It’s been a year since the first Oculus Rift Development Kit was released, and it’s safe to say the world of gaming will never be the same again.
- Headset, with combined USB and HDMI cable
- IR camera, plus USB and IR sync cable (2.5mm plug)
- DVI to HDMI converter, as the Rift no longer takes DVI input.
- Two sets of lenses, for normal (A) and short-sighted (B) users.
- Screen / lens wipe
- Power adapter with international plugs.
DK1 was running an LED screen at 1280 x 720, effectively rendering 640 x 720 for each eye. The low resolution was particularly noticeable. For DK2, the screen has been upgraded to an OLED model running 1920 x 1080, or 960 x 1080 per eye, which is precisely 2.25x more pixels. It’s a significant upgrade in terms of resolution alone, though individual pixels can still be seen.The “screen door” effect was ever present in DK1 – a persistent overlay that looked as if you were viewing the world through a meshed screen door. With DK2, the effect is still present – but so significantly reduced that it’s much easier to forget it’s there while immersed in a game.DK1 users also reported a heavy motion blur when moving their head around – a contributing factor of VR sickness. This too has been largely eliminated in DK2 thanks to the higher quality OLED screen.It’s difficult to describe in words though: for a good approximation of the difference in quality, check out Michael Blix’s Oculus Rift VR Simulator – select 1080p and “low persistence” for DK2, and compare directly DK1. You can also see what the view from the final consumer release may be like with the rumored resolution upgrade, and even how it might look with 4K screen.The new screen is also higher contrast with more vibrant colours; the DK1 tended to be a little murky and grey.However, it’s not all good news.The different screen type appears to have introduced a new kind of problem, known colloquially as the “purple smear” and more technically as “chromatic aberrations”. It seems to occur around black areas – shadows and such – resulting in a smeary purple after-image where the black was previously displayed, which quickly fades as it seems to “catch up”. Although noticeable in some demos, I haven’t personally found it detracts significantly from an experience; others have. It appears it may be correctable in software, by nudging the colour values of pure black and thereby keeping the colours illuminated ever so slightly, but this hasn’t been implemented by everyone yet.The total field of view is also apparently smaller from 110 degrees down to 100, but I can’t honestly say I’d noticed. This video from reddit user imfromspaceman illustrates the horizontal field of view differences by filming the screen directly – notice also how washed out DK1 looks in comparison.Following a dissection of the hardware, it was discovered that the screen is in fact taken straight from a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.Design ChangesThe main shape of the Oculus Rift hasn’t changed significantly, but there are a number of big design changes elsewhere.First on the list is the absence of a control box – the required components have been integrated into the Rift headset itself – but this comes at the cost of an additional 60 grams of weight (440 grams compared to 380 grams). In practice, the weight difference is negligible. A power button is now included on the left side (when viewed from the front).
This also means that two cables must be run into the Rift, for USB and HDMI – but thankfully these have been combined with a nylon sheath to appear as a single cable. The cable also now runs along the central headstrap rather than off to the side, a welcome move that results in less cable acrobatics.Also on the main enclosure is a passthrough USB and 2.5mm IR camera sync port, hidden under a rubber cover. It’s been speculated that the IR sync port opens the possibilities of reverse IR tracking in a similar way to the WiiMote does it: mounting the camera on the headset itself to then read IR tracking markers around a room, perhaps. However, no practical application of this has been demonstrated yet.A small LED next to the power buttons indicates the status; orange is off, blue is on.Positional Tracking and the CameraIncluded in the package (though not strictly required for operation) is a new infra-red camera. Behind the face of the Rift are 40 high intensity IR LEDs, though you can’t actually see them. Combined with the camera, this adds positional tracking. If you’re not sure what this means, remember that the DK1 essentially fixed your head in one position, tracking only the rotation around a fixed point (the centre of your head). Leaning in to pick up something, standing up or crouching, would all result in a quick feeling or nausea created by the disconnect of what your eyes are seeing and what your brain is expecting. Positional tracking enables you have full motion freedom in the VR environment: you can sit down, stand up, lean forwards or even look around a corner.In practice, the camera is surprisingly good, but works best when placed at a distance of about 5 feet from the Rift. If you take a full turn away from the camera, tracking is lost and can result in a jarring jump from one position to another (but not always). In demos that have implemented positional tracking, the effect is an astounding improvement.The camera also has two cables; one USB that goes to your computer and occupies another USB port (the Rift itself takes one) as well as an IR sync cable, which attaches to the Rift cable via a breakout box. The box also has a DC input for a power supply (included), though this isn’t required if your USB ports can supply sufficient power. I plugged mine in anyway, just to be safe – and because users have reported this fixes some cases of screen stuttering.Setup and SDK WoesWorking with the first dev kit was a relatively simple affair for any typical gamer, and involved either cloning or extending your existing display. Sadly, the process has become ridiculously complex for the second iteration – but this was to be expected and can be explained.In order to build a truly consumer-friendly device, the requirement to extend your desktop or change primary monitor had to be removed. Instead, Oculus SDK v0.4 introduces a “Direct To Rift” mode, which leverages the Rift as just another device rather than a monitor. In this mode, a small window appears on your main screen, and the output is piped into the Rift. You don’t need to change monitor settings, refresh rates or resolutions. It’s admirable and clearly a better approach that’s needed for the final consumer release – but literally nothing except the Oculus demo works with it yet.Instead, nearly every current game and demo requires that you disable the new Oculus service driver, de-activate Direct-to-Rift mode, and use the extended desktop method instead. Sadly, display mirroring no longer works, as the screen in the Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 expects a portrait orientation and must be rotated 90 degrees in the display settings (probably something to do with it being pulled straight from a mobile phone). It varies by demo as to whether the Rift should be set as primary or secondary, and whether the game launcher should run on the main monitor, or pushed over to the Rift before hitting start. Thankfully, Reddit user Bilago quickly created theunofficial Oculus Service Manager which simplifies the process.They’ve also simplified the user setup system, allowing you to set different IPDs and player heights and quickly switch without editing files.As games are recompiled and optimized for SDK v0.4, all this will become a non-issue and the Oculus will truly be consumer-ready, but I wanted to highlight it as things are considerably more difficult at the moment to get working than they were with DK1.
