DIY Oculus Rift VR

For those that absolultely can’t wait to get to experience the Oculus Rift, you can follow these plans to build your own.

MTBS3D forum user [Rfurlan] pledged in the oculus rift kickstarter (which concluded last night), but simply couldn’t wait till November/December to get his developer kit. That, and he’s probably only getting one, and who can live with only one? Since [Palmer], the creator of the oculus rift has been very open about parts, [Rfurlan] was able to compile build instructions for your very own Oculus Rift! Keep in mind though, this is only the immersive display, not the tracking component. It is also, possibly not exactly the same as the oculus, but rather the same as a recent prototype.

At one point he was having issues finding the correct lenses and [Palmer] jumped in to make some suggestions to keep things going. That’s the kind of enthusiasm that we love to see from an innovator, even when he’s in the middle of a kickstarted for the very item that [Rfurlan] is creating. This is a testament to the VR community.

Lets take a look at what makes this thing tick, and why it is such a big deal.

Many of you, after a quick look at the specs will notice this is just a single, not excessively high resolution, display with a couple wide FOV lenses in front of it. This is absolutely true. What makes this a big deal isn’t the paper specs in terms of resolution or complicated optics.

The thing that makes the rift stand out is that [Palmer] and the other people helping him work on it, like [John Carmack] have been striving to find the key items that allow your brain to be tricked for the sake of immersion. Mainly, the latency between action and display. Since the initial push to Virtual Reality, latency has plagued the experience. Even the slitest disconnect between head movement and environment response can snap your brain into “I’m looking at a display” instead of “i’m looking through a portal”.

The Rift team have found latency sources in every step of the equation. From the input device tracking your movement to the rendering system adding a slight delay when warping the image appropriately for the extremely wide FOV lenses, to displays having their own latency. They’ve managed to just barely scrape into a sweet spot that allows for you to feel as though you’re actually looking around when you move your head (so we’ve heard), and that’s a pretty big deal.

This DIY oculus prototype, and the Oculus Rift themselves aren’t meant to be the final solution. [Palmer] has actually stated that consumers should wait for their next model. This model is going to go out into the world and all of the wonderful people in the VR community, as well as all the game studios, are going to start working on making this better. The consumer version shouldn’t be far behind and will probably boast higher resolutions and even lower latency. We can’t wait.

15 thoughts on “DIY Oculus Rift VR

    1. slight generational gap I suspect. When people say VR, I immediately think of dactyl nightmare, exorex, and then LawnmowerMan.
      Though they were all released about the same time, the target market was slightly different. I just wasn’t watching shows like VR rangers I guess. My younger sibling might have though. It is interesting to hear the different first thoughts.

  1. Been waiting about 20 years for this. I hope it pans out for them. I thought by now we would have HMDs as small and light as sunglasses wirelessly connected to computers as small as your cell phone that everybody carried around with them. With gestural or natural language input. But the rumor (or fact) that the latency and other factors in the systems of the time could cause permanent brain damage got the lawyers involved.That killed it. No more consumer VR.

    1. Vuzixs stuff is pretty close now, you should check out there site. They even work with phones.
      Part of the problem is a lack of standard for this sort of thing,however – so your stuck with watching extrapolated 3d movies rather then games :-/

      Dont worry though, it will happen. AR specs will anyway, as they give vastly more use-cases and so more markets to sale too. Theres at least 3 companies other then google working on HMD solutions – we just need a good foot in the door to prove demand, then they should improve at a rate like the first laptops or cellphones did.

      1. “we just need a good foot in the door to prove demand”

        If Apple jumps aboard and produces some high spec glasses of their own, “everyone” will suddenly want a pair – just look at the smartphone/tablet/mp3 player market, those existed in some form long before Apple jumped on board but many people only took notice and suddenly wanted one when Apple brought out their own interpretation.

  2. Even the slitest disconnect between head movement and environment response can snap your brain into “I’m looking at a display” instead of “i’m looking through a portal”.

    Can’t wait until someone makes Portal work on this system :D

    1. I can’t wait until someone makes the EyePhone from LawnmowerMan2…but I’ll settle for a pair of head-mounted 720P displays with motion tracking. You know…if the next Gran Turismo had support for this plus the racing wheel support it already has, I might even lift my ban of Sony long enough to buy a PS4 and a copy of the game.

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