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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games. Read more

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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.

Oculus
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Oculus

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Oculus' Mobile Jam 2015

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Oculus' Mobile VR Jam is set to begin on April 13, 2015 with over $1,000,000 in available prizes! 

In 2013, hundreds of teams came together over three weeks to compete in the first ever VR Jam. Diving headfirst into unknown territory, these developers pioneered hundreds of new VR experiences, including DarkNet, Dumpy, SightLine, and DreadHalls.

This year, participants are challenged to build groundbreaking new content with the Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is an opportunity to collaborate with fellow developers, with over $1,000,000 cash in awards and prizes for the best new VR games, apps, and experiences.

You can visit the our official Mobile VR Jam 2015 page on ChallengePost to sign up, find a team, discuss your ideas, and get started. For each weekly milestone, each entry - including yours - will have its progress available for view, so you’ll also be able to give and receive valuable feedback.


If you’re attending GDC this year, we’d like to invite you to our Mobile VR Jam 2015 kick-off event, where you can meet other participants. Full details here.

We’ll have more news on the Mobile VR Jam in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Let's Jam!  

--The Oculus Team

Oculus Story Studio, Oculus + Unity Free, and GDC 2015

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Over the last two years, we’ve seen virtual reality expand well beyond games into more unexpected areas like cinema and storytelling. This week as part of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, we’re excited to announce a new experimental virtual reality cinema project: Oculus Story Studio.

Oculus Story Studio is made up of a small, all-star team of film and game developers dedicated to exploring ‘immersive cinema’ -- realtime story-driven VR experiences that let the viewer step inside and become part of the story. The goal was to learn more about cinema and storytelling in VR and to share that knowledge with the community.

Story Studio is debuting its first, short (4-minute) experience this week at Sundance called ‘Lost’. Lost takes the viewer on a journey to a moonlit forest inhabited by an unexpected creature. The piece is directed by Story Studio’s creative director Saschka Unseld, who was also the director of Pixar’s short film ‘The Blue Umbrella’.

Screenshot from Lost, a short immersive cinema experience from Oculus Story Studio

Lost was built in Unreal Engine 4 for Crescent Bay, and mixes hand animation with procedural animation to better transport the viewer. The team has been working to expand Unreal 4’s cinematic and storytelling toolset -- Lost uses custom gaze controls to tailor the experience to the individual viewer, allowing for a unique pace to the story each time.

In addition to its own creative team, Story Studio is also building experiences with guest directors including Rob Stromberg (Maleficent), Robin Hunicke (Journey), and Jillian Tamaki to create entirely new immersive stories as well.


So far, we’ve discovered that mixing great storytelling and art with the magic of VR presence allows for something really special. Lost is just the beginning for Story Studio, and we’re looking forward to sharing it, along with the team’s other upcoming films, in the months ahead.

We’ll have more news from the Oculus Story Studio soon, but you can learn more about the team and follow their work at oculus.com/storystudio.

Oculus Now Supported in Unity Free (PC & Mobile) 

In case you missed the announcement over the holiday, Oculus is now supported in Unity 4.6 Free. If you haven’t already, you can download the integration from the Oculus Developer Center.


Unity continues to be one of the easiest ways to build high-quality VR experiences for the Rift and Gear VR. This latest release of the Oculus-Unity integration supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android (Gear VR). The desktop version also includes full access to LibOVR through a pure C# wrapper.

Some of the features of the latest release:  

  • Lens correction, TimeWarp, and dynamic prediction from LibOVR/VRLib 
  • Preview within the Unity editor 
  • Layered camera support for cockpits, UI, etc. 
  • Cross-platform support for XInput controllers 
  • Consistent IPD and head model for comfort at all world scales 
  • Utilities for locomotion, head-tracking, and Rift status 
  • On Windows, direct-to-Rift rendering with or without display driver

A few of the other updates, though not included in the release today, are simpler direct-to-Rift rendering (without DirectToRift.exe) and targeting PC or Mobile from within a single project.

