Open source, Open mind.

Review of Oculus Rift Development Kit 2

So for my birthday this year I bought myself the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2. So when I first got it I read the instructions on how to hook it up to my Mac Pro. I used a mini display port to HDMI to plug it into my video card. I installed the runtime and set up my profile.

So I am a developer so I wanted to write some simple programs for it just to play around with the concepts involved. So I downloaded the Oculus SDK and downloaded a example project to get started.

Programming wise it is really not that hard to get a app setup. Just copy the LibOVR framework to your project or link to it from the command line. I decided to use SDL2/GLEW/OpenGL as the libraries to use for the application. I am very familiar with SDL2 and OpenGL so it was much easier than I had expected. First you call ovr_Initialize then you just create the device by calling ovrHmd_Create and if it fails you create a debug device that you can use to test your programs. You also call ovrHmd_ConfigureTracking to setup the head movement detection. Then you create a OpenGL frame buffer and fill out some structures and call ovrHmd_ConfigureRendering.

Once you got all that sorted the drawing to the Rift is not hard at all. It involves calling ovrHmd_BeginFrame binding the frame buffer setting the Viewport and setting up the projection and then drawing with OpenGL. After you have setup your matrices and drawn with OpenGL you call ovrHmd_EndFrame. This is a simplified description but it should give you a general idea.

So the visuals on the Oculus look great. It feels comfortable to wear and the 3D effect works very well. I tried a few demos most notably the one from the Oculus SDK that is a first person walk around. When I look over the staircase the depth really shows and it is actually quite cool.

So I wrote a few demos for the Oculus Rift most notably a version of my software application Acid Cam. It uses the webcam to create a 3D hallucination effect. You basically are in this room and the stream from the webcam is passed to an effect and all the walls around you and the ceiling and floor start changing. You can look around in the room as the tracking camera keeps track of your heads position. You can change the effect by using the up and down arrow keys.

Over all I am very impressed with the Oculus Rift. It is a very fun device to program for and the sky seems to be the limit. The 3D effect is great and the head tracking with the camera works as expected. I like that there is a debug device you can use to test your code with so you do not have to keep putting on and taking off the Oculus Rift. I am very excited to see how the retail version will compare to the Development Kit 2. I read online today that the retail version will come with a Xbox One controller.

On a scale from one to ten I would give the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 an eight out of ten. It is not perfect and still is in development but the future looks very bright for this awesome device.

- Jared Bruni

Current Projects:

Acid Cam
WebSVN Oculus Projects

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Updates View All

UPDATE @ Wed Jun 14 09:04:55 PDT 2017
Added new version of Acid Cam v2.1.9. New filters/menu design. Download.

UPDATE @ Sun May 14 09:59:54 PDT 2017
Acid Cam for macOS supports 4K resolution so added a sample in 4K on YouTube. Acid Cam v2 Qt is now supported on Raspberry Pi 3/Raspbian.

UPDATE @ Sun Jan 8 10:58:07 PST 2017
Added new version of Acid Cam (v2.1.1) and a few new blog posts. Be sure to check out my GitHub page.

UPDATE @ Thu Dec 15 16:42:56 PST 2016
Updated bug report page with current projects on GitHub. Been working on Acid Cam v2.1.0 and adding new videos to the YouTube channel.

UPDATE @ Sun Jun 19 00:37:30 PDT 2016
Added XChip project to the blog I helped work on with my friend on GitHub.

UPDATE @ Thu Apr 7 11:56:17 PDT 2016
Added new version of Acid Cam for MacOS X.

UPDATE @ Wed Apr 6 08:52:07 PDT 2016
You can now download Acid Cam from Google Play.

UPDATE @ Fri Apr 1 09:59:08 PDT 2016
Finally signed up for twitter you can follow me here.

UPDATE @ Wed Oct 28 10:45:42 PDT 2015
This site now has a BitTorrent Tracker so I can share larger files.

UPDATE @ Sat Sep 12 04:07:24 PDT 2015
Added fixed versions of Super Stoner 420 and Apps collection that fix the issues with the software when running on MacOS X Yosemite.

UPDATE @ Mon Jun 15 15:35:52 PDT 2015
Spent a long time trying to figure out why OpenCV would not compile on Yosemite. Figured it out and statically linked Acid Cam VR 1.1 with the libraries so you no longer need the MacPorts version of OpenCV installed to /opt/local for it work. It should work as long as you have the Oculus Runtime.

UPDATE @ Sat Jun 6 16:11:40 PDT 2015
Added Acid Cam VR for Oculus Rift DK2 to the site with a version for Windows and MacOS X.

UPDATE @ Sun May 17 14:39:14 PDT 2015
It seems the first version of Acid Cam (1.7.7) is incompatible with MacOS X Yosemite for some reason. So if you using Yosemite just pick up version 2 of the program.

UPDATE @ Tue May 12 14:48:53 PDT 2015
Bad news, seems apple deprecated and now dropped support for one of the libraries that SDL 1.2 that I used to compile the majority of the games on this site. So that means I have to recompile and repackage the majority of these programs to get them to work on Yosemite. So the last version supported was 10.9.

UPDATE @ Fri May 8 10:30:56 PDT 2015
Added our first program for the Oculus 2. It requires that you at least have have the Oculus 2 Runtime.

UPDATE @ Wed Feb 11 11:24:23 PST 2015
Added a few new posts to my blog and have been adding new examples to my C++11 Repository

UPDATE @ Sat Dec 13 17:27:03 PST 2014
Added up to date version of Acid Cam 2 for Microsoft Windows.

UPDATE @ Wed Dec 10 11:12:16 PST 2014
The Site has been redesigned and its looking great. Thanks to my friend Daniel Daley who designed the page.

UPDATE @ Thu Oct 9 11:12:06 PDT 2014
Added a image file with the different LostSideDead graphics programs I have created. AlphaFlame HD Launcher needs to be copied to /Applications .

UPDATE @ Thu Oct 2 17:32:12 PDT 2014
Added a new version of Acid Cam v2.0.17 for Ubuntu Linux

UPDATE @ Fri Sep 19 15:19:11 PDT 2014
Made this music video with Alpha Flame HD quite a while ago, check it out!

UPDATE @ Fri Sep 12 14:56:55 PDT 2014
Added a compressed Archive containing the source code for Acid Cam 2 to the site.

UPDATE @ Thu Sep 11 14:51:50 PDT 2014
Added a video demonstration of Acid Cam for iPhone.

UPDATE @ Fri Aug 29 12:20:41 PDT 2014
Updated Acid Cam to version 2.0.16. Added all the filters from AF_Filter and you can now jump to any frame when processing a video.

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