Lens differencesIn DK1, there were 3 different lenses, two for varying levels of short-sightedness. With DK2, only two are supplied; the second supposedly works for all short-sighted users. You can still choose the A cups if you wish to wear glasses, and the screen can be adjusted in the same way.Rather than the overtly convex lens of DK1, DK2 lenses are flat, at least on the part facing your eye. I’m no optical physicist, but it seems to make them a lot less forgiving when it comes to positioning the headset – one millimetre up or down away from the optimal position on your eyes, and blurriness rapidly encroaches. There’s a clearly defined sweet spot.The lenses are slightly larger in width, too, which results in less dead peripheral vision areas. If you look down sharply, you can still see your hands on the keyboard, but it’s a lot harder than the DK1.Some users have bemoaned the fact that there’s still no physical IPD adjustment – it’s fixed at 63.5mm – but I’m not sure how feasible that would be, even for a consumer release.
Low-End PCs BewareYou knew the day was coming when you’d need to upgrade: that day is now. Without decent hardware driving the display, the forced 75Hz refresh rate can cause disturbing stuttering. Some of this is due to unoptimized code on many demos and the new SDK, but with a top of the line R9-290X graphics card, I wasn’t really expecting any issues. That said, the rest of my PC may not be up to scratch with only 4 gigabytes of RAM. But the point is, you really need a beefy machine to experience virtual reality at it’s best – and you’re going to need yet another speed bump when the final consumer version is released (with even higher resolution). If you can’t afford to upgrade now, save your cash and co-incide an upgrade with the consumer release next year.
GamesIf you’re the kind of person who likes to try everything, give feedback to developers, and don’t mind tweaking things for half hour just to get something working – you’ll find a new demo almost every day. If you’re like me and would rather wait for the more polished experiences, they are few and far between – but that’s okay. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is wonderfully raw and a complete mess, but I’m glad I’m along for the ride. I’m not going to touch on Rift games too much, because anything I write will be outdated by the time this piece is published – things really are moving that fast.The game I’ve personally grown most fond of when using the DK2 is actually MineCraft – or at least, the MineCrift mod. Which is somewhat curious because the mod itself is a year old. At least, it was until yesterday (at the time of writing), when a new version was releasedwhich adds positional tracking. See what I mean about writing outdated info?Should You Get One?The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 represents a significant improvement over DK1 – enough that games (when you finally get them to work), now feel genuinely playable, and not just in a“Wow, this is really cool but now I feel a bit sick and everything’s gone fuzzy.” kind of way. If the final consumer release hardware is even better than this, we’re in for a real treat.The setup process and general usability though – that’s even more difficult than before, and I say that as a geek who re-installs Windows for fun on the weekends. Unless you’re prepared to put in the time to tweak settings, you’re not going to have a good time as a gamer with the DK2. As a VR developer, you’ll probably be in heaven.
Last Friday, the TaiG team released a new update, v1.1.0, to their untether jailbreak for iOS8-iOS 8.1.1. The TaiG 8.0-8.1.1 Untether package is also available on Cydia for those who have already jailbroken their iOS 8 devices using TaiG. The update adds some fixes such as the sandbox issues noticed in the previous version of TaiG jailbreak utility.
With the latest version of jailbreak now available, the jailbreak community will be in search of new Cydia tweaks and apps for their iOS devices.iDownloadblog brings a list of new jailbreak tweaks. There are some 31 new tweaks, most of them free, while some are paid. Check out the following list.
