Why Roblox Should Support the All New Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

Today a large array of new affordable Mixed Reality (VR) headsets have hit the market all using the new Windows Mixed Reality system with the support of the Windows Fall Creators Update.

Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo have all released the first wave of devices. Samsung and ASUS are to release their headsets soon.

From the light reading I’ve done these are some advantages:

  • Cheaper than competition!
  • Inside out tracking meaning no external setup is required to track headset/controller positions.
  • screen resolutions noticeably higher than previous devices such as Rift and Vive.
  • It’s much more light weight.
  • Companies are quickly announcing their support for the product. SteamVR has released support in Beta, Nvidia have said they have collaborated closely with Microsoft to create a great experience.
  • I’ve heard it runs on much lower end devices than the Vive and Rift, recommended GPU spec is a Nvidia 965M
  • Windows are currently investing lots in UWP and pushing it hard. The headsets support UWP.

One thing to note is that controllers are only tracked within the field of view of the headset, but as the video below shows this doesn’t seem to be a big issue.

The current wave of headsets are priced $299 - $499

For those who don’t know, Mixed Reality differs from Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality as in it allows you to combine the real world with the virtual world. An example of this is a product I currently work with full time called the Hololens, it uses cameras and sensors to scan the world and you can place 3D holograms around your room while being able to see the real world. These new headsets are different from this because they don’t allow you to see the real world (more virtual) but I believe they will be able to scan the real world in the future which could make for exciting roblox development.

Minecraft is soon to come to Windows Mixed Reality.

I think it would be very wise for Roblox to support Windows Mixed Reality. I can see much more of the Roblox community being able to afford these devices and with there already being promising support from other companies on day 1 they would have more reasons than just Roblox to buy these devices (that’s enough of a reason for me). Roblox seems to be currently trying to push VR (I know @0xBAADF00D recently wrote a blog post about the future of VR for Roblox, maybe he has some input on this.) but appears to be held back due to large unpractical devices and high prices.

As a beginner full time UWP & mixed reality developer I would love to be able to bring what I’ve learnt to Roblox and the current device support doesn’t tempt me. Looking at some of the current VR games on steam Roblox looks like it could be the perfect platform. I will arrive in San Mateo and beg until we get it :wink:

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Comparisons between headsets:

Overview:

Here’s one cool steam game that shows how usable and flexible this really is:


Who wouldn’t want next gen Roblox obby’s for all!

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What’s the difference in tracking quality between external (Vive/Oculus) and internal (WMR) sensors? IIRC the Vive sensors are really accurate and could measure someone’s heartbeat just by placing a controller on top of their chest lying down, but I’ve had plenty of issues with the sensors:

  • Never sure if I have the base stations pointing in the most ideal orientation
  • Issues with my mirror door causing sensor noise
  • Even without mirror door, I’ve always had issues with controllers floating off in full visibility

I’m wondering how WMR compares with this. I can’t tell from the video: is the tracking still as accurate as the Vive, or does it get within an inch or so and interpolate the results? Since there are no external sensors, is there ever any interference with tracking or is it always silky smooth?

Also, even though the resolution is higher, do WMR headsets match up with the Vive/Rift? I notice they use LCD instead of OLED displays, but I’m not sure how of an impact that has.

As far as I understand the headset uses similar technology to the Hololens in regards to tracking & orientation which has proved very accurate from my experience. The remotes use an LED tracking system paired with cameras on the headset. This means you don’t need to make your room “VR compatible” to use controllers (I’m not sure if lights in your room would affect accuracy). I can’t find much detail yet.

Vive uses complex and large equipment, seems like you’ve experienced setting up the base stations etc. The room is filled with non visible light from the spinning things in the boxes, then photosensors in the remotes and headset pick up the light (these are the dimples you see dotted around the device) it then does some fancy maths with timings to work out 3D position and orientation.

In regard to your issues base stations wouldn’t be an issue. Mirrors potentially could cause stuff to go wrong at close range due it reflecting lights however I can’t find anything on this. I’ve only used the Vive in large rooms and haven’t had issues with controllers floating off unless they’re out of sight of base stations, can’t imagine that being an issue with camera technology.

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By the way, pretty unrelated, but what’s that song on from 12:30?

Don’t worry too much about the direction of the base stations, the only thing I’ve noticed with the Vive is that it absolutely HATES USB 3.0 and shiny things, get even close to something shiny and your controller will fly away like an F16.

Best thing to do is cover shiny surfaces with a blanket or towel, which in my case helped out a lot.

Things that don’t affect it much,

  1. Glass tables
  2. Monitors
  3. Shiny black surfaces
  4. Lights

Things that’ll kill it

  1. Shiny silver things
  2. Pictures in a glass case
  3. Flimsy shiny things like wrappers.

Remeber that the HTC Vive uses IR light, and somethings that we can see are invisible to IR like black trash bags and silicon.

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I use a sync cable and have NEVER experienced any issue with shiny objects interfering with tracking.

You have to be pretty close to the object for it to really take effect (<1
meter?), and depending what the object is made of and texture its going to
change the results, HTC even warns about it and people flip out about it on
forums, maybe you’re just lucky?