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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
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9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to help bring this project to life.

Surreal Vision Joins Oculus

Surreal Vision Joins Oculus 

We’re thrilled to announce that the Surreal Vision team has joined Oculus Research! 

Surreal Vision is one of the top computer vision teams in the world focused on real-time 3D scene reconstruction - generating an accurate representation of the real world in the virtual world. Great scene reconstruction will enable a new level of presence and telepresence, allowing you to move around the real world and interact with real-world objects from within VR.

 Richard Newcombe, Renato Salas-Moreno, and Steven Lovegrove of Surreal Vision.

The three founders, all PhDs from Andrew Davison’s pioneering lab at Imperial College London, are Richard Newcombe, the inventor of KinectFusion, DynamicFusion and DTAM (Dense Tracking and Mapping) and co-inventor of SLAM++; Renato Salas-Moreno, the inventor of SLAM++ (SLAM at the level of objects), and Dense Planar SLAM; and Steven Lovegrove, the co-inventor of DTAM and author of SplineFusion.

The team wanted to share a few words on their vision for Surreal at Oculus:

“From the human point of view, the world is constantly in motion. As we move around, our eyes dart about the scene and the rich dynamical nature of the scene’s contents come flooding in. We’re able to make sense of those changing signals to produce a coherent understanding of the world we live in, which we effortlessly navigate and interact with. Over the past three decades, a great deal of work in computer vision has attempted to mimic human-class perceptual capabilities using color and depth cameras.

At Surreal Vision, we are overhauling state-of-the-art 3D scene reconstruction algorithms to provide a rich, up-to-date model of everything in the environment including people and their interactions with each other. We're developing breakthrough techniques to capture, interpret, manage, analyse, and finally reproject in real-time a model of reality back to the user in a way that feels real, creating a new, mixed reality that brings together the virtual and real worlds.

Ultimately, these technologies will lead to VR and AR systems that can be used in any condition, day or night, indoors or outdoors. They will open the door to true telepresence, where people can visit anyone, anywhere.

Much progress has been made toward this future, but significant challenges remain. For virtual reality, the accuracy and quality of the continuously updating 3D reconstruction must be near flawless, which is a requirement almost no other modern computer vision problem faces. When we cross these seminal thresholds, users will perceive the virtual world as truly real - and that is the experience we're driving toward.

By achieving the ability to continuously reconstruct and track the world around us, we'll be able to build an understanding of the world at a semantic level. This will bring the power of the digital world to the myriad of interactions we as humans perform everyday, leading toward a breakthrough in human-computer interaction and a computing platform that has true spatial awareness.

Given the team, the resources, and this shared vision, there's no better place for us to help bring about these breakthroughs than Oculus. We're incredibly excited for the future." -- Richard and the Surreal Vision team

Richard, Renato, and Steven will continue their work pushing the boundaries of computer vision and scene reconstruction as part of Oculus Research in Redmond, Washington. Please join us in welcoming them to the team!

Announcing Oculus Connect 2 and Mobile VR Jam Finalists

We’re excited to announce our second annual developer conference, Oculus Connect 2, where engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world come together to learn about the future of the Oculus platform and push virtual reality forward. 

This year’s Connect will feature keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Michael Abrash, and John Carmack, plus everything developers need to know to launch on the Rift and Gear VR.

Oculus Connect 2 takes place Sept. 23-25, at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, CA. Applications to attend the event, along with a call for papers, will be available on the Oculus Connect website starting in June, and attendance confirmations will be sent out soon after.

John Carmack, Oculus CTO, speaking at Oculus Connect last year.

At last year’s inaugural Connect, nearly 1,000 developers attended engineering and design sessions, showcased their projects, connected with fellow developers, and experienced the Crescent Bay prototype for the first time.

As a result of the community’s incredible work, virtual reality is poised to transform gaming, storytelling, film, communication, and much more. We look forward to seeing you there!  

