Valve Makes More Core VR Technologies Available to Device Manufacturers

Now if only they would make some games.

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Valve, creator of Steam and SteamVR, has announced the availability of new core components needed by VR hardware manufacturers to deliver best in class VR systems. This is another step towards VR dominance for the company that powers the HTC Vive VR HMD.

Check out the full press release:

Complementing the existing free license for sub-millimeter room-scale tracking and input technology, today's news marks the addition of other critical pieces for developing state-of-the-art VR hardware: an advanced optical system, manufacturing and calibration tools, and the supporting software stack to unify the hardware into an optimal user experience.

"World class VR requires highly precise tracking, matched optics and display technologies, and a software stack that weaves together the interactions between these components," said Jeremy Selan of Valve. "For the first time, we're making all of these technologies available to anyone who wants to build a best in class VR system for the millions of Steam customers accessing over 2,000 SteamVR compatible titles."

About the Display and Optics Technology

Valve has spent years working closely with display manufacturers to adapt their technologies to the unique challenges of VR. Recent advancements in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology combined with VR specific calibration now make it a viable technology choice for high end VR systems. LCD manufacturers have demonstrated fast-switching liquid crystals, low persistence backlights, and high PPI displays that, when calibrated and paired with the right software, are well matched to the highest quality VR experiences. Of course, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology was critical to the first generation of VR (being first to demonstrate fast transition times and low-persistence illumination), and it remains an excellent option for new head mounted displays (HMDs). While both display technologies have inherent artifacts unique to head-mounted usage, Valve provides custom hardware and software manufacturing solutions as part of the SteamVR technology suite to enable high quality visual VR experiences.

In addition, Valve has developed custom lenses that work with both LCD and OLED display technologies and is making these lenses available to purchase for use in SteamVR compatible HMDs. These lenses and Valve's unique calibration and correction software are designed specifically to be paired with several off-the-shelf VR displays to enable the highest quality VR visual experiences. These optical solutions currently support a field of view between 85 and 120 degrees (depending on the display). The lenses, which are designed to support the next generation of room-scale virtual reality, optimize the user's perceived tracking experience and image sharpness while reducing stray light. Valve is including the custom lens calibration and correction software within the SteamVR technology suite.


It is still the early days for VR development, but it is nice to see Valve continue to support other companies willing to take financial risks to bring more great hardware to market.

For more information about VR technology licensing, please see https://partner.steamgames.com/vrlicensing

For more information about Valve optical technologies, contact Valve at vrlicensing@valvesoftware.com

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

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    October 9, 2017 11:00 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Valve Makes More Core VR Technologies Available to Device Manufacturers

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      October 9, 2017 11:05 AM

      lol at the subheading, yep.

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      October 9, 2017 11:31 AM

      I'm wondering if they're waiting on second generation hardware or better to release more games.

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        October 9, 2017 6:24 PM

        My bet is on "never again". It must not make any financial sense to make games if you have the option to be Valve instead. Like you just can't sit down in a meeting and convince yourself or anyone else that making a game is worth it.

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          October 9, 2017 6:28 PM

          Hmm. Well right now an argument could be made that the VR industry is a growth market and Valve (for better or worse) is a leader in the market. They could publish a game if only to show off the capabilities of their own tool sets and libraries of it promotes Steam as a VR platform.

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            October 9, 2017 7:18 PM

            it seems impossible that they made any money on the Vive and i can't even see what their business strategy is for it