John Carmack geeks out about headmounted displays

first_imgIn the short history of videogames, no one has solved more problems and done more to push games technology forward than John Carmack. If there’s a technical problem in the way of his goal he’ll spend his days and nights solving it. That’s how he got a scrolling game working on PC before anyone else, how Doom and Quake came into existence and worked on the hardware of the time, and why id Software’s engines were always in high demand before the Zenimax acquisition.More recently his problem solving skills have been put to work launching rockets with Armadillo Aerospace, but with the re-release of Doom 3 imminent, his head is firmly back in games. The new problem he’s trying to solve? Head-mounted displays.The main issue is one of latency, which before Carmack started fixing was over 100 milliseconds. That’s why most affordable head-mount displays have terrible lag between turning your head and the display updating. Carmack removed about 85ms of that latency by using some sensor code from Armadillo and requesting a firmware update from a head-mount manufacturer.The rest of the latency is down to the displays, which is clearly a point of frustration for Carmack as he knows it’s an easy fix if the display engineers just started working better together and in a different way. In other words, that latency shouldn’t be there and he has stated it’s faster to sed a packet to Europe than a pixel to your screen.There is hope though, and Carmack is getting very close to having a lag free head-mounted display we can all purchase for $500. Whether anyone wants to play games like that is another question, but you have to get the tech working properly before seriously asking that question.Head on over to Kotaku to watch Carmack geeking out some more about the tech and what he’s trying to achieve.last_img