Mobile VR Jam Finalists

Congratulations to the Finalists for the Mobile VR Jam! We’ve been blown away by the quality and quantity of content we received from members of the community. It’s clear that all of the participants dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to bringing their ideas to life. The competition has been fierce for the finalists, and it’s been tremendous to experience the amazing range of creativity.

The 60+ games and apps that made it the the finalist round are ready for you to experience if you have a Gear VR Innovator Edition: just visit any finalist's ChallengePost page on your phone and tap the "try it out" link to install and launch. And remember to vote for your favorites in the gallery to help us determine the winners of the $10,000 Community’s Choice awards! 

-- The Oculus team

The Rift’s Recommended Spec, PC SDK 0.6 Released, and Mobile VR Jam Voting

The Rift’s Recommended Spec

Presence is the first level of magic for great VR experiences: the unmistakable feeling that you’ve been teleported somewhere new. Comfortable, sustained presence requires a combination of the proper VR hardware, the right content, and an appropriate system.

For the full Rift experience, we recommend the following system:  

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater 
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater 
  • 8GB+ RAM 
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output 
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports  
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration. Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.

All of the games and applications for the Rift created by Oculus will provide an incredible experience on this system.

Binstock, Oculus chief architect, wrote a detailed technical post outlining the recommended system specification and the reasoning behind it, along with more Rift details, here: “Powering the Rift”.

Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 Released  

The Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 is now available on the Oculus Developer Center. You can download it here

 0.6.0 includes the following major changes:

  • Compositor service 
  • Layers 
  • Removal of application-based distortion rendering 
  • Simplification of the API

The compositor service moves distortion rendering from the application to the OVRServer process. This is an architectural change that enables features like layers and other performance and quality improvements in the future.  

Layer support allows an application to send multiple independent render targets to the compositor. For example, you might render the heads-up display, background, and game space each to their own separate layer. Each layer can have a different size, resolution, and update rate, which can be used to improve performance and rendering quality, particularly around text.  

The API simplification is a major step toward v1.0 including removing support for application-based distortion rendering.  

You can read the full release notes for 0.6.0 here.

Mobile VR Jam 2015 – Community Voting Now Open

Over the last month, hundreds of teams from around the world have dedicated themselves to bringing their virtual reality ideas to life for the Mobile VR Jam 2015. On Monday, over 300 teams submitted their final build for Milestone 4. Now, these VR Jam games, applications, and experiences are ready for community voting!

If you have a Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, you can visit the ChallengePost submission pages, download the builds, and experience them for yourself. Let us know what you think by voting on your favorites!

If you’re interested in learning how to register to vote on ChallengePost, or next steps for VR Jam 2015, you can check out the latest update here

Oculus Dev Blog – Squeezing Performance Out of Your Unity Gear VR Game

Chris Pruett, Oculus partner relations engineer, discusses methods for optimizing game performance on Gear VR in his post, “Squeezing Performance out of your Unity Gear VR Game”.

A sample frame from Unity with about 30,000 polygons and requires 40 draw calls

In part 1, Chris covers details of Gear VR, the runtime environment, and rendering techniques to improve performance. Part 2 will discuss how to go about debugging real-world performance problems.

More news to come in the run-up to E3.

– The Oculus team

First Look at the Rift, Shipping Q1 2016

Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.   

The Rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality. It’s a system designed by a team of extremely passionate gamers, developers, and engineers to reimagine what gaming can be.

 A first look at what the world can expect in Q1 2016.

The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as a highly refined industrial design, and updated ergonomics for a more natural fit.

A peek inside the Oculus Rift.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog.

Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more. If you’re interested in building a next-generation VR game or application, everything you need to start developing for the Rift is available at the Oculus Developer Center

E3 is just around the corner -- this is only the beginning. 

