While many virtual reality (VR) fans and enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the second development kit (DK2) for the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display (HMD), which started shipping this week, maker Oculus VR has launched software that is arguably as important as the device itself today. The company has released the next iteration of its software development kit (SDK), allowing developers to add support for DK2’s new features to their videogames and experiences.
SDK v0.4.0 Beta crucially adds support for the DK2’s positional tracking, which concerns a user-facing camera, included in the kit, following LEDs placed on the headset and replicating any head movements that players make in-game. This goes above and beyond the original kit’s capabilities, allowing users to move their heads forwards, backwards, up, down, left and right and have those movements simulated.
Also included in the update is Oculus Runtime, which is installed separately from the SDK. It includes tools such as Oculus Config Utility, service and drivers. The Oculus Display Driver is also included, transferring the rendering output straight to the DK2. Finally, a Health and Safety Warning Screen has been included for developers to use when their applications start-up. The update can be downloaded by developers over on the official Oculus VR website.
Oculus VR also stressed that users should update their DK2 firmware before using the new headset. While initial shipments for the device are beginning this week, many of those that have pre-ordered the headset aren’t likely to receive it until August of September 2014. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR and the Oculus Rift, reporting back with any more news and updates on their progress.