GameCore and the ZeroCore network is an ambitious project from the team behind Gameface Labs. They have produced a VR & AR headset agnostic next-gen gaming console which also supports traditional Android content. Utilizing the latest Nvidia Tegra X2 chip, the GameCore boasts a significant, over 5-fold the power compared to the Nintendo Switch, depending on whether the Switch is docked or undocked which is powered by an underclocked Nvidia Tegra X1.
THE ZEROCORE NETWORK
ZeroCore™ Network is a platform that connects content developers with consumers all over the world. With robust hardware combined with next-gen software and content delivery technology, ZeroCore™ is the world’s first truly end-to-end ubiquitous solution for both content developers and consumers, creating a full ecosystem. Content can range from traditional 2D videos and applications to fully immersive VR and AR content. Use cases span numerous sectors including gaming, education, training, marketing, tele-health and defence.
With ZeroCore™, developers, regardless of their size, resources, location or content type can raise capital for their projects, license proprietary digital assets, develop, distribute and then monetize their content globally. ZeroCore™ analytical tools provides real-time feedback for developers allowing them to refine their content based on customer engagement data.
ZeroCore™ have already started shipping its first product called GameCore™ – a next-gen AI Games Console in an elegant micro form factor, similar to a small set-top box. GameCore™ is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra X2, the world’s most powerful supercomputer on a module, which has enabled efficient AI compute performance for users everywhere. GameCore™ can be connected to any TV, VR or AR headset. With 8GB of RAM, 256 CUDA Cores, 2 x NVIDIA Denver2 ARMv8 (64-bit) cores & 4 x ARMv8 ARM Cortex-A57 (64-bit) cores it will outperform any ARM based device currently in the retail market. GameCore™ will be running the latest version of the Android Operating System, customized for the ZEROCORE Network™, it also comes with built-in drivers that support the world’s first ARM based submillimeter positional tracking solution for any OpenVR headsets, controllers or peripherals.
THE MINING PROPOSITION
What sets ZeroCore™ apart from its peers in the industry is the future facing vision for the ecosystem. Connected to the ZeroCore™ Network, GameCore™ can generate continuous income for owners when not in use, as long as it’s connected to a power source and the internet. While sitting idle, ZeroCore™ Network can sell the unused GPU/CPU power of decentralized GameCore™ devices to companies or organizations that need GPU/AI power to process their GPU/AI-heavy applications. ZeroCore™ Network will form a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers for GPU/AI power, with blockchain technology providing trust less proof-of-work and proof of availability to compensate users for connecting their devices to the Network.
Users will be compensated with ZeroCore™ Tokens (KORs)™. Pricing of the GPU/AI power and the actual mechanism will be managed automatically in the background, streamlining the user experience.
ZeroCore™ Tokens can be used in multiple ways, and may end up redefining the way users pay for games and exchange value in a gaming environment.
GAMES AND CONTENT
With its custom Android based system, GameCore™ will allow users to consume existing content, including, but not limited to VR, AR and Traditional Android (Rectangular TV based) content, enabling an instant use case for GameCore™ devices. The GameCore will also enable a new calibre of Android content to be developed, utilizing the awesome horsepower of the Nvidia TX2, unifying a rapidly fragmenting industry with a robust and ubiquitous solution positioned to cross the chasm.
PC developers are working on porting well known PC VR titles to the ZeroCore platform which until now have been too graphically demanding to run on any other Android devices. Combined with ZeroCore’s tracking tech and console, you can plug in a high-end PC headset Like the HTC Vive and enjoy much higher graphical fidelity VR content than any phone or ARM standalone headset has ever offered, while being completely untethered from a PC.
GameCore™ represents a significant paradigm shift in gaming. Currently games are designed with dopamine driven feedback loops designed specifically to keep gamers addicted and extract as much money from them as possible. The GameCore creators have contracted various Game Development studios to create a new wave of educational and interactive content that both teaches while the user learns more about the fundamentals of the technology that is only going to grow significantly over the coming years. For the first time, gamers of all ages can ‘Learn and Earn’ these games will be unveiled over the coming months before the ZeroCore Developer summit at the prestigious Sunset Marquis Hotel in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
We have had a sneak peek into the upcoming phases of development the team has laid out and they have some very ambitious ideas, however, for a company who pioneered the first standalone VR device back in 2013 and have followed year after year with a number of world firsts which have gone on to become industry standards, they stand a very good chance of achieving these goals.
We will continue to keep up to date with the ZeroCore team as they roll out their plans even further, for now, they are still somewhat in stealth mode.
GameFace Labs have worked closely in the past with Nvidia, 3D Systems, and trained and produced 3D solutions in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence. Their expertise has taken them around the world from capturing VR launch content for Mattel’s ViewMaster to filming Linkin Park in the Hollywood Bowl in 360-degree VR.
GameFace Labs have previously built 8 ground breaking VR headset prototypes. Each incantation solving a separate problem preventing the mass adoption of this new immersive wave of computing. They have extensive experience within the industry and have always been on the cutting edge of VR & AR research and development.
ZeroCore has gathered together a highly impressive group of advisers and full-time staff, including:
- Ted Schilowitz – Paramount Co-founder of RED Digital Cameras, Futurist & 21st Century Futurist,
- Maxim Jago – NASA, Microsoft, HP, and Nvidia consultant, author, and keynote speaker
- Randy Adams – Co-founder of Yahoo, Funny or Die and WTFTV to name a few
- Richard Baldock – Ex-chairman to the Rothschild Trust in Zurich.
