Futuremark has announced that it's developing VRMark, a new benchmarking tool for virtual-reality hardware. Unlike 3DMark, this new product will use a combination of hardware and software to test the performance and accuracy of VR systems. It's targeted at hardware makers, analysts, and members of the press.
VRMark will measure a system's ability to deliver high frame rates with low variance. It'll also measure frame latency in the headset itself, and it'll check the responsiveness and accuracy for the various positional sensors in the headset. Latency is a major concern, since lag can destroy the illusion of presence that's central to a good VR experience.
Futuremark isn't walking this road alone. It's opening up a developer program that lets makers of VR hardware and software examine the VRMark source code and workloads and submit feedback. That feedback will apparently be managed with a "government-vetted" process to ensure neutrality.
According to Futuremark parent company UL, VRMark is just the first step in a series of standards and certification programs that's supposed to protect the "health, safety, and well-being" of VR users. It'll be interesting to see just what form those other initiatives take as VR hardware draws closer to release.