In 2015, virtual reality was the future, which means we should all have it right now. One of the most technologically impressive VR sets is the HTC Vive, an amazing piece of kit that’s jam-packed with sensors and has some really cool tech going on inside it.
One of the developers of the HTC Vive and the ever-important ‘Lighthouse’ position sensors is [Alan Yates]. He’s of Valve and gave a talk at last year’s Superconference on Why the Lighthouse Can’t Work. Being able to determine the absolute position of the Valve’s headset is hard, but absolutely necessary for VR. Anything else would be an incomplete VR experience at best, and give you nausea at worst.
We sat down with [Alan] after his talk last year, and now that interview is up. You can check that out below.
For the last few years, [Alan] has been working on VR at Valve. Virtual reality has a very specific set of problems that must be solved before the technology works, and the most important of these problems is turning a computer-generated world into something your brain thinks is real. This means precise position sensing which the Vive is solving with the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is a set of boxes that emit infrared to be picked up by the headset. It’s an elegant solution, but one that requires pushing the boundaries of current tech.
Dissecting the Lighthouse means a deep dive into the world of opamps and encoders — stuff we all enjoy here at Hackaday. [Alan]’s talk was one of the best at last year’s Superconference, and this year’s tickets are still available. If this is the kind of stuff that tickles an engineering nerve, make a plan to attend the Superconference in Pasadena, California on November 11th and 12th.