- Dr. Dave Ranyard – Ex Sony Head of VR content
- Tareq Hawasli – Director of Sheffield United
- Ismail Malik – Chief tokenomics officer
- Bill Rehbock – Chief Development Officer
THE FRAGMENTED NATURE OF VR AND AR
While the major players in the VR industry are using similar underlying technology, many competing software platforms have arisen, each built around a specific type of headset, or reliant on someone else’s operating system.
Most large game developers have not seriously committed fully to virtual reality in any meaningful way. Currently virtual reality games are mainly the preserve of indie developers. One of the major barriers to game development for indie developers is the fragmentation of the industries. The GameCores headset agnosticism allows game developers to write once and deploy to multiple headset providers. Engadget summed it up accurately when they stated, “In a very real way, Gamecore’s Engineering Prototype represents the future of VR.”
THE MIXED REALITY PARADIGM SHIFT
There are several major players in the virtual reality market, each with their own different proprietary platform and competing vision of how a mature Mixed Reality gaming market will look, however, Sony alone has an entire ecosystem in place, whereby they own their hardware, OS and ecosystem. Microsoft and Nintendo have yet to announce their VR solutions, and all other PC based VR headsets are reliant on Windows and SteamVR or Oculus Runtime to be running in the background, making these PC driven headsets nothing more than sophisticated Displays with sensors.
Consumer virtual reality headsets have actually been around since the early 1990s. Sega first announced the Sega VR headset for use with its Mega Drive console and arcade games. It used LCD screens in a visor, had stereo headphones and used inertial sensors to track and react to the movements of the headset. Virtuality also launched that same year and was the first mass produced networked multiplayer VR entertainment system. Units costed up to $73,000. Not only did Virtuality’s offering include a headset, but also exoskeleton gloves that provided one of the first immersive VR experiences. Whilst a fantastic proof of concept the user experience was spoilt by latency and many users experienced feelings of sickness whilst using the systems. It would be many years before the hardware improved enough to provide a user experience that was solid and responsive enough to avoid virtual reality sickness.
Fast forward to 2012 and Palmer Luckey’s prototype of the Oculus Rift reinvigorated consumer interest in virtual reality leading to a revival in interest in virtual reality. His first prototype was only capable of rotational tracking with no positional tracking. However, it was revolutionary as it offered a 90-degree field of vision. The ZeroCore team have demoed several prototypes to Palmer Luckey over the years, with the CEO Ed Mason giving talks alongside Palmer and other industry Veterans in Silicon Valley.
In 2013, Valve shared their low-persistence display technology which made smear free low latency VR content possible. This was adopted by Oculus and HTC and has been the basis of most High End future headsets, these designs, technology and prototypes have now been passed to the GameFace labs team for integration into the ZeroCore Network.
In March 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion USD. This occurred after Oculus had shipped their first development kits ordered through their 2012 Kickstarter campaign but before the shipping of their second development kits which came out in mid-2014. In that same month Sony announced Project Morpheus (their code name for PlayStation 4 VR offering). At the same time google announced their cardboard VR solution. It was a stereoscopic viewer for smartphones and users needed to place their smartphone in a do-it-yourself cardboard holder. The ZeroCore team had already been showing standalone Android VR prototypes off, around the U.K. and Silicon Valley for a year prior to all that.
In early 2015 HTC and Valve Corporation announced their VR headset, the HTC Vive and controllers. This headset included a tracking technology known as Lighthouse, which utilised wall mounted base stations for positional tracking using infrared light, it is this technology that is now available for any GameCore or ARM based device.
Magic Leap, a $6.3Bn US start-up founded in 2010 has raised $2.3 billion from a list of investors including Google and China’s Alibaba Group. They recently released their first augmented reality headset. It has received mixed reviews and Palmer Luckey has stated on Variety’s recent article:
“The controller is slow to respond, drifts all over the place, and becomes essentially unusable near large steel objects,” writes Palmer, “Fine if you want to use it in a house made of sticks, bad if you want to work in any kind of industrial environment. Magnetic tracking is hard to pull off in the best of cases, but this is probably the worst implementation I have seen released to the public.”
Magic Leap One and GameCore are the only two consumer products powered by a TX2. However, Magic Leap is limited to just working with their AR glasses, which have been slated to have a very limited field of view, just slightly better than that of the Microsoft Hololens, according to a report by the Verge.
ZeroCore have also showcased some AR technology made by industry veterans who will be announcing something very exciting shortly. That being said, the demos we have seen so far have been incredibly impressive, without the field of view limitations of the Magic Leap device.
VR, AR ANDTHE GLOBAL GAMES MARKET
Currently the global games market generates sales of $137.9 billion USD in 2018. It is expected to grow to $180.1 billion by 2021. About 91% of the global market is digital meaning that $125.3 billion USD worth of games flow through digitally connected systems as opposed to through retail stores.
The amount of consumer virtual reality headsets in homes was estimated at around seven million in 2016 and is expected to grow to over 37 million by 2020. The Sony PS VR was the bestselling VR device in 2017 and is expected to reach 2 million in 2018.
The Virtual Reality industry is growing rapidly. The market size of both virtual reality hardware and software is forecasted to grow from $2.2 billion USD in 2017 to more than $19 billion USD in 2020.
The augmented reality market exceeded $1 billion in 2016 and is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 65% all the way through to 2024. With applications in gaming, the automotive industry, aerospace and defence, medical, retail and industrial sectors.
With their unifying VR solution, dedicated and experienced team and some major companies behind them the future looks very bright for the ZeroCore network and GameCore console.