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Valve shows off updated VR headset prototype with Dota 2 demo

Have you heard? Virtual reality is a thing again. The trend kicked off by the Oculus Rift head-mounted display has ensnared companies like Sony, Samsung, and meetup in Boston gave attendees a chance to actually try the company’s head mounted display.

Valve’s prototype unit looks a lot like Oculus’ recently demoed Crystal Cove test unit. It’s a black wrap-around device covered with white IR-reflective dots. A separate camera uses those dots to keep tabs on how the wearer is moving his or her head. This allows for much more accurate motion tracking and a better immersive experience than simply using accelerometers and gyroscopes in the device itself. The last prototype, which was demoed in a very limited fashion, used QR codes and a camera attached to the visor to improve tracking.

Valve VR

Inside the headset are two screens with a total resolution of 2160 x 1280, but in this early version, not all of the screen is visible. You can probably tell from the images this device is rather oddly shaped, meaning the bottom half of the screen is basically unused. However, people who got to use the updated prototype say the tracking and framerates

Valve has a Dota 2 demo that allowed wearers to see the entire game arena spread out on a virtual table. It responded to motion tracking by letting the wearer lean down and inspect any section of gameplay more closely. Cool though it may be, this is still a long way from a real gameplay demo.

It’s not clear if Valve will ever bring its VR headset to market, or if this is just a little side project to explore new interfaces. The company has worked with Oculus in the past, but with the



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