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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.
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9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to help bring this project to life.

First Look at the Rift, Shipping Q1 2016

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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

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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 http://home.otoy.com/. 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

Oculus @ GDC 2015

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We're at GDC 2015 in San Francisco this week meeting with developers and showing off brand new content on the Crescent Bay prototype and Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is hands-down one of the biggest weeks for virtual reality in the history of the industry, and we’re excited to be a part of it.
 

Throughout the week, Oculus team members will be giving talks on the latest Oculus tech. John Carmack, CTO, kicked the show off this morning with his keynote, “The Dawn of Mobile VR”. You can watch the full video of John’s keynote on our Oculus Twitch channel.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we have two more engineering talks...

  • Brian Hook, head of audio, and Tom Smurdon, audio engineer, are talking about the new Oculus Audio SDK at 10:00am PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024. 
  • Anuj Gosalia, head of SDK, will be presenting on ‘Developing VR Games with Oculus SDK’ at 12:45pm PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024. 

We also released two technical posts on VR rendering earlier this week: 

The Oculus Rift “Crescent Bay Experiences”

On top of the Crescent Bay demos and Epic’s Showdown with remixed 360 spatial audio, at the Oculus booth we’re showing a brand new experience created in collaboration between Epic Games, WETA Digital, NVIDIA, and Oculus, called “Thief in the Shadows.”

Thief in the Shadows by Weta Digital ©2014 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC.

Running exclusively on Crescent Bay and debuting at GDC, viewers will find themselves face to face with Smaug, the legendary dragon from the Hobbit. Thief in the Shadows is built in Unreal Engine 4 and powered by NVIDIA’s new flagship GPU, TITAN X. The experience also leverages the Oculus Audio SDK for incredible, 3D VR spatialized audio.

You can find Crescent Bay prototypes all over the GDC Expo floor! Visit Crytek’s booth for a brand new “Back to Dinosaur Island” experience in CryEngine, pop by Unity’s booth to see a demonstration of the great new features in Unity 5 for Oculus developers or head over to Epic Games and NVIDIA’s booth to see the latest Showdown and Thief in the Shadows experiences running on NVIDIA’s new TITAN X GPU in UE4.

The Oculus booth is in the South Hall, Lower Level, #1224. You can schedule a demo of Crescent Bay and/or Gear VR Innovator Edition through the Oculus Live App, available for download for Android and iOS.

We’re also hosting private, technical sessions where developers can get help from Oculus engineers on VR performance and design challenges. You can sign up by emailing dev-clinic@oculus.com with your name, company, and contact information. Please include as much detail as possible in your initial email so we can make sure the right folks are available.

Oculus Audio SDK Preview Available Now!

A preview of the Oculus Audio SDK is now available for download on the Oculus Developer Center! This is the same technology that we announced at Oculus Connect and that powered the remixed demos and experiences we debuted at CES.

Great spatialized audio is a powerful amplifier for presence -- By providing 3D audio plugins for Unity3D, AudioKinetic Wwise, Firelight FMOD, and VST compatible digital audio workstations, the Oculus Audio SDK provides content creators the tools to immerse players sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistically spatialized sounds. 

Let us know what you think over on the Oculus Developer Center in the new Audio Development forum. We’ll also have Brian Hook and Tom Smurdon’s GDC talk on the Audio SDK available shortly after the show.

Unity and Mobile VR Jam 2015

We recently announced the Mobile VR Jam 2015, which invites developers to compete for $1,000,000 in prizes by creating the innovative, new VR content for Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Yesterday during the Unity 5 keynote, John Riccitiello, Unity CEO, and Palmer announced that Unity will be sponsoring this year’s Mobile VR Jam! Eligible developers participating in the Mobile VR Jam will receive a $50 credit towards the Unity Asset Store for assets they can use in the competition. You can find full details on the official Mobile VR Jam 2015 site. 

Thanks for an incredible kick-off to GDC 2015 -- We’re looking forward to connecting with you this week at the show! 

 -- The Oculus team

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