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Friday, September 6, 2013

Alpha "Rift enabled" viewer and a new Rift demo region on osgrid

...tempus fugit... a lot has happened since my last post:

- i finally got my very own Rift dev kit
although it is always mentioned that this is in no way the final consumer product
it is miles ahead of what i was able to tinker using my 7" tablet, some lenses and cardboard ^^
You put it on your head, fire up a demo and "baam" you teleport into that new world.
I cant really describe other than "you have to see it to believe it" and "it looks as if you are there"!

- it seems Cracker Hax has put his development on a hold, KirstenLee didnt respond to my query,
 but: David Rowe at has created a first alpha version of a viewer (based on Firestorm) that can display SL / opensim on the Rift... "YAY!"
So far it is "just" capable of walking around your creations and look around using the Rift's head tracking. No menus, no HUD, no chat. Nevertheless it is impressive! You can switch between the Rift and your normal monitor by alt-ctrl-3 or pushing a button, so you can use your normal mode to get to where you want to and then switch to 3D for full immersion.

- i have set up another Region os OSGrid (Riftdemo1) where i want to put together a showcase for Rift in opensim.
The idea is to try out what works best to show some great content and get developers and builders interested in the combination of 3D and opensim.
So far my goal is to present all technologies that are available today, from prims to mesh and materials, projectors, etc. while keeping load times low and frame rate high.
For this i am looking for builders interested in showing some of their best pieces.

Also i want to set up some guidelines about how to build stuff to work best for the Rift (scale, use of textures, etc)

Once i have a worthy collection of presentable things on that sim i intend to release it as an OAR and provide some instructions how to set it up e.g. using a Sim on a Stick installation so Rift owners can easily check it out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Hyperbase is still alive and preparing for the Rift

Cough, cough... Hello? ..."ello, ...ello..."
seems it is about time to dust off the microphone and start spreading some news again.
The latest developments around the Oculus Rift have for sure rekindled my interest in becoming a more active part in the Hyperverse once again.
Time to update the base and prepare it for the thousands of visitors gathering there every day ;-)

...and now to something completely (?!?) different: bringing together what belongs together: the opensim world(s) and 3d head mounted displays!

Ok, CUT, next shot....

So, there is that fancy new hype thing called the Oculus Rift out there. Everybody wants to see it or have one (in fact i ordered a dev kit too).
It will be wonderful to finally be able to "really enter" our worlds and "be there"!
But: at this moment only very few have the priviledge to do so because:
so far most of the developers seem to concentrate on integrating the Rift with DirectX graphics and engines like Unity3d, Unreal and others, but the opensim viewers run on openGL, so thats another story.

Fortunately there is some light on the horizon:
Cracker Hax is working on adapting the SL viewer
Kirstenlee Cinquettis viewer has already anaglyphic stereo rendering and finally
there are "official" rumors that Linden Lab is working to integrate the Rift fully into their viewer.

For sure it will take a huge effort to make a viewer fully usable wearing a head mounted display considering you dont see your keyboard and have a rather limited number of pixels to display your UI with, but even the basic functionality to render a full immersive stereo world and be able to look around in it by moving your head will make a lot of yaws drop.

There will be plenty fields of development: from creating optimized renderers via implementing alternative steering methods (Razer Hydra, anyone?) to a complete redesign of the UI.

So: lets try to motivate some of the highly talented viewer developers out there to start creating the next puzzle piece of the Hypergrid: full 3d immersion!