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Sulon-Q – AMD VR entry

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As we move deeper into 2016, things are beginning to heat up in the VR/AR market.

CPU manufacturer AMD has joined forces with the Toronto-based startup – Sulon Technologies and unveiled the ‘wear and play’ Sulon-Q headset. The Sulon-Q aims to provide a PC-based, tracked VR experience without the hassle of tethering yourself to a computer.

Listed below are the minimum specs to run the Oculus Rift:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

As you can see you will need quite a hefty rig to run the Oculus at any reasonable level with a really good GPU to push the 2160×1200 resolution at 90Hz, and windows only at launch.
With the Sulon Q, the Windows 10 PC hardware is installed into the unit itself, including an expected four-core AMD FX-8800P processor with a Radeon R7 graphics card.

Now, if you add in 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and a 2560×1440 OLED display with 110 degrees FOV, it becomes similar to strapping a laptop to your head (still VR-capable though).
AMD have mentioned nothing about the mass of this ‘lightweight’ headset, though it will probably be heavier than tethered ones.

The Sulon-Q has a ‘Spatial Processing Unit’ which should provide real-time mapping of your environment, dynamic virtualization and gesture recognition. In layman’s terms this means that the two cameras on the front of the unit can generate a 3D map of the users surrounding space (great for AR), and, can also track the users head movements, all without the use of an external camera/tracking beacon. The above mentioned ‘gesture recognition’ should allow players to use their hands without the need of extra controllers or gloves.

Both AMD and Sulon have proclaimed a ‘late spring’ launch of the device (No price as of yet). As long as the quality of it is reasonable then AMD VR could be one to watch in this burgeoning market, from a company that is currently struggling against Nvidia’s Goliath presence. I shall be watching this develop with interest!