AMD Announce Sulon Q “All-In-One” AR/VR Headset

AMD are making a virtual reality headset of their own. The Sulon Q [official site] is an “all-in-one” headset designed for virtual reality and augmented reality, and is “tether-free” as it doesn’t need to be plugged in to a PC in order to use. There’s a video introducing it below.

What a lot of lens flare.

A statement offers more details. In it, it’s said that the headset uses an AMD FX-8800P processor and Radeon R7 graphics with “AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture.”

“The full performance of 4 compute cores and 8 GPU cores are unlocked through a revolutionary Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), enabling the cores to share memory to work together for dramatic performance and efficiency,” writes Sulon CEO Dhan Balachand. “The result is a solution that is optimized for modern workloads and media formats, capable of driving the latest graphics APIs including DirectX 12 and Vulkan, and able to render stunning video game console-quality visuals on a beautiful 2560×1440 OLED display.”

No price for the device is given, but it’s due for release “late spring” which means we’ll surely find out more during this week’s GDC 2016.

I’m not sure the world needs more VR headsets to be announced at this stage, but other than the Hololens there’s not much out there doing mainstream augmented reality. I do like the idea of it being unwired too, though that makes me skeptical of what its graphics power will be without being hooked up to a desktop PC. I’m full of contradictions, me.

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  1. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

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    That’s the specs in it – so it’s basically a AMD APU based laptop that you wear on your head. Performance is not spectacular – so I guess this is not targeting something special.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It will be interesting to see how they handle the heat from the battery needed to drive that CPU/GPU combo. Gaming laptops can get pretty hot, and people won’t want to feel that in the headset.

      Presumably the battery is mounted in that rear module for balance. Maybe with fans?

      • Jediben says:

        Can’t wait for the first one to overheat explosively and take the user’s head off :)

        • Otterley says:

          I believe the preferred term is “spontaneous mind-machine interface”.

      • Buggery says:

        Given that their GPU line seems to have given up and resorted to watercooling to cool their massive, power hungry chips, I’m envisioning a cooling block placed at the top of the head with a propeller on top, thus signalling to all that the clown show is in town.

        • Asurmen says:

          Well seeing as most aren’t water cooled, well, yeah…

        • rondertaker says:

          or maybe pull a brando in island of dr. moreau and straight up put a bucket of ice on your damn noggin

    • Don Reba says:

      With those specs, its main use case is probably 360º video and virtual guides, not games.

  2. kuangmk11 says:

    Not including AR capabilities on the Rift and Vive is a huge disappointment to me. Just being able to flip between reality and virtual reality should have been a basic feature for the price of a couple cell phone cameras. Hopefully they will get AR addons. I’m won’t bite till they do.

    • tannerd says:

      Check out Tron mode demos on the vive – they could do an AR of sorts.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I’m not sure what you’re asking for. The HTC Vive has a camera you can use.

      But if you’re actually asking for AR, doing that well is an enormous set of software and hardware complications that involves way more than jamming a couple cameras in a VR headset.

    • Rumpelstiltskin says:

      There’s also Magic Leap

  3. Premium User Badge

    Scrote says:

    The way new VR devices seem to increase in price in the order that they’re announced, I look forward to seeing this one listed at $1,100!

    • Doganpc says:

      Seems legit. I mean it’s a wearable laptop after all. I do admire the approach though, assuming it does VR processing in unit, which could theoretically mean it saves on wireless bandwidth, and possibly handle post processing hand off from the source PC.

      Then again, it might just need all that hardware to do what the others are doing, but because it’s AMD they have a lot of trademarks to pack into a short press release.

  4. Sakkura says:

    The GPU here has 8 CUs. That’s compared to 12 CUs in the Xbox One, and 40 in the R9 290 that’s min spec for the Oculus Rift.

    So software for this device will be somewhat potato quality. But still considerably better than for Gear VR and the other phone VR stuff going on.

    There are a lot of interesting things about this device, to me the question is how many devs will actually make software for it. Oculus has lots of devs on board and have been selling devkits for a long time, so there’s been a lot of time to develop the software. HTC Vive shares some of that, plus it’s supported by Valve/Steam giving a lot of incentive for devs to look their way. Playstation VR has a huge install base to lure devs in. It’s going to be hard to attract nearly as much attention as those giants.

  5. steves says:

    So it’s basically a head-mounted AMD laptop with a VR display?

    Never mind what’s going to power it, and for how long (or how hot), this thing is going to get the 90+ FPS at 2560×1440 that your Vives & Oculuses are aiming for?

    Doubt it. Unless the “video game console-quality visuals” refer to XBox 360 sort of quality. But then exactly what games is it going to be good for?

    Unless I am missing something, this thing is Nokia nGage levels of doomed.