Acapella ($2): It is an elegant take on music controls in iOS and the successor to Gesture Music Controls. It cleans up the cluttered music controls, replacing it with a simple to use and gesture based alternative.
AirPlay Enabler (Free): The tweaks let Control Center always show AirPlay button. It has been tested on iOS 8.1.1 with iPhone 6 Plus.
Battery Passcode (Free): It is a new tweak that allows you to set your passcode to the current battery percentage. When the battery is at 65%, you should use 6500. Ensure to type in the original password first to configure and check battery percentage is on.
Brevity 2 ($0.99): Allows you to respond to text messages quickly and easily. Set your desired shortcut and when nothing is typed, it takes the place of the microphone button in iMessage, and the greyed-out send button in Text Messages. With just one touch, your shortcut is sent. In case you want to send a voice message, just hold on the brevity icon.
CarPlay iOS (Free): Lets you to experiment with some CarPlayfeatures, on your iPhone.
Clex2 ($1.99): It is a revolutionary way to interact with Music. It brings your phone a new view that looks works like Control Center.
ColorY0urBoard8 ($1.99): It can make your keyboard colourful. You can select the colour you want from the app and press save button and then turn it on.
Contacts Photo Sync ($1): Import contact photos from WhatsApp.
Curtains ($0.99): It allows you to use WhatsApp privately. You can hide read receipts, hide online status and hide typing indicator from anyone you chat with.
DateText (Free): Allows you to change the date on your lockscreen by small text that is chosen. Just go to the settings to select your text.
Dim (Free): Lets you to artificially darken your display below the iOS minimum brightness. While Dim’s settings can be changed from settings app, you can also enable or disable it and even change its brightness using Activator or Flipswitch.
FaceBOpenIN (Free): Lets you share facebook images with other apps.
FBCopyTXT (Free): Lets you copy Facebook posts texts with longpress gesture.
FileBroswer (Free): Advanced file manager running under root.
InstaCopyTXT (Free): Lets you copy most texts you see in Instagram app with double tap.
InstaOpenIN (Free): Share Instagram photos and videos in other apps.
KillBackground8 (Free): It kills all background apps and adds special buttons to the AppSwitcher view.
LockSmoother (Free): Allows customising lockscreen with some sleek effect. You can edit everything through the settings panel.
NoAudiaoRecorder (Free): Removes the recording button from Messages app.
Non-Stop Music 8 ($0.99): Allows Music to continue after respring. It is compatible with the stock Music app, the Spotify app and the Podcasts app, and has semi support for rdio.
NoUpdateHistory (Free): Deletes the history of your App Store app updates.
NoVolumeHUD (Free): NoVolumeHUD disallows displaying the Volume HUD when changing your Volume by tapping on the side volume buttons.
Power Informer (Free): Provides you with battery level alerts at starting levels and increments that you designate.
Predix ($1.49): Shows a countdown of how much more tome your battery will last, or how much time it will take to reach 100% while charging.
Preference Tag2 ($1.99): Allows you to enhance your Preferences app.
Prettier Banners ($0.99): When receiving a text message banner notification, the contact’s profile photos will be shown instead of the Messages app icon. In case of group message notification, all the participants’ name will be shown.
Simpler Photos ($0.99): Customises photo-related functions throughout iOS.
Support Unsupported Accessories8 (Free): Support Unsupported chargers and cables. It is tested on iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.1.1.
Transference (Free): Allows you to reorder the preferences app’s cells.
UnderFace ($1): This tool gives the ability to take control of your privacy by providing a free and autonomous navigation of each individual within the social network. It provides several functions to the security and protection of that privacy.
For those of you who have a JDM navigation system installed in their Toyota (vitz, belta, axio, etc) and get the following message on their navigation system “INSERT MAP CD”, i have the solution for you.
All that the system needs is a boot CD that will bypass this message. After that you will be able to use most of the features of the system like controlling the treble/base, maintenance log, etc. Everything, apart from the actual GPS navigation will be activated (for that, you require a map file of Pakistan, which unfortunately isn’t available for any system apart from Garmin).
Usually you can go to the market (audio stores) and pay Rs.500-2000 for them to unlock your system.
First thing you need to do is to know the model number of the system you have installed in your car, for eg, NDCN W55 etc. (Model number is usually written at the bottom right of the unit).
After that, download the file from megaupload shared below having your system’s model number. This will download a file called LOADING.KWI.
Once you have downloaded the LOADING.KWI file, burn the LOADING.KWI file to a blank cd. Here you have to take care of two things:
1) Don’t put the file into any folder on the CD. The file must be in the root directory (i.e. it should be the only file on the CD. No folders or anything).
2) The name of the CD should be 86271-V416A8
once you have written the file to a blank CD, just insert the CD in your deck in the MAP slot, and you will be good to go.