Author: TheOnlyJoey

OpenHMD 0.3.0 ‘Djungelvral’ Released!

We are very happy to announce that after years of reverse engineering devices, hacking, testing and pushing, we are releasing OpenHMD version 0.3.0 (codename ‘Djungelvral’).We are very happy to announce that after years of reverse engineering devices, hacking, testing and pushing, we are releasing OpenHMD version 0.3.0 (codename ‘Djungelvral’).

We want to thank each and every one of the 125-150 people who have contributed over the last 3.5 years. Helping out with reverse engineering, writing drivers, testing, donating/lending hardware, building applications and games, showing up at (or hosting) Hack-athons.. we are incredibly lucky to have your support. Thank you!

The list of features bringing us from v0.2.0 to v0.3.0 is insane and that is despite not all the features and experimental drivers making the cut for this release. Since we have a really long list of changes, lets look at a couple of highlights in this release!

New Devices!

We got a huge list of new devices supported, including a first-party supported headset (added by the vendor themselves) and a positional tracked device including controllers, both exciting “firsts” for OpenHMD.

  • 3Glasses D3
    First ever support provided first-party, by 3Glasses themselves!
  • Oculus Rift CV1 (rotational)
  • HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro (rotational)
  • NOLO VR (Positional including Controller support)
    Our first “full function” supported device, with positional tracking and controllers.
  • Windows Mixed Reality HMD support (rotational)
    Including reading different types of resolution from the configuration.
  • Deepoon E2
  • GearVR Gen1 support for PC access to IMU

Controller API!

We have finalised our Controller API, making it possible to support controllers directly available in VR ecosystems. This enables support for an arbitrary amount of buttons, joysticks and track-pads along with rotational and positional tracking identical to HMDs.
Buttons that are part of HMDs will also now be exposed through this API.

We do want to make it clear it is not our goal to support any controller or joystick out there, there are plenty of libraries already focusing on that. Only controllers that are directly part of VR ecosystems will be merged into master.
This means Sony DualShock 4 (DS4) will be added due to being part of the PSVR ecosystem, while a regular game controller or DS3 will not.

Universal Distortion Shader!

Oculus DK2 correction shader with a simple Godot scene

The universal distortion shader, originally contributed by James Sarrett has made all our lives a lot easier! He implemented an OpenGL (GLSL 120) shader capable of distortion and chromatic aberration based on the PanoTools lens correction model.
The GLSL 330 version was contributed by the Godot developer Bastiaan Olij, while an additional GLES ES 100 shader was contributed by magestik.

This makes it possible to simply set some variables in the drivers that gives information to the shader regarding lens size, chromatic aberration, position and quirks.
More information can be found at the Universal Distortion Shader page on our wiki.

Build Systems! (Deprecation Warning!)

Every developer’s favorite discussion topic (ok, maybe just after tabs vs spaces and favorite Editor/IDE).
Meson was added as a build system due to a huge interest from developers, which makes the current build system count for OpenHMD a bit high at three.

!! WARNING! v0.3 will be the last version of OpenHMD supporting Autotools! !!

Over the last year we have found that most people were using our CMake or Meson build tools, with Autotools falling out of fashion. While v0.3 will still support Autotools, with bugfix releases when needed, it will be removed in v0.4.

Upgraded examples!

Our OpenGL example has been rewritten in SDL2 to bring it into this decade, including more debug functions, controller support, and convenience.
Both examples now also use the new device classes to check the support of a particular device.

The (Temporary) Bad News

OpenHMD has a ‘usable for everyone‘ policy on releases, and sometimes this means that due to operating system changes/issues, development takes longer for devices to be available. This means we had to disable some features (even though they are merged in the codebase) to make sure the release is stable and usable on all platforms.

  • PSVR has been disabled due to issues on Windows and some modern Mac OSX (>10.13) bugs being hard to fix. This is part due to incomplete HID headers, requiring patching of our HIDAPI library to combine HID calls with raw USB calls when needed. This is still under construction and might be pushed as a patch release later.
  • NOLO Has quite some firmware versions with small changes. Unfortunately we have not been able to test all Firmware versions, so not all firmware builds might work as expected. For the best result please update your firmware to the latest version, which is reproducible and maintainable for us.
  • We have branches for way more devices, but due to them being not fully usable (or still experimental), we have chosen to not include them in this release.

The Future!

We will release a new (FASTER!) release schedule soon, which will make it possible for us to get new features and device support to everyone faster. We will also work on doing more regular community updates, both on the website and on the Youtube Channel.

Getting currently disabled devices in master ready for a patch release will be priority as well, among getting the elusive positional tracking functional for supported HMD’s.

If you want to help out, please share the word, help out reverse engineering or implement drivers, include OpenHMD into your games or applications, showcase and let us know! Monetary donations through our Paypal are always welcome as well, link can be found on the home page.

Thanks everyone, and enjoy your FLOSS HMD Drivers!

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.

Read More FOSDEM 2019 Report

Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage 2017 report

So it all started with a conversation in #godotengine, the guys were planning to go to the Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage and since Bastiaan recently implemented OpenHMD support in Godot, we thought it would be the best opportunity to tag along and do a shared booth!
We arranged our travel, got a place to stay at one of the locals (Thanks Stefan! it was much fun!) and started packing.

We wanted to show off recent work, so we build a demo using the Oculus DK2 and the NOLO for room scale and controllers with the dev branch of Godot 3.0.
After a week of on and off scene building, I went on with my brother Yngwie towards Kiel by plane (over Hamburg). Of course after some delays and some confusing German train-rides we arrived and found a great location which accurately depicts the German Linux community as I know them (with course on the Friday evening the Grill and beers were setup and a good time was had).

With pH5 already waiting for us, together with the Godot guys we setup a nice presentation and hacking area to show off what we have been up to.

Read More Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage 2017 report

Experimental Unity plugin released!

Today we have uploaded our experimental Unity Plugin!

It is basic, and it lacks things like our Universal Shader system, but its a good step!
Based on the .NET bindings by and a bit of tinkering, we made a good base for implementing Multi Platform VR support in Unity.
While technically able to support every platform OpenHMD supports, the first implementation is implemented for Windows 64-Bit and Linux 64-Bit, this due OpenHMD.NET not supporting Mac yet.
If you want to give Mac support a whirl, feel free to help out on the OpenHMD.NET bindings and extend the current system.

We chose to implement using their existing stereo pipeline using their Split Stereo Display hooks in their VR pipeline.
This method is used by Unity developers themselves to debug external HMD libraries and should be relatively optimized.

After some cleanup and testing , the Unity project will be uploaded as well to a Github repository.
Contributions are of course welcome, for now feel free to shout at me through my Email, Or join us at our IRC.

New Website

It took a bit of planning, but we finally have a new website!

This allows us to centralize our information, write blog posts, and show off projects easier!
We will slowly add project members to the website, allowing others to write up blog posts.

Our Device page is hooked up to the Github wiki to allow for the fastest up to date information regarding device support.

Over the next couple of weeks we will make small tweaks to the website, if you encounter any errors, please contact us through the contact page, or drop by on #openhmd.