HeroBound for the Gear VR Innovator Edition

We’re also collaborating with Unity on a number of VR specific features for a deeper Oculus integration including a seamless, robust integration for Unity 4.6, improved Unity Editor workflow when using the Rift, and rendering optimizations specifically for VR in Unity 5.

Unity also just made a major update in audio latency on Gear VR, improving it from over 130ms to roughly 30ms. A huge thank you to Unity team for their help addressing this. 

 If you have suggestions on additional features you’d like to see, let us know on the Oculus Developer Forums. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Oculus @ GDC 2015

We’ll be at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco March 2-6, showing the latest prototypes of the Rift and Gear VR. We’ll also be giving a series of talks on VR rendering, 3D spatialized audio, and the future of virtual reality.


As part of GDC, we’re co-hosting an event with Women in Games International (WIGI). You can join us Tuesday, March 3, at The Village (969 Market St, 3rd Floor) to meet members of the Oculus team, chat with experts and enthusiasts about VR, and try out the latest Oculus demos. Registration for the event will open soon -- Stay tuned to the official event page for more details. 

We're looking forward to seeing you there! 

Best, 

-- The Oculus Team

Oculus @ CES 2015

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We’re at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, showing the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype for the first time publicly, along with Gear VR Innovator Edition and great mobile VR content. We’re also demonstrating high-fidelity VR audio for the very first time on PC and mobile.  

Great audio is a key element of immersion and an amplifier for presence that has been largely untapped until now. The upcoming Oculus Audio SDK uses Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) technology in conjunction with the Rift’s head tracking to achieve a sense of true 3D audio spatialization. This allows content creators to immerse you sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistic sounds in all directions.

HRTFs simulate the changes to a sound when it reaches your head from a point in space. It does this by referencing data that represents changes that would happen to a sound coming from that direction. There is data for hundreds of points around your head, and the software smooths the audio between those points for a natural sound, regardless of head or sound source position.

Although HRTF technologies have been around for decades, the addition of precise head tracking makes it much more effective. We’ve gone back and revised all of our Crescent Bay demos with awesome 3D spatialized audio, along with a few surprises. 

We also have Gear VR Innovator Edition showing off several of the best mobile VR games and experiences currently available in the Oculus VR Store. For those of you waiting to buy Gear VR outside the United States, we're hard at work with Samsung supporting other regions early this year. 

The Oculus booth is in the South Hall, #26002. We also have an Oculus @ CES mobile app, which you can use to schedule a Crescent Bay demo ahead of time. You can download it for iOS or Android. We’re also taking walkups for Crescent Bay and Gear VR on the show floor. 

This is hands-down the biggest year ever for VR at CES. A huge thank you to all the developers, enthusiasts, and backers who made it possible. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the show this week!

-- The Oculus Team

Nimble VR, 13th Lab, and Chris Bregler join Oculus

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Computer vision is at the heart of delivering comfortable and incredible virtual reality. Over the last two years, we’ve focused on bringing together the best and brightest in the space to solve some of the hardest vision challenges facing VR.

Today, we’re pleased to announce three key computer vision acquisitions joining the Oculus team.

Nimble VR (formerly 3Gear Systems)

Nimble VR was founded in 2012 by Rob Wang, Chris Twigg, and Kenrick Kin. Since then, they’ve been developing machine learning and computer vision capabilities to enable high-quality, low-latency skeletal hand tracking, which has the potential to be part of a great VR user experience.

 

13th Lab

The 13th Lab team has been focused on developing an efficient and accurate real-time 3D reconstruction framework. The ability to acquire accurate 3D models of the real-world can enable all sorts of new applications and experiences, like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of the pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Colosseum in VR.
 

