12 February 2015

Open Source VR Platform Takes on 13 New Partners

An open source virtual reality platform reports 13 new partners. This is the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem, envisioned as the platform that can bring together companies doing work in a number of areas of virtual reality. OSVR aims to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, games and output. Its framework offers the potential to unite developers and gamers under a single platform. As the platform is open-source, people working with hardware developmental kit designs or software plugins, for example, for motion control, game engines, and stereoscopic video output get complete access to what they need. An OSVR white paper makes a case for how this would be beneficial for gaming developers.

OSVR provides interfaces as opposed to an API to a specific piece of hardware. If there are multiple devices that provide the same type of information, these devices can be interchanged. You can reconfigure the OSVR 'plumbing' so that the game can continue to work well regardless of how where hand position is coming from. With OSVR, game developers can focus on what they want to do with the data, as opposed to how to obtain it. In short, OSVR would let you mix and match hardware and software packages. This means that companies that focus on a particular software or hardware component (e.g., gaze detection module or eye-tracking camera) are not left out of the VR eco-system: their expertise can be interconnected with components from others.

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