The Valve Index is for PC gamers who use Steam VR…and you may not need all its parts. Sarah Tew/CNET There are plenty of PC-connected VR headsets, and most of them work the same way: a set of full-motion controllers, a bulky head display that has a long thick cord going to your PC. Maybe it has extra room sensors you need to set up. Maybe it doesn’t. The Valve Index is not much different from other PC VR headsets in that regard (see also: Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, or Microsoft’s VR offerings). It’s not wireless, it doesn’t have eye tracking, and it hasn’t reinvented a way to not be a bulky, cabled headset.But it is probably one of the best PC VR headsets of the moment, and its wild new controllers feel like the future.And yet I recently had a realization I never thought of the first time I tried the hardware weeks ago: this doesn’t feel like a new system. That’s because you don’t need to buy all of it if you’re already someone who owns an HTC Vive.Now that the Valve Index is available (although current shipping times put new orders into mid-September), here’s my guide on how to consider whether to buy it — or which part of it.All the stuff in the Valve Index $999 package (you don’t need the sensor boxes if you already own a Vive). Scott Stein/CNET Welcome to the modular VR world of SteamI mean, of course, Valve Index is a new VR system. Index is a new head-mounted display, there are new controllers, and there’s a $1,000 box that includes all of this along with little boxes to mount in your room to track your movements.But what’s cool about the Index is it’s all made on the same Steam VR platform that the HTC Vive uses. You could mix and match Vive hardware and Valve Index hardware. This is, in a way, an HTC Vive 2.HTC isn’t making the Valve Index, to be clear. Vive still exists, and Valve Index will exist alongside it. But you can mix and match Vive and Valve Index hardware, both of which use Steam VR. Which means, if you already own a Vive, and you’re Valve Index-curious, you may want to just buy the Index’s super-cool new controllers instead, spend $279, and consider that your upgrade.Take a look at Valve’s different piecemeal part offerings for yourself. It felt a little tight-fitting over my glasses. Sarah Tew/CNET Index headset: Excellent video and audio, but…The Valve Index’s headset does look great, optically. The LCD resolution is sharp (1,440×1,600, same as the Vive Pro and Oculus Rift S, but lower-res than the HP Reverb), and the extra field of view (about 130 degrees) reduces the VR scuba-goggles feel. A faster 120Hz frame rate makes things feel even smoother-moving and more present (there’s an experimental 144Hz mode in Steam VR, but I haven’t felt the need). The hovering pull-down speakers on the sides deliver booming, crisp sound. In that sense, it’s a head-mounted display that feels really good.However, the Valve Index lacks a few things. It’s not wireless, which means you need a cable tether. The Index’s streamlined cable setup skips the clunkier breakout box on the Vive, but it’s still a big cable (it needs DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 on your PC, plus a power outlet to power the headset).The Index also lacks eye tracking, a technology that should greatly impact control and graphics quality in future VR. Eye tracking isn’t really in non-enterprise VR yet (the Vive Pro Eye has eye tracking but only for enterprise use, and it costs a fortune). But still, it’s a missing feature.The Index doesn’t do self-contained room tracking, either. The Oculus Rift S and Microsoft’s VR headsets like the HP Reverb use cameras in the headset, and that’s it. The Valve Index still needs little light-emitting boxes to be installed in the room you’re in. It’s the same tech, basically, that the original 2016 Vive used. The 2.0 version of these sensor boxes can enable a large room to turn into a holodeck, and the tracking is really good — but it’s extra gear you need to set up.Finally, like most VR headsets, even though the resolution’s good, it’s not “retina-level.” Meaning, you can still see pixels. I’ve only ever seen one retina-level VR headset, and it costs $6,000. Someday, it’ll arrive to all headsets. Again, just a reminder that the Index isn’t the uber-headset.These are excellent controllers. Not many games take advantage of the wild finger tracking yet. Sarah Tew/CNET The controllers are great upgrades, but app support variesThe Valve Index controllers, as I’ve said, feel like the overdue sequel to the original Vive VR controllers. They’re great, they feel comfy and can track all your fingers like magic gloves. They can register force when you squeeze them. They feel like the future of VR input.They also have some nice extras that the Vive controllers lack, like buttons and analog sticks. That makes them serve as more-capable game controllers, much like the Oculus Touch controllers.It’s great that these controllers can work with all the games and apps that support Vive’s controllers, so there’s a deep library to tap into. They can be your Vive replacement controllers, easily.But that being said, only a handful of games take advantage of the Index controllers’ unique qualities right now. A list, if you’re curious:Space JunkiesMuseum of Other Realities#SkiJumpGarden of the SeaVacation SimulatorFujiiTrover Saves the UniverseAperture Hand LabsShadow Legend VRVRChatOnwardPavlov VRArizona SunshineSpace Pirate TrainerFruit Ninja VRSuperHot VRHot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesPokerStars VRVanishing RealmsCosmic TripNeos VRAccounting+Job