Chris Bregler

Chris is an expert in the motion capture space. His recent projects include visual tracking for The Lone Ranger and Star Trek Into Darkness movies, both of which were nominated for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Chris has spent the last 11 years as a professor of Computer Science at New York University. Prior to NYU he was on the faculty at Stanford University and worked for several companies including Hewlett Packard, Interval, Disney Feature Animation, and LucasFilm's Industrial Light and Magic. Chris will be directing a vision research team for Oculus Research.

Nimble VR, 13th Lab, and Chris will all be winding down their existing projects to focus on VR full-time at Oculus as part of both product engineering and Oculus Research. Please join us in welcoming them to the team!

We’re always on the lookout for more phenomenal engineers and researchers interested in tackling the unsolved CV problems that move us closer to consumer VR. You can check out job listings for Oculus and Oculus Research on the oculus.com Careers page: https://www.oculus.com/careers/.

If you’re interested in learning more about the computer vision work we’re doing at Oculus, we recommend this presentation by Oculus’ Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist and Head of Oculus Research, and Dov Katz, Head of Oculus CV, from earlier this year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxbh-TM5yNc

-- The Oculus Team

Oculus Mobile SDK Now Available

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Gear VR Innovator Edition Pre-Registration Open

The Gear VR Innovator Edition for Note 4 is available for pre-registration starting today from Samsung, with delivery in the United States slated for early December. There will be two versions available: for $249, you’ll receive the headset bundled with a Bluetooth gamepad; for $199, you’ll receive the headset standalone. 

The Innovator Edition, much like the Oculus Rift Development Kit, provides developers and enthusiasts everything they need to build and experiment with the platform before the hardware and software are ready for consumers. There are numerous made-for-VR apps that will ship for Gear VR over the next few months. 

The Innovator Edition launches first in the United States, and we’re working with Samsung to roll out support for additional regions. 

Oculus Mobile SDK Now Available 

The Oculus Mobile SDK v0.4.0 is now available from the Oculus Developer Center. The initial version of the Oculus Mobile SDK is specifically designed for the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition on Note 4, and includes everything you need to get started developing for mobile. We've been working on the Mobile SDK for over a year in collaboration with Samsung, optimizing the Note 4 tech stack to deliver the first ultra-low latency, mobile virtual reality headset. 

Here's a few of the key features supported by the Oculus Mobile SDK: 

  • Asynchronous Timewarp 
  • Direct front buffer rendering 
  • Clock frequency locking 
  • GPU context priorities 
  • Real-time, fine grained GPU context switching 
  • Real-time CPU threading 
  • Direct warped content 

The SDK includes the full-source code for Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Photos, and Oculus 360 Videos under an open license. We’ve done this so that you can jump-start your own VR app development. 

 Aside from the native libraries and demos, the Mobile SDK also includes an out-of-the-box integration for Unity 4.5, with samples to help get your Unity VR project up and running quickly. 

We recommend new developers get started with the Mobile SDK Overview

Introducing Oculus Home 

One of the first things you’ll see when you put on the Gear VR Innovator Edition is Oculus Home. Home allows users to discover, download, and launch content. For more information on distributing your application on Home, check out the first version of the app submission guidelines

We're excited to see the first generation of truly inspiring mobile VR experiences come to life. Don't hesitate to head over to the Mobile Developer Forums and share your creations and your feedback on how we can improve the Mobile SDK. 

Oculus PC SDK Updates 

We recently shipped the 0.4.3 release of the Oculus PC SDK, which features Linux support, a number of performance and stability improvements, and support for developing Rift content with Unity Free. 

Earlier this week, we shipped an update to the Unity plugin (0.4.3.1) that addresses a handful of integration issues raised by the community. You can read the full details at https://developer.oculus.com/history/

We're continuing to push on stability and performance of the PC SDK, and we're working on another release this month to get those improvements into developers' hands as quickly as possible. We’ll have more details on that release in the next few weeks. 

We'll see you in the mobile Metaverse! 

-- The Oculus Team