    Oh, and that website is atrocious.

    • Doganpc says:

      What if it’s just an elaborate steamOS interface? Doesn’t need all the horsepower, just enough to stream it sufficiently.

      • zarthrag says:

        In VR? Over wireless? Latency would kill it in the crib, sadly. (Consumer) Wireless (and even wired) networks are terribly difficult to reduce latency in.

        • Doganpc says:

          Undoubtedly true, but isn’t that exactly what steam streaming is pitching?

          • Premium User Badge

            alison says:

            I’ve been exclusively playing games with Steam in-home streaming for about a year now in a very, very crowded wi-fi location. I stream games in 1080p without any difficulty, even FPS games where reaction time is critical. There is certainly some latency and every now and then you get a lag spike from hell, but it’s a lot better than trying to play the same game locally on Intel HD graphics. I’m not sure what kind of impact streaming 2x the video data would have, but it can’t be that bad if people are already streaming 4K Netflix. The interesting question is if the latency “feels” worse when moving your head vs moving your mouse, but presumably all the wireless VR headsets have the same problem.

  6. syllopsium says:

    Well, it’s AMD, so unless it’s low end integrated CPU/GPU or embedded, it’s going to suck. It’s only being announced now, so it’s going to suck. It hasn’t been tested by *anyone* and is due out in less than three months, so it will suck. It’s way below the power of competing solutions – so it’s going to suck.

    The only possible benefit is a spectacularly low price, but I’m not holding my breath on that one either.

    Might have mileage as an addon to the next Nintendo console?

  7. Caiman says:

    What a strange name for a device. Sulon in Greek refers to the act of seizing someone (implied against their will), which is why asylum means the opposite (protection from being seized). So perhaps this is part of AMD’s plan to indoctrinate the population to their nefarious ways? (“Must… not… buy…. NVIDIA products”) Or perhaps the device is just *that awesome* that it takes control of your entire life.

    • Rumpelstiltskin says:

      Also, it sounds embarrassingly clumsy. Can’t imagine myself being excited about something named “sulon”.

  8. Tractor says:

    AMD isn’t making this headset, Sulon Technologies is…

  9. racccoon says:

    What does it mean to be the first at something or maybe i might stand corrected its happened before! but this has happened in a birth! Now you..with vR aR or what’R will come with you, as you become like them. Remember that cute lion clarence a boss eyed lion, yes! this could be you, and the person who had sight and now is seeing things with illusions and blurring his way through life, this is it! this is what you’ve always change your way of change your will set inside your mind! your life is this! it is now! go ahead! go buy a system and good fortune will come to you & with luck too! your promise of a new way of life awaits around the corner.. abilities you could of never known, walking into doors! getting hit by cars! unable to read fine print! seeing people normally not attracted to you as nothing but beautiful! having dreams you never thought of ever having there nightmares! yes.. vR! aR! pR! c’yar! lol

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Still at it, huh?

      Actually, this is the first example where I really think your idée fixe about the health risks of VR kit has significant legs, so to speak.

      This sounds like a weird form-factor compact laptop, which has to be pretty heavy for something that’s gonna balance on top of your neck.

  10. Don Reba says:

    It’s nice to see how humble they are about it.

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      Aitrus says:

      It was quite a bag of baloney, that voiceover… And was it just me, or was the sound mixing just awful?

  11. Notelpats says:

    console-quality visuals

    Hmm… no thanks.

  12. Replikant says:

    To be honest, it is an enticing concept. Apart from the aforementioned battery problems (capacity and heating), the effect that balancing a heavy mass on your head has on the neck muscles and the underpowered specs, of course. In addition, it remains to be seen how precise their internal tracking solution really is.

    But it is taking a (presumably premature) shot at the ultimate VR gadget: Untethered VR/AR experience with fully integrated spatial tracking.

    • onodera says:

      Neck muscles are really strong. Check out any documentary from the third world to see people carrying heavy loads on their heads.

  13. Stevostin says:

    “I do like the idea of it being unwired too”


    “I do like the idea that you don’t need a horse because there’s an engine that makes wheels turn ?”

    Concerns about trade off involved are certainly relevant. But an all in one VR headset seems like the mandatory form factor to me. If that things really has enough battery, performances and HD for a weight low enough, it will be the king of the fight hands down.

  14. denizsi says:

    Has everyone at RPS completely missed Samsung’s own VR announcement, Entrim 4D VR? It electrically stimulates your inner ear ( Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation) to give you the sensation of motion and spatial orientation and also helps with motion sickness.

    “Users thus feel as if they are a part of the on-screen action, and can also sense direction and speed of movement. And, when paired with the team’s Drone FPV, which utilizes data from the drone’s motion sensors, they can even feel like they are flying.”

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