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A Successor To Valve Index VR Headset Could Be In The Works

Recent patents from Valve show changes to the upcoming Valve Index!

When Valve announced the upcoming Steam Deck, the company also discussed the possibility of using the hand-held console’s APU in a standalone VR headset. Valve released its own VR headset, Valve Index, back in 2019. The VR headset is regarded as one of the most comfortable headsets that you can get right now. However, it seems like a successor to the company’s auspicious VR headset might already be in the works.

In an interview with The Verge during a hands-on preview of the Steam Deck, Greg Coomer, a Valve employee, said, “we’re not ready to say anything about it, but it would run well in that environment, with the TDP necessary… it’s very relevant to us and our future plans.” This indicates that Valve is certainly working on a new Valve Index VR headset for the future.

Fortunately, we have more than just the words of a Valve employee to speculate that a new Valve Index VR headset might be in the works. In February, Valve filed a few patents that were published yesterday for a VR headset that looks similar to the Valve Index. These patents were filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the name Valve Corporation. The descriptions of the patents also discuss the improvements that the company is making with their VR headset, so a successor to the Valve Index is basically confirmed.

Successor To Valve Index
Valve Index (Figure) | Source: ResetEra

Patent #: US20210247556

Successor To Valve Index
Polarization-based multiplexing of diffractive elements for illumination optics. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210250570

Successor To Valve Index
Correction polarization compensation optic for display systems. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247611

Successor To Valve Index
Polarization compensation for wire grid polarizer of head-mounted display system. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247612

Successor To Valve Index
Polarization-multiplexed optics for head-mounted display systems. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247613

Spatially and time varying polarization correction optic for scan beam systems. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247614

Viewing field-based optical correction using spatially varying polarizers. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247631

Variable optical correction using spatially varying polarizers. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247646

Micro-lens array polarization recycling optic for illumination optics. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210247842

Position tracking system for head-mounted display systems. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent #: US20210250476

Successor To Valve Index
Camera device employing spatially varying polarizers. | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

These patents are rather interesting, as Patent #: US20210247613 and Patent #: US20210247631 are discussing active variations in optical polarization, both spatially and time-related. On the other hand, Patent #: US20210250570, Patent #: US20210247611 and Patent #: US20210250476 seem like the sort of technology that would be needed for inside-out tracking. Additionally, Patent #: US20210247614 is eye-position tracking, which is exactly what foveated rendering requires.

Similar Reads: Gabe Newell: Valve Has Games In Development And Would Announce Soon

One of the patents also indicates that the small control panel [304/FIG. 3] may control various features of the HMD, such as the optical characteristics of the optical system to improve user experience and/or visual conditions. In an interview with IGN about the Steam Deck, Gabe Newell, the CEO of Valve, said, “With VR our expectation is it’s a very long haul, and that there are fundamentally important technologies that are being developed.” Hence, we can’t expect the successor to the Valve Index to release anytime soon.

What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!


Huzaifa Khan


From writing short stories in my room to finding my true enthusiasm in gaming and computer hardware journalism, I play video games and write about them.
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