Razer, the PC game hardware manufacturer, announced this year at CES that it will launch its own version of a VR headset, one that may be of great help to many of the VR developers out there. This new VR headset is special and worth mentioning because it’s hackable and open-source, something you will quickly figure out from its name the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit.
The Hacker Dev Kit is going to be available in June and it is supposed to cost just $200, almost half the price of the Oculus Rift. The VR headset will be compatible with the software created for the Oculus DK2 so developers can easily switch if they want to and also with Android or Linux experimental VR software.
Razer is ready to offer a common ground and get VR on all kinds of hardware through an open-source software platform. The new platform will combine the power of game engines, head-mounted displays and control accessories. Companies that already have a name in the industry, like Virtuix or Leap Motion are listed as supporters.
Razer takes things further.
We will soon have an “Android of virtual reality” as the CEO of Razer calls its new product. VROS will do the work of optimizing your software, game or application for each device that can be used in VR making it available instantly and more easily to more users. Working with the Unity 3D Engine or the Unreal Engine 4? You will soon be able to use the plugins that are currently in development.
The OSVR Hacker Dev Kit is similar to the Oculus Rift DK2 and offers a 100-degree field of view and the same resolution, but it’s modular and the display or other parts can be replaced, with the help of the design files that will be readily available. It might not be as good as the new versions of the Oculus Rift, but the compatibility across various software and hardware types is what we are really looking forward to.
Game and app developers have been waiting for new hardware to experiment with and build for and any step that makes the technology more easily available is good news. All these efforts are also signs that VR will soon explode in popularity.
We don’t know if Razer’s effort to standardize virtual reality development will work out, but we definitely want to play with the new virtual reality goggles and see how the platform can help us get TimeWalk to more people, sooner.