FOSDEM 2019 Report

Another year, another FOSDEM.
This annual Free Open Source Developer European Meeting is a hub for close to ten thousand hackers, open source enthusiasts and programmers discussing, hacking and showcasing everything Open Source related!

In 2017 we were lucky to be able to get together on FOSDEM during our first BoF (“Birds of a feather”) session and really get the OpenHMD community moving.
This year, we were lucky to try again and succeeded!

A lot of new people joined our session and had various backgrounds and interest in the project. Discussing the current state of the project and having a open discussion about Open Source VR in general and how to proceed in general, there are a couple key points that were apparent.

Thanks to everyone dropping by or saying hi on the conference!
Here is a generic overview of some things discussed.

  • We need more Windows developers
    • Meaning we have only one occasional Windows developer…. (That being Joey taking it upon himself when something urgent is going on)
  • After crashing the Sailfish OS BoF, one of their amazing developers Lewis already compiled OpenHMD and got a initial build compiled for us to work on! We hope that we can get the first universal VR pipeline going on Sailfish OS and are investigating also running external HMD’s instead of just using internal sensors of the phone/device.
  • More people need to know about OpenHMD
    • ¬†Events have been ramping up in 2017/2018 but we need more consistency and media attention
  • Finding people with DSP knowledge is difficult
    • Since the beginning we have been trying to find people who have experience with sensor fusion algorithms
  • AR headsets are interesting, but not there yet
    • We were able to re-try a couple of headsets and even got a DreamWorld DreamGlass AR Headset to borrow and reverse engineer, a good headset for first integration due to not being standalone! (with a initial working driver after 1 day of hacking! look, a branch!
    • Most AR headsets are using some closed operating system, the only way of using them with Open Source is to replace the entire operating system, probably some Android fork or Sailfish OS
  • Last but not least, our community is flippin’ awesome!
    • Met loads of old and new contributors, people who have been lurking online on our channels and random people joining the BoF session!
    • The Godot and VLC¬† community were very engaged and made sure people were in our session
    • Sailfish OS was on us immediately when we had initial contact and are keeping communication going, this is how we like it!