In this time, there are open source options for all your computer needs. There is even an open source platform for VR glasses and the like. Let's take a quick look at the OpenHMD project.
What is OpenHMD?
OpenHMD is a project aimed at creating an open source API and drivers for in-depth technology. This category includes head-mounted monitors with built-in head tracking.
They currently support quite a few systems, including Android, FreeBSD, Linux, OpenBSD, mac OS and Windows. The devices they support include Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, DreamWorld DreamGlass, Playstation Move and others. They also offer support for a wide range of languages including Go, Java, .NET, Perl, Python and Rust.
The OpenHMD project is released under the Boost License.
More and Enhanced Features of the New Release
Recently, the OpenHMD project launched version 0.3.0 codenamed Jungle Jungle. (Jungle swallow is a salted licorice from Sweden.) This meant quite a few changes.
The update supported the following devices:
- 3Glasses D3
- Oculus Rift CV1
- HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro  NOLO VR
- Windows Mixed Reality HMD Support
- Deepoon E2
- GearVR Gen1
A universal distortion screen was added to OpenHMD. This add-on "allows you to simply specify some variables in the drivers that provide information to the shader regarding lens size, chromatic aberration, location and quirks."
They also announced plans to change the build system. OpenHMD supported Meson and will remove support for Autotools in the next (0.4) release.
The team behind OpenHMD also had to remove some features because they want their system to work for everyone. PlayStation VR support is disabled due to some issues with Windows and mac OS due to incomplete HID headers. NOLO has a bunch of firmware version, many will make small changes. OpenHMD is unable to test all firmware versions, so some versions may not work. They recommend upgrading to the latest firmware release. Finally, several units only have limited support and are therefore not included in this release.
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They stated that they will speed up the OpenHMD release cycle to get newer features and support for more devices to users faster. Their main priority would be to get "currently disabled devices in the master ready for a patch release, will also be prioritized, among which getting the elusive position tracking functional for supported HMDs."
I don't have a VR device and have never used one. I think they have great potential, even beyond games. I am excited (but not surprised) that it is an open source implementation that seeks to support many devices. I am happy that they focus on a wide range of devices, rather than focusing on any VR work outside the brand.
I wish the OpenHMD team well and hope they create a platform that will make them the goto VR project.
Have you ever used or met OpenHMD? Have you ever used VR for games and other pursuits? If so, have you encountered any open source hardware or software? Please let us know in the comments below.
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