SimulatorTilt BrushJet IslandDuck SeasonWindlands 2MossEcho GrottoBlade & SorceryBigscreen BetaClimbeyBeat SaberCompoundAnd, even in that list, some games don’t really do much with the extra finger tracking. The brilliant Aperture Hand Lab is a great demo app that shows what experiences could do when designed with these controllers in mind. But how many games and apps will bother to do that?The Valve Index controllers have analog sticks and buttons and a trackpad, a big improvement on Vive’s older controllers. Sarah Tew/CNET Not the same wireless freedom as Oculus QuestThis is a totally unfair comparison… but the $399 Oculus Quest, all self-contained and wireless, not needing any PC at all, was a more surprising experience to me than Valve Index. I love the Quest’s easy-on, instant-start satisfaction. Admittedly, it’s a totally different proposition: it’s using a mobile chip and has a limited closed-off curated library of games. It’s not as powerful as Valve Index.Again, sorry for the comparison. But I want VR to become more effortless and wire-free, easy to be immersed in. Valve Index isn’t that. You need a PC. You need those sensor boxes in your room. There’s a long, thick cable. It is, however, an improved set of hardware that the Steam VR platform needed, and those Index controllers are really great. I just don’t know, at this point, whether it’s worth your money to dive in. Computers Gaming Post a comment 0 Tags Share your voice Steam Valve Virtual Reality HTC
BEML, the state-run public sector undertaking under the ministry of defence, informed stock exchanges on Friday that the government has decided to offload 26 percent stake in the company, bringing the shareholding down to 28 percent.Read: Govt to divest stake in BEML, Pawan Hans, Hindustan Newsprint, other PSUsThe Indian government currently holds 54.03 percent in the Bengaluru-based company that makes metro coaches, mining and construction equipment and defence products (Tatra vehicles used by Indian Army).”We hereby inform that the government of India, ministry of defence, has communicated ‘in-principle’ of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the government of India for strategic disinvestment of 26 percent equity shares in BEML Limited…,” the company said in a regulatory filing to the BSE on Friday.The BEML stock closed at Rs 993 on Friday on the BSE, down 0.62 percent from its previous close. The stake sale is expected to realise about Rs 1,000 crore for the government. The BSE Sensex closed 119 points lower at 26,759.For the financial year 2015-16, the company’s sales stood at Rs 3,426 crore while the order book position as of November 30 2016 was Rs 7,261 crore.Mutual Funds hold 18.64 percent while retail shareholding is about 10 percent in BEML.The disinvestment proceeds for the current fiscal stood at Rs 23,528 crore as against the target of Rs 56,500 crore comprising strategic stake sale of Rs 20,500 crore and Rs 36,000 crore disinvestment in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).”During the current financial year 2016-17, the Government has so far realized Rs.23528.73 crore, which include Rs.21,432.38 crore through minority stake sale in 14 CPSEs and Rs. 2096.35 crore through strategic disinvestment. The total realization of Rs. 21,432.38 crore, by end-November 2016 through CPSEs’ disinvestment receipts, constitutes around 59.53 per cent of the Budgeted Target of Rs. 36,000 crore (CPSEs’ disinvestment),” the finance ministry said in an update on Tuesday (January 3 2017).
Listen X The NBA is, well, a little weird. Case in point: a three-team trade announced on Thursday between Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and Philadelphia — while not yet even officially approved — will supposedly mean Carmelo Anthony’s headed to the Houston Rockets. But how?Houston Matters finds out from Jeff Balke, who writes for Houstonia Magazine and Houston Press. He updates us on the Astros’ second-half start and all the latest local sports stories. 00:00 /08:06 Sue Ogrocki/AP PhotoOklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony is guarded by Rockets’ guard James Harden during a preseason game on Oct. 3, 2017. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
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Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. April 15, 2010 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 1 min read Welcome to the age of the multi-media elevator pitch. The battery-powered, pocket-sized MPro150 from 3M projects a decently bright, 8- to 50-inch image on anything from an elevator wall to the back of an airline seat. It features a relatively crisp LED picture, 20,000 hours of lamp life, two hours of projection time, as much as 3 GB of memory and adapters and control software that can project everything from your PC’s desktop to those lingering episodes of Lost on your iPhone.The pico-projector demand is fueled by entrepreneurs who need to have a memorable pitch ready no matter where they are. “There is a coolness factor that can be a big advantage in a selling situation,” says William Coggshall, president of consultancy Pacific Media Associates in Menlo Park, Calif.The 3M projector (which lists for $395) also stores and manages most common business files such as Word, Excel and, yes, PowerPoint. Although not nearly as bright as traditional portable projectors, the MPro150 has built-in content management tools that are easy to use–and it is guaranteed to fit in your luggage. This story appears in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »