While is seems like most major VR hardware companies are embracing a model of proprietary differentiation and walled-off content ecosystems, there are some in the community who believe that the Metaverse will be, perhaps must be, open source.
Using off-the-shelf components and open source software, OSVR has built a HMD that is quickly catching up to larger, more well funded players from a features/function standpoint. At E3 2015 they’ve announced the addition of a positional tracking solution as part of “Vers. 2.1”, which is approved for distribution and is now shipping to developers. The IR tracker should help bring the OSVR platform up to further parity with current proprietary systems. They’ve also announced support for Android development which should stimulate the growth of content being built for mobile headsets.
Another aspect of OSVR’s open-source positioning enables partnerships with 3rd party hardware and software for rapid prototyping and real-world testing of new features. For example, OSVR has recently introduced the availability of interchangeable faceplates for Leap motion or mobile devices, and has included support for Wearality’s ultra-wide optics solution for 150 degree field of view.
With the big players like Oculus, Sony and Valve getting most of the press, it’s encouraging to see an ever expanding list of supporters working with open source VR. Companies working on everything from 3D vision systems, immersive sound technology, display panels, input control peripherals and game design research are actively involved in making sure OSVR is technologically competitive with it’s closed-source counterparts.
For the full list of OSVR supporters go to www.osvr.com.