We’re Getting An Oculus Rift Dev Kit

Before you get jealous of the massive amount of sway that hackaday must’ve tossed at these guys to get a dev kit, don’t be. We just funded the kickstarter like everyone else. This is exciting news though since, as you probably know, I’m very fond of immersive gaming and have always craved a strong VR rig.

We are expecting our dev kit some time in December. I have no idea exactly what we’ll do with it. Right now [John Carmak] has made the iD engine work with it and it ships with Doom3. They’ve stated that it will work with the Unreal engine as well. Even though I saw [Gabe Newell] from valve in the video, I don’t see any source engine compatibility in the list. I really would love to see that one added, especially since Valve released the source film maker for free.

So, who has ideas about what to do with this? I’d like to build a telepresence rig with stereo vision, possibly mounted on a radio controlled car chassis.

35 thoughts on “We’re Getting An Oculus Rift Dev Kit

  1. HP tried to design a 3d telepresence rig a few years back. They found that it caused extreme nausea for some reason. Something to do with vestibular sensing.

    I’d like to see a teardown frankly and try to take some pictures of the business end of the device.

    1. Still got be worth having a try though. Perhaps closely modelling the response of the inner ear by putting mounting three s/s gyros on each side of the head and filtering the output a bit would make the feeling a bit more natural. Doing some manipulation of the image locally might be good for reducing the lag a bit too. Or even blanking the image momentarily while the rig is panning, to emulate what the brain does while the eyes are in motion.

    1. Yeah, and then mount the camera on a pan/tilt jig so moving your head around actually moves the camera. If you get the lag down enough that would add a whole new level of cool to the FPV experience.

  2. How did I must the “build it yourself” kickstarter window? I remember watching the Carmac video about it awhile back. Bummer. Now I have to wait an extra month for the December delivery of the “assembled” unit. No time now anyway. :D

      1. No comment editing? Three guesses why:

        1 – it makes our typing looks a lot more like that of editors trying to put out multiple articles per day.

        2 – it makes the grammarocrats look even sillier.

        3 – implementing it securely enough that only the original poster could edit a comment would not be a hack.

        That looks like a very cool toy, would be really neat to mash it up with Google street view. But the coin, oh the coin… it calls for more coin than the coins-for-toys purse has.

    1. VERY interesting listen, I think there’s going to be a lot of disappointed backers who think they’re getting a bargain high FOV HMD.

      Basically they cut a lot of costs by using off-the-shelf optics, and as the optics weren’t specificcally designed for this purpose they enlarge the LCD display with a distorion, and the software has to produce a compensated distorted picture for the optics, so you can’t simply play any game on them that hasn’t been designed for that distorted display.

  3. “So, who has ideas about what to do with this?”

    Pair it with a Leap motion sensor to track hand movements, since the oculus doesn’t have AR, just VR.

    Alternately, throw in a camera and make AR software.

    1. “So, who has ideas about what to do with this?”

      Couple it with a wristwatch-style copter drone, and you’ve got one of the mods from classic Deus Ex implemented! No wrist-drone? I would accept hip-flask size. Or a SMALL backpack-mounted drone if promised as a prototype. I would come tearing down walls after waiting 2 weeks for the pocket-sized one though, so look out!

      And as if bringing Deus Ex closer to life wasn’t enough reason (and it certainly is!), imagine being able to what’s up there, on the roofs of buildings, on trees and chimneys, in cracks and down holes. Everything, the lot, all visible to you with IR or UV or whatever illumination you wanted. Decent, small zoom lenses and sensors on the camera-drone, and the whole world would be yours to see, which is nearly as good as touching.

      Of course there’s uses for soldiers and all that boring old shit. But for one of mankind’s first ful-time exo-senses, a spy drone’s a good idea. Same way the mobile phone’s brought us more-or-less telepathy. You think a thought, and a second later your friend has it, anywhere in the world! Now imagine weighing an ounce, flying, and being able to see ~anywhere!~

      1. Do you have the ~1 grand to pull that off, though? That stuff’s crazy expensive.

        I’d really like four cameras on the OR, a pair of IR and a pair of visible-spectrum, about the height where your eyes are but at the outer edges of the device, for enhanced depth perception. (Yes, I know this messes with most people, but not me.)

        Then the flying drones would be a nice addition. :P

  4. As someone who used to work with two of the people creating and backing the Oculus Rift, and as one of the people who has had to clean up the godawful code left in our codebase after they left, their involvement with the project does more harm than good. I’ll be excited to see this thing fail.

    1. They state, repeatedly, that this is not a software project…so I fail to see the problem. Minus the “I don’t like people, so I think they fail, irregardless of how awesome the project” five year old child tantrum vibe you’re throwing off.

    1. I tried that with some old Sony video glasses a few years ago, simply taping a low lux black/white camera and some IR LEDs onto the front of the video glasses as a concept test – http://revision3.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22921
      The test worked pretty well but was a very weird experience as depth perception is highly impaired for a couple of reasons; it wasn’t a stereoscopic image and the camera picked up a wider angle than the field-of-view of the LCD screens.

      With stereoscopic video glasses and camera lenses that match the LCD field-of-view it would be a viable product/add-on.

      On the 2nd page of that link I said I got some cheap LCD glasses, I intended to hack them into night vision LCD video glasses but it turned out they were shit :( so didn’t persue the idea any further and I didn’t want to hack up my nice Sony ones.

  5. I’m not funding the kickstarter…mostly because it was already well past it’s stated goal by the time I heard that it had created a kickstarter. I want the product, but I’m iffy about a few of the things that they’ve spoken about not including in the devkit. The lack of a system for adjusting for vision problems, as an example, is something that I just don’t want to have to fiddle around with.

    Still, I’m quite excited for the finished product…This brings the concept of 3d environments a bit closer. Someone will have to actually BUILD one, and better 3d controllers will be a must…Most of the benefits of a keyboard and mouse over a set of data gloves go away when you replace the desktop with a digital display that completely replaces the physical desk. I can see a new kickstarter coming along in the not so distant future…Mass produced affordable Data gloves.

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