Debuting at GDC 2016 is the Sulon Q, AMD’s and Sulon’s tether-free “wear and play” augmented-reality/virtual-reality headset.
Until recently, PC gamers may not have been aware of AMD’s investment into the future of virtual-reality, due to their apparent lack of a first-party VR headset; their competition includes the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung’s Galaxy S7-ready Gear VR. Not only has the PC hardware OEM has partnered up with Associated Press, Smithsonian and others for news and educational VR apps, but AMD has also paired with Canadian start-up Sulon Technologies to develop their own first-party headset- the Sulon Q.
Unlike its high-profile competitors, the Sulon Q is a tether-free “wear and play” headset that can function without the use of a high-end gaming PC. AMD’s hardware is build directly into the headset, with the chassis housing a modified Radeon R7 GPU and an expected Quad-Core AMD FX-8800P CPU. The Sulon Q possesses an on-board 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and an OLED 2560×1440 display granting a 110° field of view. AMD and Sulon have yet to release the dimensions and final product weight, though the headset could potentially be heavier than the likes of the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, where the graphical processing is done within an external PC or smartphone.
According to AMD’s announcement, the Sulon Q is equipped with a “Spatial Processing Unit (SPU)” to provide “real-time environment mapping and tracking” and “dynamic virtualization for VR/AR fusion”. This is essentially a compartmentalized variant of the SteamVR Lighthouse tracking system; the Sulon Q can actively track and map the user’s head and surroundings, without the use of satellite cameras and sensors. The SPU is also capable of tracking gestures from the user as an additional interface.
A price has not been revealed, however AMD and Sulon Technologies are currently shooting for the Sulon Q to release this Spring.