Palmer Luckey responds to reddit community questions

by Will Mason • August 10th, 2015

At UploadVR it is our mission to bring the best of VR knowledge to our community. Part of that mission is giving our community a chance to ask their most burning questions of the luminaries we come across in the space. We will be having a lot more in the coming months around this style of content but for this installment we asked the community over at the /r/oculus subreddit what questions they had for Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey.

In between major events for the company, E3 and Oculus Connect, new details on hardware etc. were scant, but we were able to get the answers to some of the biggest burning questions out there, like what is Palmer’s favorite anime? (Only the hardest hitting of journalism here.)

This is what he had to say:

CV1 Prebundled Software

What will people get once they buy a consumer version Oculus Rift? Will there be pre-bundled software like the Oculus cinema or virtual desktop?

PALMER: So there’s going to be a lot of different things that come with it. We haven’t announced any of those, we probably won’t until we launch pre-orders. But things like Oculus Cinema are obviously going to come out. All of the tech demos we already launched. Things like Oculus toy box are going to be available largely as developer samples, more than any kind of consumer focused software. Yeah. We’ll announce when we open pre-orders, but the Oculus Cinema is one of those things.

Oculus Touch dev kits for indie devs

Will there be dev kits available for independent developers before the Oculus Touch is released?

PALMER: We’re already shipping out a few of them to devs. So there’s devs that have them in their hands and there’s also ones who are visiting Oculus. We will—we’ll talk more about touch and the roll out plan as we get closer to pre-orders.

Mobile VR positional tracking

The major hurdle for mobile VR is positional tracking? How far away do you think positional tracking is for mobile VR devices?

PALMER: Can’t say. We have a lot of internal developments but nothing to announce.

I see you’ve got a big dedicated mobile team. In an interview you made a year or two ago, you said that mobile VR is the future of VR.

PALMER: In the long run, it almost certainly will be.

Okay, so Oculus has worked on the GearVR in partnership with Samsung. Is launching your own mobile VR product something that you foresee in the future?

PALMER: Can’t say. Right now we’re focused on working with Samsung and launching consumer VR at the end of the year.

Palmers VR headset collection on display in a museum

People have asked if you’d consider putting up your collection of VR headsets into a museum.

PALMER: So I’ve thought about it. Right now they’re actually mostly sitting in boxes. From when I moved from one office to another. So I’ve been thinking about unpacking them. Probably wouldn’t be at a museum. I’m planning on unpacking them in our office at maybe a nice display case. Not all of them because I have like 50, over 50 different headsets up with me. So I was thinking maybe more like a best of collection. Maybe like 20 or so of the really interesting ones and most of the older ones. So I thought about it but it hasn’t really been a priority.

In the future, could be something, 50 years?

PALMER: Well, what would be really cool. I’d rather 3D scan them and make a virtual reality museum so anyone can see them.

Hardware challenges for VR

Are all the major components in the virtual reality space, optics, tracking, etcetera on roughly the same trajectory or does it look like one area in particular will be more challenging than others in the years ahead? 

PALMER: Optics are a big challenge because displays and GPUs, we know they’re going to get better. Whereas optics technology has largely been the same and relatively well understood for the last few decades. There are some interesting breakthroughs on the horizon that could really fundamentally change how we present VR to the eye. But in the near eye, that’s one of the things that’s not immediately as easy to push to forward. Overall, everything is moving together pretty well.

Seems to be all coming together. Is everything coming together perfectly for the Q1 release?

PALMER: Nothings perfect, but it’s all coming together.

Third party use of constellation

You’ve announced that third party hardware builders can use a constellation system. Any recent announcements or news about that?

PALMER: Nobody has announced anything.

Future input devices beyond CV1

Are you able to talk a little bit about the tracking technology and where you see it going in the future? We’ve seen there has been acquisitions of startups in camera based technology and it seems logical to assume that these technologies will be implemented at some stage in the future.

PALMER: We currently have one of the best computer vision teams in the world, and we’re going to continue building it. You’ll see more announcements made over time. In the long run, we’ve got a really good technological path towards all the different goals we’re trying to accomplish VR wise. We think we’re on the right road.

Final CV1 design

Is what we see today CV1’s final design and final hardware specs?

PALMER: It’s very close. There’s going to be a very minor changes between what you see here and what we ship. What you’re seeing here is also basically identical to what we were using at E3, but it’s very, very similar to what we’re going to be shipping

So you still have some upgrades to go?

PALMER: Few changes. Very small changes.

Eye-tracking

Is eye-tracking something Oculus are looking into?

PALMER: We’re researching everything. Basically anything you can think of, we have at least some resources dedicated to it.

Favourite Anime

People want to know what your favorite anime is.

PALMER: Probably my favorite anime is Code Geass. Second would be Death Note which I know is super stereotypical. I love Kill La Kill, great anime. Of course I have to like Sword Art Online and Log Horizon. Those are the ones that come to mind.

Have you seen Attack on Titan?

PALMER: Of course.

Have you seen someone has developed a VR game of it?

PALMER: I’ve see a few different things people have put together. Really excited for season 2. Not so excited for the live action film.


Thanks to Killian Farrell and Michael Wang for their help in conducting this interview.