 -- The Oculus Team

‘Render the Metaverse’, Mary Lou Jepsen, Anna Sweet, and International Commerce


Render the Metaverse with Oculus and OTOY

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with OTOY to host Render the Metaverse, a virtual reality art competition with over $75,000 in prizes. You can enter the competition starting today by creating and submitting a 360º stereoscopic panorama created using OTOY’s Octane VR system via the Render the Metaverse website.

Render the Metaverse will run through May, June, and July. Each month the best, most breathtaking 360 stereo-panoramic submissions will be judged by legendary comic book artist Alex Ross, Oculus CTO John Carmack, and OTOY founder and CEO, Jules Urbach. All winners, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place along with runner ups will be featured and showcased in Oculus 360 Photos on Gear VR Innovator Edition, and later on the consumer Rift. 

“One of the rewards of years of technology development is seeing artists work on the canvases I have helped create, and I am always left amazed by the vision brought to bear. Stereoscopic panoramas are powerful, but they are a peculiar medium that is difficult to author for with conventional photography or rasterization based rendering. OTOY’s Octane VR makes it trivial to emit optimal media for today’s displays, as well as next generation formats for the future.” - John Carmack

We’ll have more news and updates on the contest in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can learn about OTOY and Octane VR at We’re looking forward to experiencing your visions in VR!

Mary Lou Jepsen and Anna Sweet Join Oculus

We’re very excited to announce that that Mary Lou Jepsen has joined Oculus Research. Mary Lou is one of the top display innovators in the world. Before Oculus, Mary Lou engineered the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop, and later led “moonshot” display projects at Google.

“Virtual reality has been seen as a niche product for the wealthy. Like One Laptop Per Child’s vision of computers for the poorest children, we imagine VR as an enabling technology, a platform for mass adoption, for women and men, adults and children, rich and poor, everywhere.” – Mary Lou Jepsen

At Oculus, Mary Lou will be developing displays that will make it possible to push the boundaries of virtual reality technology.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Anna Sweet as Oculus’ new Head of Developer Strategy. Anna brings a wealth of industry experience from her time at Valve, where she led Steam software and hardware programs, working with partners around the world. At Oculus, she’ll be focused on building an ecosystem that rewards developers for creating and delivering the world’s best VR experiences.

"The first time I put on a VR headset, I knew it was the next thing I wanted to work on -- it was the same feeling I had when my parents bought me a Tandy when I was a kid. The ways in which VR can impact our lives is boundless, and I'm extremely excited to work with the world class team at Oculus to build the VR platforms and experiences that will shape the future of technology. I look forward to helping support and enable partners and developers across many industries to be a part of that." - Anna Sweet  

Please join us in welcoming Mary Lou and Anna to the team!

International Commerce Now Available on Gear VR

Since introducing commerce to the Oculus Store available on the Gear VR Innovator Edition, the team’s been working on expanding support to the rest of world. We’re excited to announce that as of 4/20, the global commerce rollout has begun. You can now buy and sell apps, games, and experiences on the Oculus Store in all countries where Gear VR is sold.

Viral by Fierce Kaiju, available on the Oculus Store for Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Full versions of games like Viral (“...the best $5 you can spend in virtual reality…” - Kotaku), Darknet by E McNeill ($9.99), Dreadhalls by White Door Games ($4.99) and Gunner by nDreams ($4.99) are now being sold to Gear VR Innovator Editions users worldwide. We’ll continue to add support and features for commerce in the months ahead -- Stay tuned!

Mobile VR Jam 2015 - Milestone 1 Complete

This week nearly 600 teams completed Mobile VR Jam 2015’s first development milestone, submitting ideas, pitches, and imagery from their project. You can check out the jam’s public submission gallery to share feedback, comments, suggestions, and questions directly with the teams.

Over the next few weeks, developers will continue to flesh out their submissions - providing screenshots by 4/27, videos by 5/3, and a final shareable build by 5/10. And most importantly, get ready to help us decide our “Community’s Choice” winners by voting on your favorites from 5/12 - 5/27.

It’s 6 weeks until E3 2015, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!

-- The Oculus Team