A driver discovered by a VR developer in Oculus Quest’s firmware reveals new Contact-like VR controllers which can characteristic enhancements to monitoring, haptics, and finger sensing.

Final month, the official Oculus Developer web site leaked the codename for a ‘Del Mar’ standalone headset with a developer early entry program. A reference to ‘Oculus Jedi Controller For Oculus Del Mar’ was additionally found within the Oculus Cellular SDK.

This week, Gerald McAlister of RGB Schemes discovered a driver for the Jedi controller throughout the newest firmware for the buyer Quest. We don’t know whether or not this driver was included by accident or its inclusion implies the present Quest may sooner or later assist the controller.

UploadVR analyzed the driving force and in contrast it to the present Contact driver to zero in on some particular modifications. Consider, nonetheless,  modifications might be made between now and this turning into a product- or Fb may cancel the undertaking altogether.

Acquainted Enter

The motive force file reveals a controller with a thumbstick, index set off, grip set off, A/X button, B/Y button, and a system/menu button- the identical format as the present Oculus Contact controllers, which continued the identical format as the unique Rift’s Contact.

new oculus touch controllersnew oculus touch controllersThe present Oculus Contact controllers

This could let Fb obtain its acknowledged purpose of creating all Quest content material run on future variations of the headset, since basic modifications to the controls would require builders to replace their apps.

Extra Exact Monitoring

A perform for infrared LED calibration exists, suggesting this controller is optically tracked in the identical method as the present Contact– cameras on the headset comply with the motion of the LED constellation, and that is fused with the accelerometer readings to attain sub-mm precision.

Fb’s VR controllers are tracked by way of infrared LEDs underneath the plastic

On Quest, the headset cameras pattern at 60 Hz. Half of the frames are excessive publicity pictures for a transparent view of your room used for headset monitoring, and the opposite half are low publicity pictures that zero in on controller place with minimal blur. Thus Contact flashes the LEDs at 30 Hz, or 30 occasions per second.

The ‘Jedi’ driver references a 60Hz IR LED mode. This might scale back the time it takes for the headset to re-acquire a controller that went out of view. It may additionally trace at cameras that pattern extra ceaselessly on ‘Del Mar’, which could allow decrease latency for controller-free hand monitoring.

The motive force additionally reveals the sequence mannequin variety of the controller’s inertial measurement unit (IMU)- the chip inside all VR controllers which accommodates the accelerometer.

Teardowns and the FCC filings for the present Contact confirmed it makes use of TDK’s ICM-20601 IMU from late 2015.

Touch S IMU ChipTouch S IMU ChipThe IMU within the present Contact controllers for Rift S and Quest

Jedi’s driver lists it as utilizing a brand new ICM-426-series TDK chip, described as a “premium efficiency” IMU with “the bottom noise determine within the business” when it was introduced at CES 2019.

 Contact (v2) IMU‘Jedi’ Listed IMUNoise (µg/rt-Hz)
(decrease is healthier)39070Decision16-bits18-bitsTolerance
(decrease is healthier)2percent0.5percentVariation from Temp (%/ºC)
(decrease is healthier)1.6 ×10-25 ×10-3Energy Usage3 mA0.65 mAGyro Noise (mdps/rt-Hz)
(decrease is healthier)135.3Gyro Decision16-bits19-bits

The specs counsel an accelerometer and gyroscope with a 6x and 2x discount in noise, respectively, in addition to enhancements to decision. Noise right here means the fluctuation in output. This improved IMU ought to give the monitoring algorithm extra knowledge with much less noise, and that might allow extra exact controller monitoring.

When not in view of any digital camera, the accelerometer is used to estimate the controller’s movement. This works when the controller is shifting rapidly or predictably, however just for just a few seconds at most at the moment. A greater accelerometer may improve this time, or simply make the estimation extra correct.

Potential Haptics Enhancements

The unique Oculus Contact (and HTC Vive wands) used a linear actuator for exact haptics. This identical expertise is current within the Nintendo Swap as “HD Rumble”, in addition to within the Valve Index controllers.

The present Contact controllers use a regular motor of the sort present in a gamepad, drawing criticism from builders using linear haptics of their experiences.

The ‘Jedi’ driver mentions a brand new haptics thread operating on the controller, which now interfaces with a selected haptic driver. This may counsel enhancements to haptics, however there’s not sufficient data right here to say something extra definitive.

Analog Finger Sensing

The unique and present Contact controllers use capacitive sensors to detect when your fingers are touching buttons, the thumbstick, or the index set off.

Valve’s Index SteamVR controllers take this concept additional for five finger place detection and extra granularity.

The Jedi driver features a reference to an analog capacitive contact sensor that seems to hold the  codename ‘Rainier’. Oculus has an extended historical past of naming prototypes after California seashores– and Rainier is in Washington State, the place Fb’s VR/AR analysis division is situated. 

So What Is Del Mar?

The knowledge that Quest’s firmware gives about Jedi narrows down the chances for what the ‘Del Mar’ headset is.

One common idea took the ‘Jedi’ codename significantly, postulating non-compulsory Lightsaber controllers for a superior Beat Saber & Vader Immortal expertise. Others prompt ‘Jedi’ might be a product based mostly on the finger monitoring wristband being developed by CTRL Labs, a startup acquired by Fb in September. The complete conventional enter noticed on this driver may rule out each of those theories.

Half Dome 2Half Dome 2One among Fb’s prototype headsets from R&D, Half-Dome 2

At this time’s new information- Jedi being a controller with the same enter to the prevailing Contact however that includes an improved IMU-  could level to Del Mar and Jedi being a successor or larger finish various to Quest. In addition to offering a step up available in the market for standalone headsets, it seems like Fb may be taking the chance to make enhancements to enter, whereas avoiding a complete overhaul that might break backwards compatibility. In fact, if Fb did enhance the Contact controllers with these Jedi models launched alongside a brand new Quest, we’d hope for backwards compatibility with the present Quest as properly.

Featured picture on the prime of this publish options Oculus Contact prototypes proven in an Oculus Join four presentation in 2017. 

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