One of the major virtual reality (VR) stories to come out of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, has been the reveal of the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem. The concept involves a group of companies such as Razer, Sensiscs and more coming together to create an accessible platform for VR development incorporating different hardware, head-mounted displays (HMD) and software. There’s even an OSVR Hacker Dev Kit HMD that developers can pre-order or download the schematics for. According to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, this is all a ‘good thing’.
Luckey was asked about his thoughts on the concept by freelance journalist Matthew Terndrup during CNET’s ‘The Next Big Thing Panel’ at CES. He clearly approved of the idea, referencing when the company released its first development kit (DK1) for the Oculus Rift as open source last year. “Our first development kit, DK1, was open sourced in September,” he explained.” All of the hardware’s available, all of the schematics are available and all the components lists are available. All of the tooling is available for anyone to 3D print or injection mould. It is a good thing. It is a good thing to share knowledge that has been discovered so that other people can build on it and improve it. It’s a good thing.”
DK1’s schematics and such were released online during the Oculus Connect developer conference in September last year. The documents can be found over on Github. Oculus VR released this information in the interest of letting the community experiment with the original Oculus Rift, which didn’t feature any positional tracking as seen in the second development kit (DK2) and beyond. It also has a lower resolution screen. In other words; there’s plenty to work with in terms of DK1 and modifying the kit.
OSVR’s HMD is set to go on sale in June 2015 for $199 USD. At CES it is being shown off alongside a demo from Loading Human developer Untold Games. VRFocus will continue to follow the ecosystem’s progress, reporting back with any further updates on it.