location-based entertainment.
The headset looks pretty much similar to many of the company’s previous HMD iterations that have been part of many a trade show over the years.
However, this time around, it’s oozing some really mind-blowing tech, including an unmatched 210-degree field-of-view, integrated Tobii eye-tracking, two 4.77-inch full RGB AMOLED displays with a combined resolution of 1,830 x 2,928 – each display capable of refreshing images at the industry rate of 90Hz.
Simply put, the HTC Vive Pro –the most powerful VR Headset on the market today – will have some serious catching up to do to stay in the VR-enabled HMD race.
While the XT variant of the StarVR ONE packs pretty much the same components, it does boast a completely integrated device tracking system, featuring support for optical tracking solutions similar to those found on large-scale VR systems.
Plus, the StarVR ONE XT offers additional plug-ins for a number of other tracking systems, and it weighs a little less than the 450g StarVR ONE – that’s without the head strap and the 5.9-meter cable.
“StarVR continues its legacy of innovation that pushes past the barriers standing in the way of enterprise-grade VR experiences,” says Emmanuel Marquez – chief technology officer at StarVR.
“StarVR is blazing new trails to deliver breakthrough technology for a new world of realism to support real business decisioning and value creation.
With our StarVR One headset we are conquering the VR final frontier – the enterprise.”
Natural Field of View (FOV)
The StarVR ONE offers a truly immersive VR experience with much-improved, expanded viewing angles that the company claims is as natural as it can get.
The horizontal field of view on this one is as high as 210 degrees, while the vertical FOV is a good 130 degrees, all of which combine to give you what the company claims is a “nearly 100% human viewing angle.”
Now, that makes it almost twice as wide as some of the most popular headsets around, offering 110-degrees-wide angles, barring, of course, the Primax 8K, which has a similar FOV as the StarVR ONE.
Using an Oculus or a Vive headset is more like looking through a tunnel, or a hole, with a limited peripheral vision, invariably giving you the impression of viewing the world of VR as an outsider.
It’s nowhere near the immersive reality-like experience the StarVR ONE has to offer, where you feel as if you’re in the midst of all the virtual reality going on around you, with no indiscernible edges to bug you.
Proprietary AMOLED Display
The StarVR One comes equipped with custom-designed Fresnel lenses in front of each of the two 4.77-inch, 1,830 x 1464 full RGB AMOLED displays that make for a total of 5.3 million full pixels – that’s about 800,000 more than the Vive Pro’s total of 4.6 million pixels.
The major new inclusion in the StarVR One is the Tobii eye-tracking technology, which requires a simple little calibration for different users.
It measures the distance between the user’s eyes and enables foveated rendering – a graphics rendering technology that uses the integrated eye-tracker to reduce the image quality in the peripheral vision, thereby drawing maximum detail directly in front of the user’s line of sight.
According to the StarVR press release, the eye-tracking technology “unleashes a new world of commercial possibilities to leverage user intent data for content gaze analysis and improved interactivity.”
What it basically means is that the company will have access to information on your VR activities, allowing it to use the information to enhance user experience and even upsell.
“Our eye tracking feature was part of StarVR ONE development roadmap since the conceptual stage. It is seamlessly integrated with Tobii eye-tracking technology that captures critical information about every subtle eye movement for insightful gaze analysis.
Eye tracking also enables dynamic foveated rendering which concentrates high-quality rendering directly where the eyes are focussed and IPD measurement which automatically provides the best image for every new set of eyes,” says StarVR
Upgrading to Premium VR
Familiar to developers working with current industry standards, the fully featured StarVR SDK API allows users to develop new content or upgrade to the company’s premium FOV with relative ease.
- Embeddable run-time for third-party applications
- Support for Open Graphics Library, DirectX 11, DirectX 12, and Vulkan
- Plug-in for Unreal and Unity support
- Optimized exclusively for NVIDIA VR Works
- CUDA accelerated video decoding sample
- Dual Input VR SL1 Mode support
- Driver for Open VR applications
- Eye-tracking API and calibration through SDK
- Plug-in API for agnostic tracking architecture and device inputs